As the spider webs come down, the spooky inflatables deflated, and the giant skeletons (boy, weren't THEY popular this year?) disassembled for storage, we now turn our attention to Christmas.

Sorry, Thanksgiving. Your big thing is food and a lot of it, and we can't wait to dig in. But really, gigantic turkey and pilgrim décor just doesn't pack the same punch as witches, werewolves, and Nightmare Before Christmas. Nor do you lend yourself to holiday lights or train rides. We love you, but let's be realistic.

When November begins, Christmas moves to the front of most people's brain cells, and holiday plans start formulating. Where am I going to put the tree? How am I going to get all this shopping done?


Then there are the holiday vacation plans. And I gotta tell ya, you could do a LOT worse than enjoying any or all of the Christmas-themed train rides offered in Kentucky.

In New Haven KY, less than a half-hour east of Elizabethtown, you'll find the Kentucky Railway Museum which will once again welcome visitors for a ride on the North Pole Express.


The North Pole Express will run on the weekends of December 3rd and 4th, 10th and 11th, and 17th and 18th. Guests will board in New Haven and when they arrive at the "North Pole" Santa Claus will join them for a trip back to the depot. Before the trip begins, passengers will enjoy cookies and hot chocolate at Claus's Kitchen Caboose. No food or drink--outside of bottled water--will be allowed on the train.

And how's this for a kicker? The Kentucky Railway Museum ENCOURAGES patrons to wear pajamas for the perfect experience. I love that. I bet you will, too.

The Kentucky Railway Museum also offers the Santa Express which carries travelers through the beautiful Rolling Fork River Valley.


New Haven isn't the only place you'll find a North Pole Express in Kentucky. Head to nearby Bardstown, and hop aboard My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. During the trip, you'll enjoy an amazing three-course meal, and you'll get to spend some time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Once again, guests are encouraged to wear pajamas. Also, My Old Kentucky Dinner Train operates year-round.


One of my favorite Christmas movies--shaky motion capture animation, notwithstanding--is The Polar Express. Naturally, that holiday standard lends itself perfectly to themed train excursions. And you can take one at Big South Fork Scenic Railway in Stearns KY. Hot chocolates and sweet treats will accompany the Polar Express story as you ride. And after Santa Claus comes aboard, he'll pass out gifts on the way back to Stearns. Perfect.


While you're in the area, you might as well head to Versailles and take a ride on one of the Santa Trains at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum. The 90-minute ride will feature carols, candy canes, and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

So there you go. Holiday train rides abound in Kentucky, and while Christmas is all about making memories anyway, think of how many more you'll have once you ride a locomotive with none other than Santa Claus himself.

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