Trains are a quintessential part of the holiday experience. Kids love trains; and for parents, there’s just so much nostalgia and holiday memories attached to trains.
From world-record-breaking displays to hidden gems to real rides with Santa, here are the best holiday trains in Cincinnati:
Clifton Mill has an outdoor miniature village on display during the Christmas season that is the delight of everyone. The miniature village has recreations of many of Clifton’s historic buildings plus a 1950s diner, a light parade going down the main street and two trains that go around the village and across a covered bridge on the mill race stream. On the outskirts of the village there is a drive-in movie theatre that shows old film clips, a frozen pond with ice skaters, a football game in progress and a country fair with moving bumper cars and Ferris wheel.
Location: Clifton Mill, OH-72 and Water St., Clifton, OH 45316
Dates: The light display starts the day after Thanksgiving and is on every night through December 31.
The 2018 Holiday Show at Krohn Conservatory is a must for families. From the time you walk into Krohn’s main showroom, you’ll be transformed into a shimmery, sparkling winter wonderland. It’s a total sensory experience with piney evergreens, bright poinsettias and chugging locomotives swirling around as you wander around. Adults: $7, Children: $4, kids 4 and under are free. Get a $1 coupon here.
Location: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Dates: Daily through January 6, 2019
Enjoy a train ride through 1 million dancing holiday lights! Riders will be taken on a night time ride around the village while viewing the dazzling lights and the aroma of Christmas in the air.
Location: The Christmas Ranch, 3205 S. Waynesville Road, Morrow, Ohio 45152
Dates: November 16 through December 23.
Easily the star of the show, Holiday Junction is back and better than ever! Holiday Junction Featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is open daily through Jan. 27, 2019, and is a must for each and every Cincinnatian this holiday season.
Location: Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
Dates: Nov. 17-Jan. 27, 2019
Did you know there’s a train at Kings Island? The K.I. & Miami Valley Railroad runs during WinterFest, and is a little hidden gem every locomotive lover must try!
Location: There is a boarding station in Rivertown and Soak City.
Dates: WinterFest runs select dates Nov. 23-Dec. 31
This hidden gem is one of our favorites, and this year’s 25th Anniversary is sure to be better than ever! We love how kid friendly this exhibit is: it’s the perfect height for kids to see everything, there are lots of interactive elements and the little details are just delightful!
Location: Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd, Covington, KY 41011
Dates: Opens Nov. 10
Take a magical journey through a Winter Wonderland to the North Pole where you can see the Reindeer & Elf Workshop. Then, visit Mrs. Claus in her kitchen and, of course, visit Santa in his study.* Take your family to see our Main Street Holiday Train displays which offer some beautiful winter train displays that are free to the public.
Location: EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Ct., West Chester, OH 45069
Dates: Daily through Jan. 2, 2019
During the hour long journey Santa and his elves will make their way through the train spending time with each family. Every child will receive a bell from Santa’s sleigh. We encourage you to bring your own camera, pictures with Santa are allowed and encouraged. Balloon artists will also be on-board the train.
Location: LM&M Railroad, 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, OH 45036
Dates: Nov. 16-Dec. 29
Guests on board will enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie while listening and reading along with the magical story. Experience the joy of watching the children’s faces when the train arrives at the “North Pole,” where Santa Claus and his helpers will be waiting. Santa will board the Polar Express where he will greet each child and hand them the special first gift of Christmas during the return to the station. You will surely want to make this an annual holiday tradition.
Location: Whitewater Valley Railroad Grand Central Station, 455 Market St., Connersville, IN 47331
Dates: Nov. 16-Dec. 16
Be sure to check back at cincinnatiparent.com for more family friendly holiday fun around town!