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 is one of the most stunning holiday lights events in Cincinnati — and this attraction takes it to the next level with an outdoor miniature village complete with twinkling lights and trains. The miniature village has recreations of many of Clifton’s historic buildings, and is a delightful mini version of Clifton Mill’s epic holiday attraction.
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 Dec. 31.
The 2019 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 whimsical winter wonderland. It’s a total sensory experience with piney evergreens, bright poinsettias and chugging locomotives swirling around as you wander around. Adults: $10, Children: $7, kids 4 and under are free.
Location: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Dates: Daily through Jan. 5, 2020
Enjoy a train ride through 1 million dancing holiday lights! Riders will be taken on a nighttime 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, OH 45152
Dates: Nov. 22 through Dec. 23.
Easily the star of the show, Holiday Junction is a must for each and every Cincinnatian this holiday season. More than 300 rail cars and 60 locomotives chug through a mini metropolis on 1,000 feet of track. NEW THIS YEAR: Tower A is open select dates through the holidays
Location: Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
Dates: Through Jan. 5, 2020.
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. 22-Dec. 31
The Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights is one of the most beloved holiday events in Cincinnati, and it’s taken to the next level when enjoyed aboard the Toyland Express! Enjoy the epic lights show on Swan Lake while cuddling up next to your kids. It’s pure magic.
Location: Cincinnati Zoo
Dates: Nightly through Jan. 4, 2020.
This hidden gem is one of our favorites, and this year’s 28th 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! NEW THIS YEAR: Wednesdays are Grandparent’s Days: one grandchild is admitted free with each paying grandparent!
Location: Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Rd, Covington, KY 41011
Dates: Nov. 16 through Jan. 5, 2020.
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. Don’t miss the Main Street Holiday Train displays which offer a variety of seasonal train displays that are FREE to the public. Read all about this must-visit attraction here.
Location: EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Ct., West Chester, OH 45069
Dates: Daily through Jan. 1, 2020
During this 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. Bring a camera for priceless pictures with Santa!
Location: LM&M Railroad, 127 S. Mechanic St., Lebanon, OH 45036
Dates: Select dates Nov. 16-Dec. 28
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. 15-Dec. 15
Be sure to check back at cincinnatiparent.com for more family friendly holiday fun around town!