Santa's Magical Trolley Express Chicago

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary tickets. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.

Having three kids, we’ve had our share of train rides and one of our more favorite things to do during the holidays includes a train or trolley ride with Santa. When we heard that there was a new  trolley ride to hit the scene – Santa’s Magical Trolley Express – we just had to check it out. Here’s the inside scoop for you! Plus, read on for a promo code to save 15%.


  • Short and sweet. It’s a quick 25-minute trolley ride through Naperville which was just right for our antsy 2-year-old. Since our trolley ride was at 5:30 p.m. so we were able to catch some of the lights.
  • Who knew getting a ticket punched could cause so much joy? Really neat seeing the conductor in person.


  • Reading the Polar Express is so much cooler when Mrs. Claus is reading it.


  • Awesome set! They hired a professional set designer so you would really think you were at Santa’s workshop.
  • Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole was so.much.FUN! The entire experience is interactive with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s little helpers. They play games and sing songs. It felt as if the kids were part of the “performance” and the parents were the audience. I felt like this was truly the highlight of the evening and where the kids had so much fun!


  • Checking his list. The kids thought it was super cool hearing their names and wishlist items being read from Santa’s “good” list. Parents get to list their wishes when filling out the registration form.


  • Yummy treats. Eating large cookies and hot chocolate was the perfect way to end the night.


  • Epic Santa photos. They provide Santa in a decked out sleigh with professional lighting. It was easy to capture epic photos like this.


  • Special gift. The kids get a special surprise from Santa – a sleigh bell.
  • Play time. After cookies and hot chocolate, the kids were amped up and not ready for the fun to end. Luckily, we still had about an hour left to play at the DuPage Children’s Museum. (Really loved that admission to the museum is included with the tickets.) You are able to play before or after the entire experience.


Bottom Line:

We had a blast! And the trip to the “North Pole” was probably the best one we’ve experienced. The entire staff is professional and really know how to show the kids a good time. Plus, the fact that admission to the museum was included was a big bonus.


Tips to enjoy Santa’s Magical Trolley Express:

  • Go during the evening to see Naperville’s twinkling lights.
  • Time it right so you have time to enjoy the rest of the museum.
  • This goes without saying — bring a camera for photo ops!

Nitty Gritty:

When: Naperville – Thursdays and Fridays, 10am to 8pm; Evanston – Tuesdays and Wednesdays until December 21st: departures 10am to 8pm
Location: Two locations for boarding- DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington Street, Naperville and Little Beans Café, 430 Asbury Ave., Evanston
Parking:  Plenty of free parking at the Museum
Cost: $55 per person. **O the Places We Go readers can save 15% with the promo code: PLACES**

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