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BONSAL — Holiday traditions are a special way to celebrate the season and visitors from the Triangle and beyond have made the December Santa Trains at New Hope Valley Railway an annual tradition.
Ride a real train with Santa Claus during NHVR’s Santa’s Reindeer Roundup Express on Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, and Sundays, Dec. 8 and 15.
The rail yard and trains are decorated for the holidays and will include new six-foot-tall antlers and a jumbo red nose adorning the front of NHVR’s locomotive. This reindeer on the railroad tracks will transport passengers on a search for Santa’s nine missing reindeer (including Rudolph) that can be spotted during their ride and in the rail yard.
Frosty the Snowman will greet visitors as they arrive, while Santa Claus is on board to pose for photos and visit with each child during the hour-long train ride.
“We transform our train yard and tracks into a holiday wonderland” said Tom Hutchinson, NHVR marketing representative for the all-volunteer, historic railway. “Nearly 5,000 passengers rode our Santa Trains last year, and we helped create many cherished holiday memories and traditions.”
Visitors ride in roof-covered, open-air passenger cars and are encouraged to dress for the weather. Trains will operate in the snow, sleet or rain, so plan to dress accordingly. Concessions with kid-friendly food will be available for purchase during each ride day.
The Garden Railroad (G Scale) featuring Thomas the Train and a Holiday-themed train will be operating and attendees can view the North Carolina Railway Museum during their visit to the railway.
Train rides depart at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets cost $13 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 60-plus), $11 for children (ages 2-12) and are free for infants under two years of age who sit in the lap of an adult ticketholder.
Santa’s Reindeer Roundup Express trains can sell out. NHVR recommends buying tickets online at www.TriangleTrain.com and arriving at the rail yard 30 minutes prior to the train departure time.