Holiday Happenings

Fare Finder Experience Fragment

Check out these Holiday Happenings... Just an Amtrak Away

Amtrak Blue Water Service

  • Thousands of lights create an extraordinary holiday display at the 30th annual Wonderland of Lights! Take a stroll around the zoo, enjoy holiday music, and marvel at the twinkling light displays during this series of magical Michigan winter evenings. Stop by the Savanna Grill for a bite to eat and grab a goodie bag for children as you leave to take home and enjoy. Click here to learn more about this event.
  • Make memories to last all year when the spirit of the season fills the streets and shops of Crossroads Village, with thousands of lights sparkling. Join friends and family for an evening ride on the Huckleberry Railroad and watch Village artisans make vintage crafts. You’re sure to find gifts for everyone on your list. A family tradition for over 30 years! Click here to learn more about the event. 

Capitol Corridor Service

  • Enjoy the holiday electric train display at the Amtrak Davis Station on Saturdays between November 18 through December 30, 2023! Sponsored by the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club, this display returns for its third holiday season. Admission is free.    
  • Get in the holiday spirit by attending the free Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at OaklandJack London Square on December 2nd. A 3-minute walk from the Oakland Jack London Amtrak Station, you’ll enjoy laser shows, photos with Santa, Frosty, Holiday Teddy Bear, and Peppermint Princess, and special performances by Oaktown Jazz Workshops' Performance Ensemble and The Lyric Performing Arts Academy. Click here to learn more.
  • From November 9th until the end of January, dozens of site-specific artworks by acclaimed creators from all over the world will be on display across San Francisco's many neighborhoods. Some are permanent fixtures that have become familiar icons of the city. Others are fleeting, one-time-only creations that dazzle visitors with their complexity. Best of all, most of these artworks are free to experience. With San Francisco's typically clear and mild winter weather, you can visit many installations in one evening. Emeryville Station (transfer to the Connecting Bus Service to SFC) Click here to learn more about this event.

Amtrak Cascades Service

  • Jump on Amtrak Cascades to Seattle to enjoy the Christmas Ship Festival. You’ll sail on the beautifully lit Spirit of Seattle yacht and view holiday lights in Puget Sound, on Lake Union and on Lake Washington. You’ll sip warm beverages while some of the city’s top choral groups serenade you with bubbly Christmas carols. Hop aboard King Street Station Nov. 25-Dec. 23. Click here to learn more about the event.
  • Nothing says holidays like Tchaikovsky ‘s Nutcracker! From Nov. 25 to Dec. 28, you’ll be enchanted by the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s dazzling choreography of this beloved holiday classic. Take Amtrak Cascades to Seattle and jump on the monorail to Seattle Center. Click here to learn more about the event. 
  • Winterfest! This five-week Seattle Center extravaganza delights all ages with a wintermtrain and village, holiday concerts, light shows, and a jubilant New Year’s Eve celebration. Nov. 25-Dec 31. Don’t miss it! Take Amtrak Cascades to Seattle, light rail to Westlake and the monorail to Seattle Center. Or catch a cab for the two-mile jaunt. Click here to learn more about the event.
  • Walk through tunnels of sparkling lights, pose next to colorful, curious creatures, take a ride on the zoo train and marvel at the dazzling display at this season’s Portland Zoo Lights. Start and finish your adventure in style on Amtrak Cascades. 
  • Your unique holiday shopping experience awaits at Eugene Saturday Market’s Holiday Market. Get in the giving spirit with a relaxing ride on Amtrak Cascades through the Willamette Valley to Eugene’s Amtrak Station. A five-minute Uber takes you to the Holiday Market, or simply walk out of the station and turn left to visit another shopping-experience-like-none-other at the 5th Street Market. Explore more Oregon holiday adventures on Amtrak Cascades!

Amtrak Downeaster Service

  • Experience the holidays in Freeport, Maine with a trip on the Amtrak Downeaster. The Freeport train platform is just steps away from hundreds of national retailers, name-brand outlets and locally owned boutiques. The L.L.Bean campus of stores is a block away and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and host to the FREE Northern Lights Celebration from November 17th to December 31st . Explore an enchanted forest, visit with Santa and his reindeer, take a free horse drawn carriage ride around the quaint New England town, and check out the special model train village. This trip is perfect for all ages.
  • Walk off the Downeaster station platform and step into one of Maine’s most exciting holiday festivals. Freeport brings us the 30th Annual Sparkle Celebration Dec 1st through Dec 10th. Allow yourself to be transported to the North Pole with events and holiday cheer perfect for the entire family. The Parade of Lights gives way to the lighting of the famous Talking Christmas Tree, Stealth Elf gift card giveaways and more. Home to L.L. Bean and dozens of big-name retailers, your holiday shopping is one stop away from being complete! Click here to learn more about this event.

Amtrak Lincoln Service

  • The Illinois Product Holiday Market:  Make merry and find fun gifts at the Illinois Department of Agriculture's third annual Illinois Product Holiday Market on Dec. 1-3. In downtown Springfield, just north of the Governor's Mansion (421 East Jackson, Springfield), find these city sidewalks lined with a Chriskindle-like market brimming vendors offering a variety of Illinois Products perfect for gift giving, stocking stuffing or even a little something for yourself.

Amtrak Lincoln, Illini/Saluki and IL Zephyr/Carl Sandburg Service

  • The Christkindlmarket 2023: A German-style Christmas Market provides fun for the whole family and is admission-free. The smell of roasted nuts, fresh pretzels, bratwurst and hot spiced wine, the sound of festive music, and the glimmer of sparkling Christmas ornaments, all in a cozy atmosphere – a visit to the market takes all your senses on a journey! Visitors can explore vendor products from around the world, participate in special events, and enjoy the unique shopping experience. Located at the Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, November 17- December 24.

Amtrak Missouri River Runner Service

  • Kansas City's most iconic holiday display makes its return for the 93rd year as the Country Club Plaza is adorned in thousands of twinkling lights. Explore the neighborhood and soak in the Evergy Plaza Lights all season. Beginning Nov. 23
  • Lace up your skates and take in the picturesque sights at the Crown Center Ice Terrace, recognized by USA Today as one of America's top ice skating rinks. Skate rentals, lessons and private parties are available. Beginning Nov. 3
  • Every moment of the season shines bright at Union Station. In addition to towering trees, festive decorations and classic seasonal films, the Holiday Reflections walk-thru village returns to offer a mesmerizing stroll through one of Kansas City's most historic spaces. Nov. 20-Jan. 1, 2024
  • Make your way through Winter Magic at Cliff Drive, a mesmerizing drive-through display featuring a mile of lights. Proceeds benefit KC Parks improvement projects. Nov. 2-Dec. 31
  • Thanksgiving week marks the return of Christmas in the Park, a festive drive-through display in Longview Lake Park with more than 500,000 lights. The event is free, but donations are accepted to benefit local charities. Nov. 22-Dec. 31
  • The Soul of Santa brings a full lineup of holiday cheer to 18th & Vine and the Shops on Blue Parkway, including a tree lighting, community breakfast and toy giveaway, plus a concert at the Gem Theater. Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10
  • Always a favorite destination for the holidays, Crown Center shines brighter than ever with Holiday Swing by the Strawberry Swing. Featuring dozens of local artists and makers in a European-inspired, open-air market, stop by to explore all kinds of shopping options along with local food, warm drinks and more, every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nov. 25-26, Dec. 1-3, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17
  • The City Market's Merry Market brings an outdoor shopping extravaganza to the neighborhood in partnership with Art Garden KC, featuring more than 75 retailers throughout the streets of the market. Stroll the area and pick up all of your holiday necessities across four weekends in November and December. Nov. 24-26, Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-17
  • Stroll the glowing paths of Powell Gardens during the Festival of Lights, returning this season with new sparkling sights and installations to explore. Nov.16-Dec. 30

Amtrak Illini/Saluki Service

  • Downtown Effingham’s Hometown Christmas:  Downtown Effingham will be transformed into a winter wonderland on Saturday, December 2 from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and will be packed full of activities for the young and young at heart.  Don’t miss the Mistletoe Market, music, horse drawn carriage rides, Christmas cookie decorating, children's tractor pulled train rides, a parade and Christmas tree lighting!

Amtrak Pennsylvanian/Keystone Service

  • Enjoy the shopping event of the season at one of the largest holiday Christmas shows in the country! The Pennsylvania Christmas + Gift Show is completely indoors and all on one floor. Shop more than 600 specialty vendors selling exclusive, and unique holiday gifts, décor, seasonal items, gourmet food, and more for family and friends. You’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list, including yourself!  Enjoy festive dance performances, heavenly voices, and merry instrumentals from local musicians, dance groups, and school bands on the Entertainment Stage.  Open November 29 through December 2 between 9AM and 7PM and December 3 between 10AM and 5PM.  Adult tickets $10; senior citizens $8; and children ages 11 and under free.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Nearest Amtrak Station: Harrisburg Transportation Center. Click here for more information on this event.
  • Browse vendors from all over the world at Philadelphia’s authentic German Christmas market at Love Park and City Hall.  Take family pictures at Santa’s house; indulge in European delicacies like bratwurst, strudel, and schnitzel; ride on the historic, two-tiered Christmas Village carousel at City Hall Courtyard. Open daily November 18 through December 24, 2023 from 12PM-8PM.  Admission for the whole event area is free, with food, drink, shopping, and ride tickets pay as you go. Nearest Amtrak Station: Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Click here for more information on this event.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Service

  • Experience the California essence of the season in the coastal enclave of Santa Barbara. Join in the tree lighting festivities on December 10 at the iconic Stearns Wharf to witness the boats adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations gliding along the shoreline. The evening culminates with a dazzling fireworks display over the water, creating a memorable celebration. Nearest Amtrak station within 10 miles from event: Santa Barbara. Click here to learn more about this event. 
  • Experience a jolly good time at Mission San Juan Capistrano on special nights filled with extra holiday cheer! Take photos beneath a colossal wreath, watch the tree lighting, savor performances by Dickens-era Carolers, and take a festive photo with Santa. The Mission grounds are transformed into a twinkling wonderland with delightful decorations and sparkling lights. Nearest Amtrak station within 10 miles from event: San Juan Capistrano. Click here to learn more about this event.
  • Head to Mission Plaza in Downtown San Luis Obispo for spin on a classic carousel, be enchanted by a musical light show, drop off your letter to Santa, and be sure to pay a visit to Santa's house! With live entertainment, twinkling lights illuminating the downtown area, and many more festive activities, there's no shortage of holiday joy. And mark your calendar for the grand holiday parade on December 1! Nearest Amtrak station within 10 miles from event: San Luis Obispo. Click here to learn more about this event.

Amtrak Pere Marquette Service

  • This exhibition—honoring cultures and holidaytraditions from around the world—has grown to 46 unique displays depictingfact and folklore, past and present. University of Michigan Health-West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions is a hallmark Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park exhibition. Dedicate time to appreciate the stunning presentations of winter plantings, the artistry of our adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden. Venture outdoors and discover the beauty of nature with wintertime walks. Indoors and out, our magnificent grounds sparkle with 350,000 lights. Click here to learn more about this event. 
  • During the first three weekends in December, Holland's DeZwaan windmill is set aglow for Magic at the Mill. Imagine a hundreds-year-old windmill glittering with lights and surrounded by thousands of LED tulips. Then add in Sinterklaas and a musically synced light show, and you have a seasonal spectacle worthy of Holland, Michigan. This new event will feature 1,000 LED tulip blossoms displaying a synchronized light and music show. The park and shops will be open, snacks and beverages will be available for purchase, and there will even be a opportunity for children to greet Sinterklaas! Click here to learn more about this event. 

Amtrak Virginia Service

  • Light Up the Tracks in Ashland Winter in Virginia can be chilly! Brrrrr. But imagine taking in the bright lights, sights and sounds of the season while sipping hot chocolate in the comfort and warmth of an Amtrak Virginia train! There's no better way to take in the mile-long strip of train tracks decorated with 100,000 lights for the annual Light Up the Tracks event in downtown Ashland. More than 20,000 people descend upon this picturesque small town over the course of the six-week celebration Nov. 18-Jan. 1 for seasonal shopping, festive fare, and the bygone beauty of this charming small railroad town. The event kicks off with an Illuminated Costume Contest, followed by the 54th Olde Time Holiday Parade and Ashland Christmas Market. It doesn’t get any more nostalgic and festive than this!
  • Roanoke, Virginia: Illuminights Brighten your nights and explore your holiday spirit through a dazzling world of over 650,000 lights at Illuminights Winter Walk of Lights in Roanoke, Virginia. Travel down the half-mile wooded path while taking in the sights and sounds of the season. Visitors will experience 50,000 new lights, new displays, trail enhancements, and family fun. Open November 18 - December 30, 2023. Entry is $17.50 for adults and $6.50 for children under 15. Located just 7 miles from the Roanoke Amtrak Virginia Platform. #Illuminights #ExplorePark #CenterInTheSquare. Click here to learn more about this event.
  • Richmond, Virginia: Richmond Christmas Parade: Kick off the holiday season with the 39th annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 2, 2023. You don’t want to miss an exciting parade line-up full of colorful floats, giant helium balloons, high school and college marching bands, princesses, superheroes, and returning favorites including the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the VCU Peppas, and Legendary Santa! Easily accessible from Richmond’s Main Street or Staples Mill Stations. After the parade, check out all the holiday events and our Amtrak Virginia train exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Click here to learn more about this event.
  • Williamsburg, Virginia: Busch Gardens Christmas Town: Busch Gardens will once again be transformed by the season with over 10 million twinkling lights, one of the largest light displays in North America. Christmas Town™ classics such as Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Town Express, and special entertainment brings the holiday spirit to life. Thrilling rides, festive treats and holiday shopping complete the experience with spirited fun for the whole family. Open November 10 – January 7, 2024. Located just 6 miles from the Williamsburg Amtrak stop. Click here to learn more about this event. Click here to learn more about this