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Book Early for Great Savings this Holiday Season. 

Planning a trip home for the holidays? Book early with Saver Fares and let Amtrak get you there without breaking the budget. And with the extra trains we’ve added on Northeast and Midwest routes, we’ve got plenty of room to make sure you get to your loved ones just in time. 

Take a look at what's happening in a location near you with the local holiday event lists below, complete with the nearest Amtrak station stop. 

Plan your trip today.

Get to your holiday destinations with travel amenities like:

No middle seats and plenty of legroom
Up to two personal items and two bags for free
No airplane mode, use your device the whole trip
Get up and move around whenever you like en route

Travel to these Great Holiday Events Around the Country

Illinois

Dickens On The Square: A Magical Holiday 

November 30 - December 1, 2018
Nearest Station: Macomb, IL on the Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg

This annual holiday festival in Macomb's Historic Downtown presents the perfect opportunity to slow down, take a step back in time and experience the charm and nostalgia that the Christmas season in a small town brings. Join us for this magical holiday festival featuring food, music, colorful characters, the Festival of Trees, Clydesdale drawn carriage rides, live reindeer, and of course the ol' boy himself, Santa Claus.

 

Kankakee County Museum 40th Annual Gallery of Trees

December 1 - 30, 2018
Nearest Station: Kankakee, IL on the Illini or Saluki routes

Join us December 1-30 at the Kankakee County Museum for our annual holiday event. The museum is decorated with over 25 Christmas trees. Make sure to vote for your favorite tree, look for our Elf on a Museum Shelf, Elmer, and take a seasonal photo in our fully decorated Centennial Room. 

Suggested Donation Price is $2.00.  Open Monday-Friday 10-4 and Saturday-Sunday 1-4 with the exception of December 24 and 25. 

 

Uptown Normal Holiday Open House

November 10, 2018
Nearest Station: Normal, IL on the Lincoln Service 

Santa & Mrs. Claus will be visiting Uptown businesses, taking pictures and spreading cheer while holiday choirs fill the air with festive music on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Enjoy great sales from participating Uptown businesses and free carriage rides!  Free carriage rides will be available with a reservation system that allows riders to place their name on a list and continue to shop, eat or simply get warm indoors before returning at a designated time for their ride. Ride times fill up fast and you must sign up in person to reserve your ride. We strongly suggest you arrive close to the start time to sign up.  Free carriage rides will also be available throughout the month of December in conjunction with Santa’s Station.

Indiana

Christmas at the Zoo

November 23 - December 30, 5-9 PM
Nearest Station: Indianapolis Union Station on the Hoosier State

Experience Christmas at the Zoo and enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical adventures.

Stay warm by a campfire or with a nice hot beverage.  As you walk around you may see some of the animals who stayed up late to enjoy cooler nights, including brown bears, tigers and more! Plus, stop by the indoor animal exhibits, including Oceans, Deserts and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. Don't forget to stop by Santa's Village for a complete holiday experience at the zoo.  Admission ranges from $15 - $20 and free for zoo members. 

 

Winterlights @ Newfields

November 18, 2018 - January 6, 2019, 5-9PM
Nearest Station: Indianapolis Union Station on the Hoosier State

At Winterlights, a million and a half lights will dance again on the Lilly House lawn as family and friends look on in awe. Enjoy warm drinks, handmade s’mores, and unique photo ops. A new Wintermarket will open, alongside some bigger, better light designs. Tickets range from $8-20 and children ages 5 and under are free. 

 

Lights at the Brickyard

November 16 - December 30, 2018
Nearest Station: Indianapolis Union Station on the Hoosier State

Head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Lights at the Brickyard event featuring dozens of colorful displays totaling more than three million bright lights. Illuminating a 2-mile course through the IMS infield and historic oval, including the front stretch and world-famous “Yard of Bricks” start-finish line, this is a holiday event you won't want to miss. Admission ranges from $40-60 per car. 

 

Michigan

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

November 30 – December 8, 2018 
Nearest Station: Dearborn, MI and head to Greenfield Village at 20900 Oakwood Boulevard  about one mile from the station.

Mingle with merrymakers amid the smells of roasting chestnuts and warm bonfires during Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Enjoy an evening of caroling, ice-skating and bustling streets as yuletide goods culminate in a fireworks-filled sky, enchanting you with the warmth of the holidays in one of the nation's most beloved annual traditions. The ultimate holiday experience starts with warm food and good cheer at one of our three signature dining experiences.

Our new Holiday Nights Happy Hour includes seasonal appetizers and cocktails - plus premium parking, while traditional favorites like Supper with Santa and a Holiday Nights Dinner Package in Eagle Tavern are perfect for families. Surround yourself with true holiday spirit and make our 80 acres of living traditions a cherished part of your own. 

 

Light Up The Bluff

December 7, 2018 at 6:00pm
Nearest Station: St. Joesph Station and take about a 10 minute walk towards St. Joseph Lake Bluff Park (Corner of Broad and Lake Blvd. 301 State Street)

The Community Tree Lighting ceremony always takes place on the first Friday of December; this year, December 7th. The St. Joseph High School Choir begins Christmas carols near the tree located at the corner of Broad and Lake Boulevard at 6 p.m. with the ceremony taking place at 6:30 p.m. Over 1 million lights come alive along Lake Bluff Park as it is transformed into a winter wonderland from December 7th through Valentine’s Day. Grab your sweetheart or entire family and take a stroll through the Park under arches of sparkling lights from December 7 – February 15th. Fun for the entire family!

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

November 15, 2018 - January 1, 2019
Nearest Station: Milwaukee Intermodal Station 

It's the Midwest’s most dazzling display - the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is returning for its 20th year! Join us for whimsical displays in three downtown parks, Spectacular chandeliers, Jingle Bus Rides (Thursdays through Sundays), While you're at it, drop a letter to Santa in the mailbox at Cathedral Square Park - you might just hear back! Take The Hop conveniently to shop and dine around downtown. 

Maine

 Ride with Santa

December 8 - 9, 2018
Travel Amtrak Downeaster to visit with Santa.

Ride with Santa and start a NEW family tradition this holiday season!   Mr. Claus will travel along with the Amtrak Downeaster Train 690/691 on Saturday, December 8th and Trains 692/693 on Sunday, December 9th to extend special greetings to our passengers!   These Downeaster trains will be decked out in holiday style to welcome our special guest and create magical holiday moments for our riders. Tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit with Santa are available at no extra cost to Downeaster passengers. It’s time to Take the Train with Santa! 

Northern Lights Celebration

November 17 - December 31, 2018
Nearest Station: Freeport, ME  

Northern Lights Celebration: Holiday Excitement. Outdoor Joy. Follow the path through our enchanting forest with over 600 trees covered in twinkling lights, visit with Santa and his reindeer, and check out the model train village. 

Holiday Festival & Parade of Lights

December 8, 2018
Nearest Station: Saco station

Join us for the beloved Holiday Festival & Parade of Lights in historic downtown Saco on Saturday December 8th! We have a lot of surprises planned for you with many traditions, as well as, new additions. This year we will start at 12:30 pm at the Saco Train Station on Saco Island, with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, crafts for kids, S'mores, and a trolley running down Main Street with stops along the way to see horse drawn carriage rides, a live nativity, shopping, face painting, food and fun. 

Connecticut

Winterfest Hartford Rink

November 23, 2018 - January 2, 2019
7 days a week, 11am - 8pm and Noon - 4pm on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
Nearest Station: Hartford Union Station stop (HFD). The rink is within walking distance.

Come join the fun and skate Downtown Hartford! Visit the Winterfest Hartford rink on the east side of Bushnell Park near the Pump House. Bushnell Park is just steps from Hartford’s Union Station. Skating and skate rentals are free. 

Vermont

Polar Express

December 8-9, 2018
Nearest Station: White River Junction

Join us for an exciting train ride along a meandering river to the North Pole. Children of all ages will enjoy The Polar Express. Story and holiday sing along while sipping hot cocoa with a homemade cookie.

Church Street Santa Parade and Lighting Ceremony

November 23, 2018
Nearest Station: Essex Junction

Santa makes a quick trip to the Marketplace during his busy season to kick off the annual Holiday Parade on the Church Street Marketplace the day after Thanksgiving. Lots of festive seasonal entertainment will follow the parade.

A Traditional Christmas in Stowe

November 30 – December 2, 2018
Nearest Station: Waterbury station

The community of Stowe and its visitors kick off the holiday season with this beloved festival. Expect gorgeous tree lightings, children’s lantern parade, art center full of festooned trees, holiday decorations, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus and their reindeer, holiday cookie decorating, and much more.

Virginia

Grand Illumination

December 2, 2018 from 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Nearest Station: Williamsburg station on the Northeast Regional.

Visit Colonial Williamsburg to witness the Grand Illuminations events of musical performances, fireworks displays and unique decorations. This event is open to the public, no ticket required 

Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

November 23, 2018 – January 7, 2019 from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm 
Nearest Station: Amtrak Staples Mill Road or Main Street stations on the Northeast Regional.

Experience a holiday tradition with one million lights, botanical gardens and holiday festivities for all to enjoy. Costs: $13 adults $11 seniors (age 55+) $8 children (ages 3 – 12) Free for children under age 3 $7: Garden members $5: Child on Garden Membership (ages 3 – 17). 

North Carolina

NC By Train's Santa Train

December 8, 2018
Nearest Station: Raleigh Union Station (departs at 10 a.m.); Cary (10:12 a.m.); Durham (10:32 a.m.) and Burlington (11:08 a.m.)

Celebrate the Holidays and Join Santa Claus on NC By Train. Families can celebrate the holidays by getting on board NC By Train’s popular Santa Train on Saturday, Dec. 8. For one day only, come make some memories on this fun-filled trip featuring Mrs. Claus, refreshments and Santa Claus himself! 

Tickets are limited and sell out very quickly, so book now to reserve your seats!  Passengers can board the Raleigh Santa Train at any of these stops: Raleigh Union Station (departs at 10 a.m.); Cary (10:12 a.m.); Durham (10:32 a.m.) and Burlington (11:08 a.m.).

To ride the Santa Train, book your round trip ticket on Train #75 to Greensboro (GRO), returning on Train #74. 


Tickets for the Raleigh Santa Train can be purchased online by visiting NCByTrain.org or calling 800-872-7245.

California: San Joaquins

Global Winter Wonderland Festival

November 22, 2018 - January 7, 2019
Nearest Station: Sacramento Valley Station (SAC) on the San Joaquins, which is about 10 miles from the event. 

Visit a fantasy Christmas land and celebrate the holiday season with Global Winter Wonderland. Experience winter themes, lights displays and fun for everyone all across the park with your family and friends. 

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square (San Francisco)

November 7, 2018 - January 21, 2018
Nearest Station: Westfield San Francisco Centre (SFS) on the San Joaquins 

Make the most of the holiday season with a trip to the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square. With events for everyone from beginners to experienced skaters, traditional to eccentric, there are plenty of entertaining holiday skating events to choose from. 

California: Pacific Surfliner

Holiday Time at the Disneyland® Resort

November 9, 2018 - January 8, 2019
Nearest Station: Anaheim station (ANA) on the Pacific Surfliner, about 10 miles from the resort. (from the station, show your Pacific Surfliner ticket for a free connection on Anaheim Resort Transportation for a quick ride to the resort)

Experience the magical atmosphere of the Disneyland® Resort beautifully decorated for the holidays. Both parks feature special holiday foods, entertainment, and decorations through January 8. Don’t miss the Christmas Fantasy Parade and the Believe in Holiday Magic Fireworks display, exclusive to the holiday season. The cost to attend varies, but Amtrak riders can receive an exclusive 5% discount on admission when purchasing tickets here.  

47th Annual San Diego Parade of Lights 

December 9 and December 16, 2018 at 5 p.m. (Free to attend)
Nearest Station: Santa Fe Depot (SAN) station on the Pacific Surfliner, and walk to the event.

Crowds line the bayfront for one of San Diego’s most beloved holiday traditions, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This event was nominated as the Best Holiday Parade by USA Today and features 80 boats that are lavishly decorated in lights and decorations.

32nd Annual Santa Barbara Parade of Lights and Santa's Village

December 9, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. (Free to attend)
Nearest Station: Santa Barbara (SBA) station on the Pacific Surfliner and the event is within walking distance.  

Celebrate the holidays on the water in beautiful Santa Barbara. Start with a visit to Santa's Village at the harbor to play in 10 tons of snow and take photos with Santa. Then, watch 30 beautifully decorated boats make their way along the coastline and watch a fireworks show from the beach.

California: Capitol Corridor

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

November 2, 2018 - January 21, 2019
Nearest Station: Sacramento 

Experience a holiday tradition of ice skating at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink. Daily events and themes make magic happen on the ice with friends and family of all ages. Check out the schedule to find out when you can dress like a princess, superhero or dare to do the Polar Bear Skate.

Jack London Square Tree Lighting Ceremony 

November 30, 2018 from 5-8pm. Free for all ages.
Nearest Station: Jack London Square station stop in Oakland.

Ring in the holiday season with the Jack London Square Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Free to attend and a perfect event to kick off the holiday season for all ages. Take in the wonderous lights and festivities including live music, pop-up shops and a special appearance by Santa. 

The 36th Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Saturdays and Sundays November 17 - December 23
 

Visit the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls in San Francisco this holiday season to experience the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party.  With music, theatres, pubs, dance parties and charming shops filled with one-of-a-kind treasures, the imagination of Charles Dickens comes to life.  An event perfect for kids of ages. Adults 13+ $30; kids 5-12 $14; kids under 5 free. 

 

Holiday Bubbly Walk 

December 1, 2018 2-5pm

Mark your calendar for the Holiday Bubbly Walk. Spend the afternoon shopping and sipping bubbly along the avenue. 

 

Washington 

Winterfest at the Seattle Center

December 1, 2018 - January 6, 2019 (closed December 25). Free Admission.
Nearest Station: King Street 

Enjoy Winter at Seattle Center. Holiday lights make eyes sparkle. Ice skate at Fisher Pavilion (small fee). Watch dancers, listen to carolers, be amazed by ice sculptors, and view model trains and more entertainment during Winterfest at the Seattle Center.  Also, mark your calendars for January 19-21, 2019, for the 45th Model Railroad Show at the Pacific Science Center. Nearest Amtrak Station: King Street Station (2 miles).

Holiday Shopping in Centralia

Open all season. 
Nearest Station: Centralia station stop  (step off the train to hotels, shopping, dining and more)

Scoop up deals for your holiday shopping at outlet malls, antique stores, and specialty shops. Get your holiday shopping done while staying in a cute town, eating yummy food and having lots of shopping to choose from. Go for the day or spend the night. Shop til you drop then be reinvorgated with good food and bevs. Get all your shopping done by visiting Centralia’s outlet malls, antique stores, and specialty shops. Open all season. 

Washington, DC

National Christmas Tree

Nearest Station: Union Station 

Residing on the President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, the National Christmas Tree is a holiday tradition in the Nation’s Capital. Surrounded by trees decorated from 56 U.S. States and territories, this is an activity for all to enjoy. Open from 10am-10pm while the tree is lit each day from 4:30pm-10pm.

Zoolights

Nearest Station: Union Station 

Visit the National Zoo through January 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31) to experience the light display with more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LEDs, animated light displays, live music and more. 

Los Angeles, CA

Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

Nearest Station: Union Station 

From November – January, you can take part in one of L.A.’s most popular holiday traditions. With various outdoor rinks throughout the city, find one that’s convenient for you and enjoy.

Outdoor Ice Skating Rink

Nearest Station: Union Station 

Visit the Los Angeles Zoo for a dazzling lights display to bring on the excitement of the holiday season.  Take a self-guided 60-90 minute tour including projections, lasers and thousands of LEDs. November 16 – January 6.

Boston, MA

Lighted Christmas Tree on Boston Common

Boston’s holiday tradition is an annual gift from the people of Nova Scotia. Visit Boston Common to see the tree stand tall and all lit up.

Holiday Concerts

A full schedule of holiday concerts await throughout December. Boston Holiday Pops Concert in Symphony Hall, The Nutcracker – Boston Ballet at Symphony Hall, Handel’s Messiah at Jordan Hall and A Christmas Celtic Sojourn at the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Chicago, IL

Fifth Third Bank Winter Wonderfest

From carnival rides to giant slides, an ice rink and more, experience the holidays at the Fifth Third Bank Winter Wonderfest in Chicago. There will be plenty of holiday activities accompanying the biggest indoor winter playground this holiday season. 

Museum of Science and Industry – Christmas Around the World

Explore Christmas Around the World featuring a four-story Grand Tree surrounded by over 50 trees and displays representing the holiday traditions from cultures around the world. 

New York, NY

Radio City Christmas Spectacular 

If you’re in New York City, make a plan to experience the one-of-a-kind Rockettes perform in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular – a New York holiday tradition.

The Rockefeller Christmas Tree

New York’s Pride and Joy at the holidays, a Norway spruce decked out in Rockefeller Center Plaza. See the lights, the iconic angels throughout the plaza, and all the excitement of the holidays in New York. Take a spin on the Rink at Rockefeller Center to top off the evening.

 

Saver Fares Terms and Conditions Apply.
Valid on Northeast Regional service, reserved Keystone service and Pennsylvanian service with advance reservations required a minimum of 14-21 days prior to travel. 
Valid on Acela Express service for travel on Saturdays (all departures) and weekday late night departures only with advance purchase required a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to travel. Once purchased tickets are non-refundable. Acela Express offers a child discount on weekends and holidays only; child discount not available on weekdays. Valid for Acela Business class seats only; no First class upgrades permitted. 
Valid on California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Auto Train, Blue Water, Pere Marquette and Wolverine with advance purchase required a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to travel.
Blackout dates: November 20 - 21 and 24 - 25, 2018
Once purchased, tickets are non-refundable.
Seating is limited; seats may not be available on all days.
One (1) child (ages 2 - 12) may accompany each adult at half fare. (see Acela restrictions above)
Children and infants must travel with an adult who is 18 years or older.
Valid for Coach seats only; no sleeper or first class upgrades permitted.
Fares are subject to availability.
Not combinable with any other discount offer.
In addition to the discount restrictions; this offer is subject to any restrictions, blackouts, refund rules and cancellation fees that apply to the type of fare purchased.
Fares, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice.
Once travel has begun, no changes to the itinerary are permitted.
Other restrictions may apply.