For the fourth year we’ve made it on the CTA Holiday Train in Chicago. It’s becoming one of my favorite holiday traditions now that we have young girls, because their faces light up when they wave to Santa and ride the festive L train.
This year we waited until Santa’s Express was on the Purple Line in Evanston because that’s near our home and not too crowded. We boarded at Central Station and rode to Linden, where the train paused for 10-15 minutes before continuing back toward Howard. I recommend doing this if you’re riding it on the Purple Line because you get more time to wave to Santa and take photos since the train is stopped.
The elves aboard the train were as kind as always and we walked off with more candy canes than any other year. The train cars had plenty of seating, too. People were singing Christmas carols and taking photos along the ride.
We typically only ride one or two stops before turning around to our starting point. The entire experience took less than 30 minutes and we didn’t have to pay for parking at the garage at the health center near Central Station. Win! The cost to ride is the same as any other train. (I just purchased a single ride ticket.)
In the past few years the train is slightly behind the posted schedule, but I would still arrive at the time listed on the CTA website, just to be safe.
Have you been on the CTA Holiday Train? The 2019 train runs until Dec. 23, 2019, but add this to your list for 2020 if you miss it! The schedule is on the CTA website each year.