Santa Express

Santa Express


December 11, 2022    
10:30 am - 3:30 pm


Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad and Museum
225 10th Street, Boone, IA, 50036

Event Type

Map Unavailable

All aboard the Santa Express!

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 25 through December 18, bring the family, and enjoy a one hour to one hour and fifteen minute ride from the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s depot to the North Pole (and return). En route, you will hear the story of Santa’s Scenic Valley Ride, and take part in other fun, family activities. Experience what has become a tradition for families from across Iowa, and beyond. IMPORTANT: Seating is assigned by party. If you would like to be seated with another party you must let us know at the time you make your reservation. All sales are final — no refunds or exchanges.

(The Book) Santa’s Scenic Valley Ride

There’s a blizzard so fierce that reindeer can’t fly in it. How will Santa deliver gifts to children on the Iowa frontier?  The book, Santa’s Scenic Valley Ride, takes little ones on a winter adventure with Santa on his first-ever train ride to old-time Iowa. The book was written and illustrated by Misty McNally, whose mother was born in Boone and whose grandparents once owned the historic Lincoln Restaurant on the old Lincoln Highway.

Get the book and follow along during your journey aboard the Santa Express train ride! The book may be purchased along with your tickets, or purchase it separately by clicking here.

Paperback, 30 pages, $14.75

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get tickets?

Tickets may be purchased at, or by calling (515) 432-4249. Tickets are held at the depot for pick-up on the day of your ride. Prepaid reservations are required.

How much are tickets?

  • Classic Coach Class: $25
  • First Class Coach: $50
  • Tickets are required for guests ages two and up.
  • At least one adult is required to ride with the child (or children).

What times do trains depart?

  • Friday:  6:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 6:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM
  • Trains do depart on time, and are not held for late arrivals.

What are the differences between basic coach and first class coach?


  • First class coach is continuously heated.
  • Basic coach class is preheated before boarding.

Commemorative Mug

  • First class coach passengers receive a commemorative ceramic mug.
  • Basic coach class passengers do not.

Santa and Sleigh Bells

  • Santa will pass through the first class section first. Sleigh bells given to first class passengers are larger than those received in basic coach.

A few notes about seating

  • The purchase of a ticket does not entitle you to an entire bench seat.  Bench seats are designed to hold two adults.  The purchase of a ticket entitles you to half of a bench seat.  Coats and/or jackets must be worn, held in your lap, or placed in overhead luggage racks.  Please be considerate of other passengers — do not take up seating space by filling empty seats with coats or jackets.
  • Strollers or car seats are not allowed on the train.
  • Seating on the Santa Express trains is assigned by party. When ordering, you must indicate if you would like to be seated with a specific party.

When do I need to arrive at the depot?

  • We request that you arrive 45 to 60 minutes before the departure time printed on your confirmation or tickets.  This will allow you time to parked, pick up your tickets at the ticket window, and use restrooms before boarding. You can browse our gift shop and museum while waiting to board.
  • These are winter trains, so expect and allow for winter driving conditions.
  • Trains do depart on time, and are not held for late arrivals.
  • Please keep in mind that freight trains frequently block crossings in Boone. In the event a Union Pacific train is blocking the street you are on, proceed east to Benton Street, turn left & proceed north through the underpass, turn left & proceed west on 11th Street, turn left & proceed south on Harrison Street until you reach our parking lot.

The weather man says we might get snow.  Is the train going to run?

  • Typical winter weather does not stop the train from operating. Check our website, Facebook, or Twitter feed for the latest status updates.
  • If we cancel the train (usually due to ice or a blizzard), we may try to reschedule, or a gift card will be issued.Ticket holders will be required to call us to make arrangements to reschedule or to receive the gift card.

Is the event ADA accessible?

  • Typically, ADA access is available.
  • Call 1-515-432-4249 to confirm availability.

Are pets allowed?

  • Unfortunately, pets are not allowed.