Santa’s Paradise Express – A Day Out at The Strasburg Railroad and Choo Choo Barn


H is obsessed with trains.


Choo Choo was definitely his first phrase and after “bishie”, one of his first words. He loves trains!

Last year we went to The Choo Choo Barn and Strasburg for a train ride. Of course C and G loved it (any kid does), but H was still in a stroller and his love for trains hadn’t really blossomed yet.

When we got the opportunity to take another trip back this year for their Christmas themed exhibit and Santa’s Paradise Express, I knew it would be different!

The two older kids knew what to expect and they were super excited. H had no idea what he was in for. He was going to be thrilled!!!

We decided to head to The Choo Choo Barn before our ride. I heart this place. This train display is ginormous at 1700 square feet and incredibly intricate. The details on it are amazing. And for the 3rd year in a row, they decorated for Christmas! As we walked in, the woman at the desk informed us that there were 52 Santas hidden throughout the train display. FUN! C and G were trying to find each and every one of them. There was even Santa’s sleigh and reindeer flying high above our heads and when the lights went off as they do every 10 minutes you could see the lit up houses underneath and it looked like it does on Christmas night:)


I ended up leaving a few minutes before we reached the end. H was fairly upset that he couldn’t reach over the plexi glass and play with the train. So, we headed out to the gift show where I found the perfect Christmas present for him…a wind up tin train that goes around a wooden track. Sshhh, don’t tell;)

After the kids were done finding the hidden Santas, we headed to the Strasburg Railroad Station right down the road just in time to get our tickets and watch the steam engine come in. H went wild. He was beyond excited screaming Choo Choo uncontrollably with a huge smile on his face!!


As we climbed aboard, we passed by the coal stove that would keep us warm during our ride. Soon after the train pulled out of the station Santa came strolling down the isle. When he got to C and G, he happily talked with them and made sure to make H feel comfortable. There was a photographer that was along so that we could get a picture taken too. Santa was quite the classic looking man with a bright natural white beard! As we rode the train to Paradise, carolers came and sang, brass instruments came and were played, and we got so nice and warm from that coal fire. It was such a nice ride with gorgeous scenery. There is just something about riding overlooking the farmland of Lancaster County.


It was nearly dark when we got off so we waved goodbye to Santa, bought our picture, and headed home! The perfect addition to the opening weekend of our holiday season!


Tickets are still available for this train ride so head over and grab some!

*Disclosure: I was provided with tickets for my family to go to the Choo Choo Barn and Strasburg. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We had an absolute blast! 

About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. We love those two spots and anticipate going back for Thomas when he is there again in the spring.
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