KIDS: Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Events

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Essex Steam Train and Riverboat - 2017 Events

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Santa Special and Reindeer Breakfast
 November 24, 2017 - December 23, 2017

{Santa on Train}

All aboard the Santa Special for a one-of-a-kind, daytime holiday experience. Make sure you’re camera-ready for that “special moment” when Santa and Mrs. Claus visit each child! Enjoy the spirit of the season as you relax with family and friends aboard festive railway cars adorned with vintage decorations. Rudolph and Pablo the Penguin will be on board to spread holiday cheer. Plus, each child will receive a small holiday gift from Santa’s Elves! Ride length is approximately 60 minutes.

{Reindeer Character on Train}

Before or After your excursion be sure to make plans to stop by River Valley Junction.  Whether you’re naughty or nice, this is where you’ll find an assortment of things for everyone of every age!

  • Little ones are sure to enjoy a Special Christmas performance by Sunny Train on November 24, 25, 26 and December 2,3,9,10,16,17, and 23, 2017. Shows are at 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:15 pm and 1 pm.
  • Write and Mail your “Letter to Santa” at Santa’s Post Office and support the Essex Lion’s Club
  • Take your family pictures in Santa’s sleigh
  • Visit “Create a Card!” Station — where children create a special memory
  • Enjoy Fresh baked Cookies & other Goodies in the Klaus Kitchen

2017 Ticket Information

Coach Tickets: $24.00 – purchase online (Padded Bench Seating)

First Class Car: $40.00 – purchase online (Individual Armchair Seats with Cash Beverage Service)

Santa Special will be operating on the following Schedule:

Friday, Saturday, Sunday November. 24, 25, 26

Saturday & Sunday December 2 and 3

Saturday & Sun December 9 and 10

Saturday & Sunday December 16 and 17

Saturday December  23

{Mrs Claus on Train}

The Santa Special operates Saturday and Sunday, November 25 through December 23 (as well as Friday November 24) with departures at 9:30 am, 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm and 1:00 pm. The Santa Special runs Rain or Shine. Purchase advance tickets to ensure seats – avoid disappointment!

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Reindeer Breakfast

{Reindeer Character at Breakfast with Children}

Relax and enjoy a festive family meal in River Valley Junction before or after your Santa Special departure! Prepared by the team that brings you the Essex Clipper Dinner Train and caters our Events and Functions,

On the Menu: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, biscuits & gravy, bagels, muffins, cut fruit, cereal, coffee, tea, and juice.

Serving Time: 8:30am – 12 Noon  (Operating on Santa Special Days posted above)

Reindeer Breakfast is available to all passengers, cost of $15 adults / $5 children age 1-6

{Ride Logo}

Board our locomotive-powered sleigh…for a magical nighttime journey to the North Pole. Every coach becomes a stage for a LIVE, musical performance of The Night Before Christmas. Celebrate the spirit of the season with Santa and Mrs. Claus, sing-a-longs, hot chocolate and sugar cookies.

{Train in Station}

Each child will receive a small gift from Santa. Children are invited to wear their favorite PAJAMAS. Make sure those PJs are warm and cozy…it’s cold up at the North Pole! Ride length is approximately 90 minutes

{On the Train}

All passengers age 1 and older must purchase a ticket. Children less than 1 year of age may sit on an adults lap at no charge however they may not occupy a seat.

{On the Train}

 If you would like a seat for a child under the age of 1, a ticket must be purchased for them. No car seats or strollers are permitted on the train.


5:00 pm / 5:30 pm / 7:00 pm / 7:30 pm (all operating dates)
 plus  3:00 pm & 3:30 pm (Saturdays & Sundays and Friday November 24)

The Santa Train is not handicap accessible as there are stairs to enter, but if the child is accompanied by someone who can help them on and off the train, the event grounds are handicap friendly.

Owned and operated by the Valley Railroad Company, the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is a unique historic attraction in the Connecticut River Valley. The Valley Railroad Company has operated today’s well-known steam train and riverboat for over 40 years on a line that was originally laid in 1871. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat transports people on exciting excursions through the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley, a place designated as “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy. The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches through the quintessential New England towns of Essex, Deep River and Chester, and the Becky Thatcher riverboat takes passengers on a 1¼-hour cruise on the Connecticut River past serene coves, marshes and historic sights including Gillette Castle, the East Haddam Swing Bridge, and the Goodspeed Opera House. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat offers various excursions and family themed events throughout the year.

From I-95 S, take Route 9 N toward Essex/Hartford, Take exit 3 for CT-154 toward CT-153/Essex/Centerbrook, Turn left onto CT-154 N/Middlesex Turnpike/Saybrook Road, Railroad Ave will be on your left.

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT, 06426
Phone: 860.767.0103
Twitter: @essexsteamtrain
Instagram: @essexsteamtrain
Official hashtag: #essexsteamtrain

Images and descriptions on this page are used by permission of  Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, and are protected under United States Copyright Laws. For information, contact Essex Steam Train and Riverboat.

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Content Last Modified on 11/17/2017 9:06:21 AM