Best Chattanooga Train Ride with Kids
Are you looking for a train ride in Chattanooga, Tennessee to enjoy with the whole family?
Tennessee Valley Railroad offers themed train rides that are perfect for kids of all ages, including toddlers!
My daughter and I recently enjoyed a trip on one of Tennessee Valley Railroad’s fall train rides- The Halloween Eerie Express.
I was so impressed with this well-organized event and can’t wait to return for one of the other themed train rides TVR offers.
In this post, I will provide a full review of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Halloween event my family attended.
We will also provide details on the other train rides in Chattanooga that TVR offers throughout the year.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Once you arrive at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in east Chattanooga, you can park in their spacious lot for free.
You will notice lots of old steam engines on display near the parking lot, which make great photo ops.
I was immediately impressed with TVR’s organization of our Halloween event. The lawn in front of the train station was full of kid-friendly activities that families could enjoy before their train ride.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum had a petting zoo with goats for kids to pet and feed. They also had a couple adorable ponies available for kids to ride!
Tennessee Train Rides in Chattanooga
Throughout the year, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum hosts special events for visitors. Some of the most fun activities you will find are the themed train rides around the Chattanooga area.
Tennessee Valley Railroad does an AMAZING job of offering really well-organized, super fun activities.
No matter your children’s age, you are bound to find a themed train ride that will interest them. Below are some of the events Tennessee Valley Railroad provides throughout the year:
Halloween Eerie Express
The Halloween Eerie Express is a non-scary train ride that’s perfect for toddlers and little kids. Children come dressed up in their Halloween costumes and board the train to Funhouse Station.
Once the train arrives at the station, you debark the train and enter the station decked out in Halloween decor.
Inside Funhouse Station, you begin your visit by listening to the Halloween story. The narrator of the story instructs the kids to perform motions or make sounds for particular parts of the book.
This makes the whole activity really engaging for the children. After the story they announce a winner of the Halloween costume contest.
Then they divide the visitors into two separate groups. One group heads to the Eerie Fun House while the other group participates in Halloween themed arts and crafts.
After a set amount of time, the groups switch places so that visitors get a chance to experience all of the activities at Funhouse Station.
In the arts and crafts room, kids can color Halloween pictures and apply temporary tattoos. During our visit, Tennessee Valley Railroad provided Halloween candy and apple cider in this area as well.
The Eerie Fun House is set up as a maze of rooms you can walk through. Each room has a different theme, but none of them are scary.
For example, one room was full of bubbles from a bubble machine during our visit.
In addition to the Eerie Fun House and arts/crafts room, you can play glow in the dark miniature golf. Visitors are given plenty of time to enjoy all of the activities at Funhouse Station.
Before making the trip back to the station, visitors can choose a small pumpkin and goody bag to take home.
North Pole Christmas Train Ride
This annual event with Tennessee Valley Railroad includes a train ride to the North Pole station. With the North Pole Limited Train Rides, families can write letters to Santa after embarking on the train.
You will enjoy hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies as you ride along listening to Christmas stories.
As the train travels to the North Pole, kids will be delighted to see the decorative Christmas lights that have been set up to view outside the train windows.
Once you arrive at the North Pole, you will be greeted by Santa before enjoying more activities.
Those in attendance will also receive special Christmas themed parting gifts before returning to the train at the end of their trip.
The round trip time of this ride is one hour, and it’s a great introductory train ride. It may even become a family tradition!
Hiwassee Holiday Train
If you’re a fan of The Polar Express, this is another unique train ride that’s sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!
The Hiwassee Holiday Train ride takes you along the river gorge where you will be front row to some beautiful scenery.
These scenic train rides include Santa sightings, treats, Christmas activities, and hot chocolate!
If you will be visiting the area during the holidays, you can also check out my post on winter activities in Chattanooga.
Easter Bunny Train
Similar to the Christmas themed train rides offered by Tennessee Valley Railroad, the Easter Bunny Train provides family friendly fun during the spring and Easter season.
Board the train for a fun trip to Funhouse Station where you will get to partake in arts, crafts, and activities all with an Easter theme.
Grab photos of the Easter bunny before boarding the train back to the station.
Day out with Thomas
Fans of Thomas & Friends will adore this kid-friendly train ride with their favorite characters from the popular kids’ show.
Those in attendance get to experience Thomas themed crafts, coloring, storytelling, and interactions with their favorite characters.
Missionary Ridge Local
The Missionary Ridge train ride starts at the Grand Junction Station and takes visitors on a 65-minute tour of the pre-Civil War Missionary Ridge Tunnel.
Guests travel from Grand Junction to east Chattanooga where they can take a tour of the railroad restoration shop before heading back.
Dinner Train Rides
In addition to the shorter themed train rides, Tennessee Valley Railroad offers longer rides with full meals aboard their themed trains.
Christmas Dinner Train
The Christmas Dinner Train consists of a three course meal as you travel along in your historic train car.
When you book your ticket to this popular annual event, you are asked to choose from one of three entrees. The meal also includes side items, beverages (non-alcoholic), and one dessert.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Train
Similar to the Christmas Dinner Train, the New Year’s Eve Dinner Train consists of a three course meal in one of the historic train cars.
It is important to note that Tennessee Valley Railroad does not have a dress code for this event; however, people tend to dress up for this New Year’s Eve themed ride.
Final Review of Train Rides in Chattanooga
Overall, this was such a great time for our family!
Whether you are taking a Christmas, Valentine’s, Spring, or other special train ride with TVR, you are sure to have an equally amazing experience!
The activities are VERY organized, and it’s a great way to spend time with kids in the Chattanooga area.
You can click here to see TVR’s list of all the themed train rides they offer in Chattanooga during your family vacation!
If you’re visiting Chattanooga with younger kids, check out my post on the best playgrounds in the city.
Have you tried a Chattanooga train ride with kids?
Comment below and tell me all about!
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