Christmas Train Ride – 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz, CA (877)7726-7245, SantaCruzCruz
Q-tips say: Fun way to for all ages to enjoy a decorated Christmas Train with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their helpers. The little ones really enjoy this train ride. Not nearly as expensive as the “The Polar Express Train Ride.” Mrs. Q says: the only sad thing about this event is that you pass under a tunnel where you wave to the homeless people and yes, some do wave back.
Santa Claus usually travels by sleigh. But, when in Santa Cruz, he prefers the train. And you can climb aboard, too: The holiday lights train starts its run the day after Thanksgiving.
The folks at Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton are getting their holiday lights train ready for the season. The holiday lights train is Guttebo’s brainchild. Fourteen years ago, he and two friends wanted to create a Christmas experience on the railroad tracks.
“For one thing, it’s like a rolling piece of eye candy going right down the middle of the streets of Santa Cruz,” Guttebo said. “And so it’s like a parade.” Thousands hop on board the festive train every year. Senior conductor Kent A. Jefferys says it’s an amazing adventure. “It becomes a magical land, a magical sleigh,” Jefferys said. The nighttime holiday ride begins at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and takes everyone on a Christmas journey. Thousands of lights blink and flash on the side of the train. “Inside, hot chocolate, singing carols, Mr. Claus and his wife show up, and we have a great time with all of the kids, even the ones that are over 90 years old,” Jefferys said.
The Roaring Camp itself is decorated with wreaths and other ornaments. Go and enjoy. We did.