A Guide to Local Trains for Your Train Lover



If you’re like us, you may have a train lover in your home! We’re lucky here in St. Louis to have access to several whimsical spots where spotting a train is guaranteed, even moreso during the holiday season! Here’s a roundup of local spots where we love to see trains with our littles, during the holidays and beyond! 

Dan’s Emerald Forest

8851 Windom Ave, Overland MO 63114

Your train loving kiddos (or adults!) will love this unique multi-level, residential light display!

December Hours

Wednesday – Thursday, 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM | Friday – Saturday, 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Closed Monday and Tuesday nights

* Christmas and New Year’s weeks, open all week


Frisco Train Store

24 Front St, Valley Park, MO  63088

Monday – Closed | Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm | Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm

The Frisco Train Store has a free indoor play area with wooden trains and accessories to keep your train-loving, imaginative child entertained for hours! There are multiple levels in the store with elaborate train tables, vendor demos, a kitchen play area, and even a birthday party room for celebrations. Play for a while, see what your child falls in love with, then shop for the perfect gift (trains, puzzles, crafts, games, wooden playsets, engineer hats, etc.) on your way out! All aboard!!


Holiday Season at The Museum of Transportation

Museum hours and Creation Station sessions

2933 Barrett Station Rd St. Louis, MO 63122

See all the things that GO at the Museum of Transportation! Trains, cars, even a streetcar grace this fun museum. They also host a Creation Station play area with set playtimes. Here’s a full lineup of all they have going on this holiday season!


St. Louis Zoo 4D Polar Express Showing

Our beloved St. Louis Zoo train might not be operating during their annual Wild Lights extravaganza, BUT your Wild Lights admission includes a complimentary abridged showing of “The Polar Express” in 4D! This is sure to put the whole family in the holiday spirit. The last showing of the evening is 8:15 pm.


Big Bend Railroad Club

8833 Big Bend Blvd, Webster Groves, MO

We are a 2-Rail O Scale (1/4″ to the foot) model railroad club that started in 1938 and have been located in the same building at 8833 Big Bend Boulevard, just west of Elm, in Webster Groves, Missouri for the whole time.   The building is a former passenger depot for the Frisco Railway that was constructed in 1910.

We operate for the public on the first Tuesday of the month (Except holidays) from 7:00 PM until around 8:30 PM, with extra nights in December, and other days for special occasions.


West County Mall 

This darling, trackless train is sure to be enjoyed in a climate-controlled setting and will allow you to take in the beautiful holiday decor at West County Mall during your ride! Open during standard mall hours. The train is located on level 1 under Barnes & Noble. 


Polar Express at Union Station

Union Station, 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train ride is back! Santa and his elves are full steam ahead for a trip to the North Pole for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station this year! This is such a whimsical holiday experience to be lived at least once! Dress up in your coziest jammies and hop aboard the Polar Express for a trip to the North Pole! You’ll enjoy a narrated reading of the classic book, warm up with hot chocolate, and a yummy cookie! Once at the North Pole, Santa Claus himself will board your train to visit each boy and girl!


Santa’s Magical Kingdom Train Ride

Santa’s Magical Kingdom is one of our favorite local lights displays to enjoy during the holiday season, but did you know there’s a whimsical train ride to enjoy onsite, too? “From their website:

“Train rides will seat 24 persons and are available MONDAY-THURSDAY ONLY at 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, and 6:30 pm from Nov 20 – Dec 7. Due to a heavier demand for the Old Fashioned Holiday Wagon rides; after Dec 7, the train rides are no longer available, and only the wagons will run.


Children two and under are free as long as they ride on the lap of an adult


Train Ride to Washington from Kirkwood

There’s nothing more charming than the Kirkwood Train Station decked out in holiday decor! Surprise your train lover with an Amtrak train ride from St. Louis to Washington, we promise they’ll love it!


Special Events

The Great Train Show

November 25-26 | 10:00am-4:00pm

Gateway Convention Center – One Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234

“The Great American Train Show is the nation’s only coast-to-coast model train show. The show is designed for the general public, modelers, hobbyists, families, and the just plain curious. Each show features hundreds of tables of trains and accessories for sale, huge operating exhibits, activities for kids, and more. ”

Play area for kids with hands on trains to play with, train videos to watch and a
riding train for kids!


St. Charles Train Show

January 27-28, 2024 

St. Charles Convention Center1 Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303

“The train show is designed for children of all ages; for modelers, collectors and enthusiasts; for families in search of good old-fashioned fun; and for the simply curious. Each show features hundreds of tables of trains, accessories, scale models and collectible toys for sale as well as huge operating exhibits, activities for kids, free seminars and educational opportunities, and much more.”

It’s worth mentioning the Wabash Frisco and Pacific Railroad and St. Louis Iron Mountain Railway also come highly recommended from the St. Louis Mom team, but both are either closed or sold out for the holiday season!



  1. Hello, I am a member of a train club in Webster Groves, Big Bend Railroad club. We have a layout that we open to the public the first Tuesday of every month and Saturdays in December. It is free to enter although donations are welcome. We are trying to restore our very old train depot. Thought I would share in case you would like to add to your list.

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