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Holiday Express lights up Blackberry Farm in December – 8 days in all

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Holiday Express lights up Blackberry Farm in December – 8 days in all

The Holiday Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first three weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its Yuletide celebration, with thousands of glittering lights, festive activities throughout and the jolly presence of Santa and his elves.

For eight days in December, the holiday spirit comes to life on Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17, when the decorated train will run continuously around sparkling Lake Gregory. Friday hours are 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15; Saturday and Sunday hours for all other dates are 2 to 6 p.m.

Advance tickets for specific dates are available online at foxvalleyparkdistrict.org and the Blackberry Farm Facebook events page to purchase tickets for specific dates. Please note the weekend of Dec. 2-3 is sold out.

More than 60,000 Christmas lights (3½ miles worth) will illuminate the sparkling pioneer village, with shooting stars flashing above Blackberry Creek and holiday cartoon characters (Frosty, etc.) gracing the tour of Lake Gregory.

“Thousands and thousands of twinkling lights – from the ticket window to the train depot and all along the walkways – turn Blackberry Farm into a winter wonderland,” said facility supervisor Sandie Gilmer. “It’s a holiday spectacle to be experienced, and a truly memorable outing.”

Santa and his elves will be at Blackberry Farm each weekend, collecting children’s wish lists at the Early Streets Museum. There’s a sleigh full of other activities, including:

  • Huntoon House: See what a Victorian Christmas looks like – from décor to small antique toy displays
  • Reindeer Food Bar: Mix up a snack bag and take it home to treat Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve
  • North Pole Oasis (Carriage Museum): Enjoy crafts, music and a full menu of concessions available for purchase
  • Candy Cane Village (Adventure Playground): Festively decorated and lit; the kids will love it!
  • Little Elf Hobby Shoppe (Weaver’s Cabin): Create a commemorative bird feeder to help your feathered friends celebrate the holidays
  • Sugar Plum Play Land: Enjoy winter-themed sensory tables and dive into the corn crib
  • Gingerbread School House: Classic holiday stories read alongside the warmth of a wood-burning stove
  • North Pole Barn: Visit Olivia, the friendly Potbelly Pig, as she helps Santa’s reindeer get in shape for Christmas
  • Reindeer Training Facility (Pony Ring): See the ponies demonstrate what it takes to become a sled-pulling reindeer

Special activities are scheduled each weekend as well:

  • Dec. 3: Olaf Meet and Greet (sold out)
  • Dec. 9: Stories with Mrs. Claus
  • Dec. 16: The World's Tallest Toy Soldier

The Adventure Playground will be decorated and ready for action. Visitors can also enjoy hay wagon rides while being entertained by carolers and storytellers. Also, volunteer carolers (individual and group) are welcome; call 630-897-1550 to schedule.

Advance tickets can be purchased online for all Holiday Express dates except Dec. 2 and 3, which are sold out. Concessions are available on-site, as well. View menu here.


All-access admission to Holiday Express is just $5 per person (children under 2 free). Blackberry Farm is located at 100 S. Barnes Road in Aurora, just south of Galena Boulevard about one half mile west of Orchard Road. For more information, call 630-892-1550.

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