Don’t Miss the Holiday Train in Viking Park {Gurnee}

A quick glance on Facebook led me to the Holiday Train in Viking Park  beginning a new tradition in our household.  We bundled up our week-old baby to see a magical train because trains equal joy when you have a two-year-old son. It was also the perfect opportunity to show our four-year-old an event created to raise awareness of and combat hunger around the holidays.

Holiday Train Gurnee
Image Source: Canadian Pacific Railway Website

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train runs through Canada and the United States in an effort to raise food and funds for local food banks.  And all monetary and food donations made at the Gurnee stop stay here in Lake County!

The train has been running for 18 years and boasts 14 lighted, decorated train cars that span over 1,000 feet long.  One stage car holds performers and a band. This year Kelly Prescott and Colin James will be performing at the stop in Gurnee on Monday, December 5 at 3:50 p.m.

train-map

If you attend this year, plan to arrive before 3:50 p.m. (when the train is scheduled to arrive), as the show is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.   Please note, the train is not perfectly on time and in my experience, we did wait thirty minutes one year, but  only ten minutes the next. Food and beverages were available for donation in tents along Depot Road that held our crew over.

Everyone parks at Viking Park, Viking Middle School and the businesses along Old Grand Avenue.  We park on Emerald Avenue and enjoy the walk down to Depot Road. Depot Road is closed for the event, as that is the location for the food bank truck, food tents and all attendees.

Holiday Train Gurnee
Image Source: Canadian Pacific Railway Website

We brought our stroller to this family-friendly event and our kids did not get to see as well as I wish they could have.  Most adults will have children on their shoulders, so be prepared for that.  In fact, there were so many people that  my husband carried our stroller up steep steps (with the kids in it) because we could not get up the drive at Depot Road.  He found a spot as close to the tracks as we could get (amongst blankets holding spaces for people) and I brought our bags of canned goods to the donation area.

Holiday Train Gurnee
Image Source: Canadian Pacific Railway Website

The music was cheerful and fun, the dancers were talented and the lights were magical to our kids.  There aren’t many events like this anymore, so I’m glad we went. Since the train was a half hour late and we could not hold our kids up high enough to see, we walked back to our car before the show was over and ended up having a delightful time in Viking Park on the playground.  We could still see the lights through the trees (but not the performers), and our kids thought it was fantastic!

Whether your goal is to see the lit train as a new tradition or remind your children that our donations of food really do make a difference, check out the Holiday Train in Gurnee on December 5, at 3:50 p.m. It is an event not to be missed.

Holiday Train in Viking Park
3:50 pm on Monday, December 5th
4460 Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee

Has your family seen the Holiday Train in Viking Park?


For more train-themed holiday fun, visit our Train Lover’s Holiday Guide {2016}:

holiday train events

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About Alli 52 Articles
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.

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