• Where does this magical event take place?


    We are proud to offer you TWO locations to choose from - Evanston and Naperville!


    The Evanston Trolley Express begins and ends at Little Beans Café, while the Naperville Trolley Express begins and ends at the DuPage Children’s Museum. Please be sure to purchase tickets for your desired location!


    This is a two part adventure: the first segment is an exhilarating trolley ride through town to the North Pole. The second part, at the completion of the ride, is where the real merriment comes alive - at Santa’s workshop, inside either Little Beans Café or the DuPage Children’s Museum.


  • Tell me about Santa’s Magical Trolley Express


    Santa’s Magical Trolley Express is an interactive program that takes children and their families on an exciting trolley ride to Santa’s North Pole workshop, where our performers entertain and bring the adventure to life!

  • What is the address, so I can enter into my GPS?



    Traveling to either of our destinations is accessible and easy. Mapping software easily finds both locations.


    The Little Beans Café is located at 430 Asbury Avenue in Evanston, IL 60202. Map link to LB


    The DuPage Children’s Museum is located at 301 N Washington Street in Naperville, IL 60540. Map link to DCM

  • What is Little Beans Café all about?


    Little Beans is a family café and imaginative indoor playground for kids. The café boasts a delicious assortment of coffee, drinks, and snacks, where parents can enjoy the ambiance of a comfortable café with their children.


    At the Evanston Little Beans Café location, children ages 0 - 6 can enjoy the Little Beans Village, while children 5 -12 years old can explore Big Beans. For more information on Little Beans Café, please visit the LBC website (clicking here opens a new window).


    After their visit with Santa, children will have the freedom to play, learn, imagine, and create in the custom interactive indoor village and playground. Little Beans is a destination that is fun for the whole family.


    Please note: If you are booking your Polar Adventure to begin either at 5:30pm or 6:30pm, you should plan your visit to allow for play and exploration of Little Beans prior to boarding the trolley, as the Café closes at 7pm.


  • What is the DuPage Children’s Museum all about?


    DCM is an interactive museum where children can reach their full, unique learning potential through hands-on play and exploration through interactive exhibits that integrate art, math, and science in eight different Museum Neighborhoods where they explore air, water, creativity, building, motion, math, and exploration.


    DCM also boasts a S.M.A.R.T. Cafe where children are encouraged to make healthy, balanced meal choices, even if they don’t yet read, by using menus with pictures. For more information on DCM, please visit the DCM website (clicking here opens a new window).


    After their visit with Santa, children will have the freedom to play, learn, imagine, and create in the unique learning exhibits at DCM, a fun destination for the whole family.


    Please note: If you are booking your Polar Adventure to begin either at 5:30p or 6:30p, you should plan your visit to allow for play and exploration of the Museum prior to boarding the trolley, as DCM closes at 8pm.


  • How long is the magical adventure?


    The whole experience takes 90 minutes, from the time when the trolley departs to when your visit with Santa has come to an end. You should arrive at the location at least 30 minutes prior to your trolley’s departure time to allow ample time to find parking and to walk to the check-in area.


    Your trolley ride through either Evanston or Naperville is approximately half an hour long. Trolleys do not wait for late arrivals, so plan accordingly!


    The visit with Santa at his North Pole workshop lasts just an hour. After that, you are free to enjoy some quality play time in either the indoor village, playground, and café at Little Beans, or the many indoor attractions at DuPage Children’s Museum.


    Please note: If you are booking your Polar Adventure to begin either at 5:30pm or 6:30pm, you should plan your visit to allow for play and exhibit exploration prior to boarding the trolley, as there will be no time for exploration at the conclusion of your visit with Santa. The Little Beans play areas close at 7pm, while the DCM closes at 8pm.


  • Is this a Little Beans Café event?


    No, Santa’s Magical Trolley Express is not a Little Beans Café event. Santa Claus Inc, our parent production company, is responsible for both the trolley ride and your Polar Adventure at the Little Beans Café. While Little Beans Café is not responsible for this event, they are working closely with Santa Claus Inc to make this a successful and exciting program for Little Beans’ patrons.


    Either before or after you have finished your Polar Adventure, time permitting, your tickets include a visit to Little Beans interactive indoor village and playground area.


    Please do not contact the Little Beans regarding Santa’s Magical Trolley Express. You should find all the answers to your questions here on our website.


  • What makes Santa’s Magical Trolley Express unique?


    There are many things that make any production a one-of-a-kind event, and we believe what we have will impress you! To begin, all of our performers have been carefully selected because they are talented professionals who have many years’ experience entertaining families and interacting with children. They know what it takes to create a special and memorable event.


    Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, charming and quaint with a touch of whimsy, has been designed especially for us by a top, local, award-winning set designer. Our show was lovingly created and written by talented local artists who have been entertaining local children for decades - in fact, they’re the very folks you’ll be interacting with during your Polar Adventure!


    And our costumes have been created for our performers by a fashion designer who creates and sews period costumes used in historical reenactments nation-wide. Our Santa doesn’t wear a cheap costume made of thin flannel, glue-on eyebrows that look like caterpillars, or a beard made of cotton, all of which look silly and cheapen the whole experience for children and adults alike. Our Santa sports a real beard, and his wooly, red, fur-trimmed coat is custom-made just for him, while Mrs Claus and the Elves proudly wear costumes in a style reminiscent of the Charles Dickens era.


  • Is this a DuPage Children’s Museum event?


    No, Santa’s Magical Trolley Express is not a DuPage Children’s Museum event. Santa Claus Inc, our parent production company, is responsible for both the trolley ride and your Polar Adventure at the Museum. The DuPage Children’s Museum has no responsibility for this program other than providing us with the use of their facility.


    Either before or after you have finished your Polar Adventure, time permitting, your tickets include a visit to the Museum’s eight different neighborhoods and play areas. Note: If you are a DCM Museum Member, your ticket price is reduced by $5.


    Please do not contact the Museum regarding Santa’s Magical Trolley Express. You should find all the answers to your questions here on our website.


  • How does our adventure differ from other train or trolley events?


    Most Chicago-area events leave from one point, travel to a select destination where Santa gets on the trolley or train, and then return to the starting place.


    Often the kids don’t even leave the train or trolley, and the trip is over when they reach their home station or trolley base. When they do get off to meet Santa, it’s usually at a small, undecorated, commuter station waiting room or some other uninteresting setting.


    This is nothing like what a child’s vision of Santa’s home or workshop at the North Pole should be. We believe the adventure really begins when the children reach Santa’s workshop. The magical combination of our whimsical set, talented performers, and a great program will enthrall guests of all ages.


  • What else sets apart Santa’s Magical Trolley Express from the rest?


    Almost all the Chicago area trolley and train trips are offered one day only, or perhaps two days at the most, with a very limited number of departures and seats available. This is number one reason other shows accommodate so few people.


    Santa’s Magical Trolley Express, on the other hand, will offer nine trolley and North Pole Adventures each day, in two lovely Chicago suburban locations. Before 2016, neither Evanston nor Naperville had a single polar adventure program. We are delighted to be the first such holiday event in both areas!


    Santa’s Magical Trolley Express offers nine trolley and North Pole Adventures each day, for eight days throughout December. This is a total of 72 adventures, with 34 seats on each trolley, which means we can accommodate 2,448 family members at each location during the Christmas season -- far more than anyone else offering these programs!


  • What are some things I can expect with Santa’s Magical Trolley Express?


    The Conductor and Mrs. Claus will be there to assist you and greet you when you board the trolley. The little ones will love the thrill of the trolley ride. Our conductor is an old-pro at firing-up the children's enthusiasm during the journey. Everyone will sing holiday songs, have lighthearted fun with the conductor, and listen to Mrs. Claus read one of their favorite stories, The Polar Express.


    Our trolley ride is just a prelude to what’s coming next: a visit with Santa! Watch the kids’ blissful anticipation and the excitement they will feel when they finally meet Santa Claus at his North Pole workshop! This will make a lifelong memory, for children and adults alike!


    Your Polar Adventure will include a visit with the Jolly Old Elf, where children will get a picture taken, and they can let St. Nick know what they hope to find under the tree. Kids of all ages get to enjoy cookies and cocoa with Mrs. Claus, delight in some irresistible yuletide games with Santa’s Elf, and finally everyone gets a very special surprise gift!


  • When is the first show? When is the last show?


    In Evanston, adventures will begin Tuesday, November 29th. Santa’s Magical Trolley Express will run on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, through Wed, December 21st.


    In Naperville, adventures will begin Thursday, December 1st. Santa’s Magical Trolley Express will run on Thursdays and Fridays, through Fri, December 23rd.


    There will be nine showtimes to choose from each day at both locations. The first trolley of the day leaves at 10:00am, with trolleys departing at 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, and the last trolley each day departs at 6:30pm. Shows last 90 minutes.


    Remember to plan your day to allow enough time for everything -- ample time for parking, check-in, your 90 minute Polar Adventure, and then however long you’d like to explore either Little Beans in Evanston or the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville!


  • How many people will there be on our trolley?


    Each trolley holds a small congenial group of 34 passengers maximum. You will be with the same people both on the trolley and during your North Pole visit at the Santa’s workshop.


  • We will be traveling with friends - how can we be sure we will be on the same trolley?


    The best way to to be sure all friends and family members are on the same trolley is to book everyone at the same time. As long as you book the same trolley date and time - if seats are still available when you book - you will be together.


  • Can moms’ or dads’ meet-up groups, classes, or other organizations reserve part of a trolley? What about reserving an entire trolley?


    Yes, but keep in mind that you will probably need to book several months in advance. If you book an entire trolley, there is a 15% discount. You must have 34 passengers for this discount to apply. For those who book 10 or more passenger on a single trolley departure, there is a 10% discount. Please note, no other discounts apply.


    If you would like to reserve either an entire trolley or 10 or more seats on a single departure, please email us with details.


  • What do I do if I have purchased tickets and I have to cancel? Can I change dates?


    To protect yourself, you have the option to purchase Ticket Guardian at the time you buy your tickets. This insurance allows you to cancel your tickets without losing your money. Be sure to read the information provided on Ticket Guardian when you checkout and finalize your purchase.


    Please note, a change in dates or times cannot be guaranteed, as that depends on seat availability on the desired trolley.


  • Is there a charge for infants?


    There is no charge for children one of age and under;  however they must ride on an adult’s lap and cannot occupy their own trolley seat. All children older than 12 months need to have their own ticket, per Museum policy.


  • Are handicapped accommodations available?


    At Little Beans Café in Evanston, there are no stairs to navigate; all rooms, play areas, and the café are all located on the ground floor. In Naperville, the DuPage Children’s Museum has areas on two floors. Museum Neighborhoods are located on the main floor; all exhibit areas are handicap accessible. The cafe is on lower level of the DCM and is accessible by elevator.


    Handicapped accommodations are difficult to provide as there is no room for wheelchairs on the trolley. However, if a wheelchair or walker can be left at the museum, we will do our best to accommodate any persons with a handicap on the trolley. Our elves can assist them getting on and off the trolley and into Little Beans or the Museum. Note: canes can be stowed below the trolley seats.


    If a person with a handicap will be in your party, please provide details in the “Additional Info” section when you purchase tickets. Also, you may click on this email link, and give us the date, time and any other pertinent details.


    Please note: car seats and boosters are not accommodated on the trolleys.


  • How late in the day can children still visit the play areas?


    The play areas are accessible until Little Beans closes at 7pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the days the Magical Trolley Express operates.


    The DuPage Children’s Museum closes at 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays, the days the Magical Trolley Express operates.


    The last two trolley events at each location depart at 5:30pm and 6:30pm. If you are purchasing tickets for these trolley departures, we suggest you plan on arriving at your location well before your scheduled departure. That way, the kids will have plenty of time to play before your Polar Adventure.


    Plan on being at the trolley departure area at least 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time.


  • Can my children visit the play areas without me?


    No, children must be accompanied by their parent or the adult guardian responsible for them at all times while visiting either the DuPage Children’s Museum or the Little Beans Café. Please do not leave your children unsupervised at any time during your visit, including during your Polar Adventure.


  • How do I check in for my trolley?


    In Evanston: Our check-in area will be in front of Little Beans Café, located at 430 Asbury Avenue.


    In Naperville: Our check-in area will be in front of the DuPage Children’s Museum, located at 310 N Washington Street.


    The bright yellow and green Christmas trolley will be parked in front of Little Beans or The Children's Museum. An elf will be at the trolley to check you in. Please have your ticket and confirmation information with you. Boarding will begin as soon as you are checked-in.


    Trolleys will begin loading approximately 20 minutes prior to trolley departure. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reserved seating. For this reason, we recommend arriving at the trolley 15 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled trolley’s departure time to complete your check-in.


    Strollers can be parked inside the Museum or Little Beans, provided they are not blocking anyone, any aisles, or any play areas. The staff of Santa’s Magical Trolley Express will not be monitoring strollers or other items left unattended inside the building. As such, we are not responsible for any loss of or damage to items left unattended inside. We highly recommend that you either leave your valuables at home or keep them with you at all times.


  • What about parking?


    Evanston: There are a limited number of parking spaces available for trolley patrons at Little Beans. Additional parking is available next door at Chute Middle School or on nearby streets.


    Naperville: There are a very limited number of parking lot spaces available for Museum patrons which people booked on the Magical Trolley Express can use. Additional parking is available at nearby Washington Jr High School and on the streets around Naperville, all within walking distance to the Museum.


    Click on this Parking Map Link for alternative parking locations for the DuPage Children’s Museum.


  • When will I receive the picture of my children with Santa?


    Click HERE to find and download your photo and the copyright release so you can print your photo. Please note: Printed photographs will not be made available through Santa’s Magical Trolley Express, but with the release, you will be able to print your photo at your convenience.


  • Can the kids wear pajamas on the trolley?


    Absolutely! This is part of making it a realistic experience for the little ones, and will make for a memorable photo with Santa. The trolley is heated, and so is Santa’s workshop. But you will have to walk to the building from your vehicle, so don’t forget to dress for the weather with coats, hats, mittens, and boots! If you want, you can bring street clothes for your child to change into prior to visiting the play areas.


  • Can I take my own photos and videos?


    Of course! One of the problems when visiting Santa at the mall is that you aren’t allowed to take your own pictures, but have to pay exorbitant prices for photos. At Santa’s Magical Trolley Express, you can take all of the photos and videos you want of your kids with Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Conductor, and the Elves.


  • Will you still operate under extreme weather conditions?


    Our trolleys will operate in rain and snow in normal weather conditions. Under more extreme conditions, trolleys can be cancelled at our discretion. If there is a major snow advisory and expressways and roads are closed, and if our event has to be cancelled, full refunds will be offered. If there is availability on other dates, you may be able to reschedule; however we cannot guarantee availability for rescheduling.


  • When should I buy tickets?


    Tickets will be available August 1st! We recommend you don’t wait and that you make reservations as soon as possible. These events will be very popular and tickets will sell out quickly.


  • If our elves haven’t answered your questions…


    or if there is anything else you need to have answered, then please email us at Our elves will get back to you as quickly as possible!


  • What happens with the information I provide when you ask for what my child is putting on their gift Wish List? Will Santa be giving my child the present they are requesting?


    Our question is asked for information purposes only, which MAY be used to personalize your polar adventure during your visit to Santa’s Magical Trolley Express. Santa Claus Inc. will NOT be providing the actual gift item for your child.


  • Does one ticket provide entry for both me and my child? Or do I have to buy a separate ticket for each of us?


    Each guest over the age of 12 months is required to have their own ticket for Santa’s Magical Trolley Express. General Admission tickets are valid for children as well as adults. Please make sure that each guest in your party has their own ticket. The only exception would be infants younger than 12 months who will be sitting on the lap of a ticketed adult; the infant is not required to have a ticket.