Sensory Friendly Santa Train

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Wednesday December 4

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5:20 PM  –  5:40 PM


Sensory Friendly Santa Train:

Join us for the Museum’s largest annual fundraising event and holiday tradition, Santa Train! Dash and dance your way through an inflatable forest and an enchanting rainbow light tunnel. Sip complimentary hot chocolate under thousands of captivating lights or grab a light snack at Sprout Café. Get crafty with take-home activities, have your face painted by makeup artists, and indulge in the “Science of Santa!” Skate in your socks on our synthetic “ice rink” or warm up in the Magic Wings Butterfly House. Then, climb aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway for a memorable night-time train ride to the North Pole where you’ll be greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves. Don’t forget to score that special gift from our holiday pop-up museum gift shop for before heading home with precious memories!


Wednesday, December 4th

Train times: 5:20pm, 5:40pm, 6pm

We’re excited to offer another year of sensory-friendly Santa Train rides for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder and similar needs. Train rides exclude train whistle, yelling in the tunnel, ambient music, and flashing lights. Additional staff and volunteers from UNC TEACCH Autism Program will be on-hand to assist guests. Cool down kits, noise-cancelling headphones, and social narratives available upon request.


Please reserve these train times for our ASD community. To access train rides after 6pm with full light and sound click Here


Please note that cool down kits, noise-cancelling headphones, and social narratives will be available upon request for all trains this year.


Ticket On-Sale Dates:


Supporting Members: October 28, 9:00am

Explorer Members: October 30, 9:00am

Business Members: November 4, 9:00am

General Public: November 5, 9:00am


Event Dates, Prices & Times


*Early Trains: 5:20 PM – 7:20 PM

*Late Trains: 7:40 PM – 8:20 PM

December 4-8 | Early Trains: $18 | Late Trains: $15

December 11-15 | Early Trains: $22 | Late Trains: $19

December 18-22 | Early Trains: $25 | Late Trains: $22



5:20pm, 5:40pm, 6pm, 6:20pm, 6:40pm, 7pm, 7:20pm, 7:40pm, 8pm, 8:20pm

Gates open at 5:00pm and close at 9:00pm every night.

Trains leave the station every twenty minutes from 5:20pm through 8:20pm.


Ticket Price:


Children 2 and under ride free, in the lap of a paid adult.

*All ticket changes will result in a $10.00 processing fee per transaction and the difference in ticket price, if any.

$10.00 of each $15.00 ticket, $13.00 of each $18.00, $14.00 of each $19.00 ticket, $17.00 of each $22.00, and $20.00 of each $25.00 ticket is Tax-deductible.


Climb aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway for a journey to the North Pole. Enjoy a ride through thousands of twinkling lights as we make our way to meet Santa and his elves. Back at the station explore festive activities including:


  • Face painting by Paint Savvy
  • "Science of Santa" activities 
  • Take-home crafts
  • Holiday music and light displays
  • "Skate in your socks" synthetic ice rink
  • Complimentary hot chocolate
  • Pop-up Museum gift shop
  • Magic Wings Butterfly House and Insectarium
  • Sprout Cafe will be open for light snacks and coffee


Pre-registration required. Children 2 and under free.

Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Publix Supermarkets, Durham Coca-Cola, Party Reflections, Paint Savvy, and Amish Barns!