Santa Claus is coming to town, by train!


For one special night each year, close to 1000 people take a magical trip to visit Santa Claus. What could be more in keeping with the spirit of the season than an open-air ride on a train bedecked with more than 1000 lights that glides past an icy river and snowy cliffs to a cozy cabin containing the big man in red himself?

It starts at the Rotary Village Station at Muskoka Heritage Place where carols ring through the winter air and complimentary hot chocolate and cookies (while supplies last — get there early!), courtesy of Huntsville High School’s hospitality students, warm eager visitors.

Once you’ve bought your ticket at the station — just five dollars per person; Santa being the generous guy he is pays the tax — you can ride the historic Portage Flyer as many times as you want until Santa has to leave to finish his preparations for Christmas Eve. Remember to dress for the weather, though — it can be a frosty 20-minute round trip on the train’s early-1900s era, open-air cars. But don’t worry: the anticipation of seeing Santa will warm you through.

When you get to the end of the line, listen for his jolly laugh while you wait your turn to tell your side of the story. There’s no naughty list here! Believers of all ages are welcome.

And when you’re done, you’ll have a wonderful Christmas memory to share — it’s why many families return year after year.

Santa at Portage Flyer Christmas

Santa awaits the Portage Flyer riders in the Purser’s Cabin at the end of the line

Whether you’ve been there every year, or it’s your first time, here are some logistics to remember:

When: December 23, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The last train leaves at 7:30 p.m. Arrive early if you can — it’s a popular event

Where: Rotary Village Station at Muskoka Heritage Place, 100 Forbes Hill Drive Huntsville (beside the Active Living Centre).  Parking is available at Huntsville High School, the Canada Summit Centre, the Active Living Centre, or in the Forbes Hill Drive lot across the street from the station.

Other event details: There is no reserve seating or advance ticket sales; just purchase your $5.00 per person ticket (Santa pays the tax) prior to boarding. There is no smoking permitted on town property. Muskoka Heritage Place does not allow pets — registered service animals only.
Interested in some of the history of the Portage Flyer? Read about it here: The legacy of the Portage Flyer lives on at Muskoka Heritage Place

This is a sponsored story paid for by the featured advertiser



  1. I have enjoyed the trip in summer and think the Portage Flyer Christmas would be a wonderful tradition to begin Christmas family festivities each year. I would include it in mine if I lived closer.

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