Cheap Trips: Train with Santa, Winter Fruit and Holiday Tours

Four local attractions you can visit on one tank of gas.

Looking to save money?

Try one of these four trips you can enjoy on just one tank of gas -- Maple Acres Farms, Pennypacker Mills Victorian Holiday Tours, the West Chester Railroad Co., and the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum.


1. Maple Acres Farms

Address: 2656 Narcissa Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Distance From Nazareth Patch: About 58 miles or about one hour and eight minutes


  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Summary: Even with winter on the way, Maple Acres Farms offers a full selection of fresh produce and fruit. The farm stand also serves as a marketplace where shoppers can buy pottery, flowers, meats, dairy and handcrafted specialties. The farm hosts birthday parties and special occasions and provides a rural feel in the middle of suburban Plymouth Meeting.



2. Pennypacker Mills Victorian Holiday Tours

Address: 5 Haldeman Road, Schwenksville, PA 19473
Distance From Nazareth Patch: About 45 miles or about one hour and five minutes


  • $2 suggested donation


  • Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Sunday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Closed: Mondays, Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

Summary: Experience breathtaking decorations in Victorian style, echoing the importance of music for family and visitors. This year's theme, "A Currier and Ives Christmas," depicts winter scenes of the 19th century. Nathanial Currier and James Ives were the most prolific and successful printers in the country of their time. Their prints were quintessential Americana and became among the most popular wall-hangings of the day. Inside the Pennypacker mansion, centerpieces, mantle decorations and table decor will reflect many of the duo's most popular wintry scenes.



3. West Chester Railroad Company: Santa’s Express

Address: 500 South Adams St., West Chester, PA 19382
Distance From Nazareth Patch: About 82 miles or about one hour and 34 minutes


  • Adults: $20
  • Children (ages 2 to 12): $12.50
  • Children (9 months to 23 months): $5


  • Dec. 17 and 18: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Offices open 45 minutes to one hour before train departure

Summary: The West Chester Railroad Company offers 90-minute round-trip adventures from West Chester to Glenn Mills throughout the year. One of the highlights of the year is the Santa Express, when Santa is onboard in the heated, decorated train as it travels through the Chester Creek Valley.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet everyone at Market Street in West Chester and then go along for the ride. Kids of all ages can get their picture taken on Santa’s lap and all passengers receive treats. You will also enjoy live music as everyone sings along to all your favorite Christmas songs.

Advance reservations are highly recommended, as walk-up sales may not be available due to high popularity.



4. Lehigh and Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum

Address: 705 Linden Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Distance From Nazareth Patch: About 10 miles or about 15 minutes


  • Adults: $7
  • Free for children 12 and under


  • Dec. 17-18, January 1 and 7-8: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Dec. 24: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Dec. 26 to 30: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 31: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Summary: Members of the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Club have spent 12 years recreating the routes of the Lehigh Valley and Reading railroads from West Portal, NJ, to the Lehigh Valley to Reading. Its elaborate model train layout features Easton and Bethlehem railroad stations plus Bethlehem Steel and an Allentown freight yard. This year's holiday open house includes a 200-foot addition.



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