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There's a trip from the Black Hills to the North Pole for those who act fast enough to get tickets to the 1880 Train's Holiday Express.

The 1880 Train's holiday staple takes passengers on a ride through a winter wonderland to the North Pole, where Santa Claus waits to board and greet them.

"Kids definitely most enjoy getting to see Santa on a vintage train," said Team Leader Elizabeth McAdoo. "They're excited to ride to the North Pole and meet him ... and the cookies and hot chocolate don't hurt, either."

Tickets include a meeting with Santa, cookies, hot chocolate, candy canes and a small gift for each child. 

"It's fun for families to be able to do something that's for all ages and experience the magic of the holidays together, from the little ones to grandma and grandpa," McAdoo said.

Of course, adults have their own special ride if they want to leave the kids at home: The rides on Dec. 22 and 23 are the Holiday Express Spiked events, with all the perks of the other rides with spiked hot chocolate and a keepsake cup in place of a gift.

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"Adults like having the option to do something nicer in the area for the holidays and have a bit of fun riding the train," McAdoo said.

Tickets for the Holiday Express go fast, and the Dec. 23 Spiked run has already sold out, so interested parties are advised to call to make reservations right away.

"I think it's become a holiday staple because of the culture of having a train around your tree as this symbol of Christmas, and this is the only thing like this in the area," McAdoo said. "It's an opportunity you wouldn't have otherwise."

To purchase tickets, call 605-574-2222 or visit Seating is first come, first serve. All sales are final and no cancellations or refunds are offered unless the train does not operate.

Contact Max B. O'Connell at 394-8427 or

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