You're not officially in the Christmas spirit until you've had a chance to go on a train ride with Santa Claus.

It used to be, go the mall, meet Santa, talk about the things you were hoping to get for Christmas, and you'd officially be Christmas-fied.

Now, hop on a train.

It might be because no one really goes to the mall anymore and I guess if it were totally acceptable, people would just virtually meet Santa in order to not have to leave the house.

However, there are a couple of good reasons to get out this holiday season.

Three actually.

Credit L to R Clockwise: Liz Sparks Mikel, THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride - Chicago Union Station, and THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride - Chicago Union Station via Facebook

The Daily Meal article highlighting the best Christmas train rides in America aptly titled All Aboard! The Best Christmas Train Rides in America, feature three different rides in Illinois and Wisconsin that are actually kind of close to those of reading who live in Rockford.

First, a trip to Wisconsin, for pizza and Santa.

Wait, what? Pizza? Now you're speaking my language.

It's called the Santa Pizza Train and it's located in Trego, Wisconsin.

Along with cookies and hot chocolate, passengers can enjoy pizza and soda before visiting Santa on his private train car during this two-hour train ride through a winter wonderland landscape.

They haven't started accepting bookings for the Santa Pizza Train, so it's no sure thing it will return in 2021. If you're asking me, it definitely should.

In Illinois, there are two places highlighted by The Daily Meal.

First is the Polar Express Train Ride in Chicago.

This might be the most popular train ride in the entire country. I'm only saying that because it's so big they do it in just about every massive metropolitan area in America.

I can tell you for sure, that the Polar Express Train Ride is happening in 2021.

How do I know this?

Tickets are sold out already for November including a few days into December.

If you've been thinking, don't wait too long.

The last one on the list, you won't need to make special reservations for, well, because it's the El.

Chicago's famed El train will be decked out and renamed, if you believe The Daily Meal, and called the CTA Holiday Train.

The Daily Meal:

Cars on the Holiday Train are decorated with holiday images and twinkling lights, with Santa and his sleigh leading the way on an open-air flatcar. A second decorated train, the Elves' Workshop Train, follows behind with room for more passengers to enjoy some festive transportation.

Nothing has been announced quite yet regarding the CTA Holiday Train, but there's a very good chance it will happen in 2021.

I mean, you can't have Christmas in the 21st century without a good train ride.

After your train ride, consider making a stop in one of America's very best Chrismas towns, Galena.

Wouldn't you know it, the most magical time of year also happens to be when this old-fashioned town looks its best.

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