Find your child-like wonder during the holidays in Carson City, Nevada

Think back to your eight-year-old self; you may have counted down the days until the holidays or squealed with delight at the sight of the first snow of the season. Perhaps you jumped for joy when you finally got to open those gifts under the tree.

You can spark that child-like joy again during the holiday season in Carson City, Nevada!

Enjoy a train ride with Santa, see Hallmark-worthy light displays, take a wintery hike, and more.

Santa says, “All aboard!”

Experience the magic of “The Polar Express” – in real life! Aboard the Polar Express Train, you can wear your favorite pajamas, sing carols, and enjoy hot chocolate while chugging along the V&T Railway. Plus, Santa himself visits each rail car and gifts a keepsake silver bell to every child. Tickets start at $60-80 for two people, plus a $10 historical fee. Purchase tickets at

Train rides with Santa are also offered at the Nevada State Railroad Museum during the annual Santa Train rides. These will be offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first three weekends of December. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the museum.

Step into a Hallmark-worthy holiday scene 

Stop by Old World Coffee and grab a coffee or hot cocoa and head over to the Capitol grounds to stroll through the stunning light display that transforms downtown Carson City into a seriously amazing “Hallmark moment.” 

Another great spot to stroll is along the Kit Carson Trail, don’t miss the Governor’s Mansion, usually decked to the nines for the season.

Don’t miss the unique holiday wagon rides pulled by mules at Silver Saddle Ranch December 16 and 17, and feel the festivities 1800’s style! Rides are $10 and reservations required. Learn more here.

Shop for gifts you won’t find anywhere else

Due Sorella Christmas Shopping

Shop for the people on your list (and check it twice) at one of many Carson City shops selling gifts you may not find elsewhere. Located in a historic

1863 home, The Purple Avocado offers a selection of trinkets, home goods, and gifts. Looking for vintage items? Midtown Marketplace, Aunt B’s Vintage, Due Sorella and Kaleidoscope have home decor, antiques, pieces from local artists and more. 

Capitol Christmas Lights photo by Gai Phanalasy

The local shops in Carson City will cover what’s on the wish lists for everyone – it’s rumored that even Santa Claus checks off some of his list while in town!

Trek through the snow on an outdoor adventure

Even with the chill in the air, Carson City’s outdoor adventures abound! Carson City Parks & Rec will offer guided snowshoe hikes around the area during winter, beginning January 2023. Tickets will be required in advance, so be sure to book your spot once the schedule becomes available at

If you’re hoping to hit the slopes, Carson City is the perfect home base with its close proximity to Lake Tahoe and world-class resorts. Heavenly at Lake Tahoe’s south shore is just a short drive away and Mt. Rose is to the north. Find more skiing destinations and information at

Is Jack Frost nipping at your nose? 

Warm up after a day of winter adventures with a warm beverage at Old World Coffee Lab, Comma Coffee or cozy up at the fire pit at Fox Brewpub, perhaps with an Irish coffee. Their cozy

atmospheres also add a special warmth that will help you unwind.

Completing the Carson City Triathlon is also guaranteed to help you defrost! However, you don’t need to be an athlete to “earn your stripes” from this triathlon. Start with a hearty beer at Shoe Tree Brewing Co., enjoy a meal at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint, and, finally, take a well-deserved soak at Carson Hot Springs – drink, dine and dip and you’re a champion!

Carson City has the perfect places to get cozy, experience seasonal events and spark that child-like twinkle in your eye with the magic of the holidays.