Looking for a one-of-a-kind night out that will get you in the holiday spirit and benefit a good cause? The Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) Holiday Train is back on the tracks this year traveling across the US to put on live concerts and raise money for community food banks.
The train will make a grand entrance at 13 stations in Wisconsin over three days, transforming an ordinary cargo car into a stage overflowing with holiday spirit. All events are free, and guests are encouraged to bring food or cash donations to help local communities in need.
Singers Tenille Townes and Breland will be performing at all Wisconsin stops, and they’re guaranteed to put on an incredible show you and your crew will be talking about all winter. So, gather your family and friends and plan for a cheerful start to the holiday season by following the 2023 CPKC Holiday Train schedule below.
CPKC Holiday Train Schedule: Stops in Wisconsin
Sunday, December 3, 2023
Sturtevant - 6:45 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: For a snack before the holiday train, stop by Lehmann’s Bakery for a taste of Wisconsin’s official state pastry, Kringle! Try any one (or two, or three…) of Lehmann’s 35+ delicious flavors to fuel up with your crew before the big show.
Caledonia – 8:05 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Make it a whole day of family fun with a visit to the Racine Zoological Gardens where you and the kids can encounter over 75 animal species. Then, split a tasty pizza from Wells Brothers Italian Restaurant that’s been in the same family for four generations.
Monday, December 4, 2023
Wauwatosa – 4:00 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Get some holiday shopping done in The Village, Wauwatosa’s walkable historic district brimming with cute shops and eateries.
Hartland – 5:30 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Spend some quality time with your favorite people before the big event--warm up by the cozy fireplace with a hot cup of joe or tea at Birch & Banyan Coffee in Hartland.
Oconomowoc – 6:40 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Searching for a place to stay the night and extend the fun all weekend? The Inn at Pine Terrace is a restored Victorian mansion that sits on scenic Fowler Lake, just a ten-minute walk to downtown. Warm up after the holiday train show at the grand outdoor fireplace that overlooks the water.
Watertown – 7:50 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Swap your snow boots for skates with a visit to the Skate Express Family Roller Rink! Stop by in the afternoon for a few spins around the rink before the holiday train rolls in that evening. And don’t forget to stroll main street and vote for your favorite seasonal display for Watertown’s Window Wonderland.
Columbus – 9:05 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Find the perfect vintage treasure for that special someone at the Columbus Antique Mall, the largest antique mall in Wisconsin with over 82,000 square feet of unique antiques. For dinner, treat yourself and your group to a classic Wisconsin supper club experience including a delicious fish fry at Club 60.
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Portage – 1:15 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Round out your afternoon of winter fun with a run down the tubing hills at Cascade Mountain. The perfect activity for the whole family, snow tubing can be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Don’t blink, or you just might miss your group flying down the 900’ chute!
Wisconsin Dells – 2:30 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Spending some extra time in the Dells? Stay overnight at Great Wolf Lodge to experience Snowland, the Lodge’s annual holiday celebration. Spectacular decorations, visits with Santa, life-size gingerbread houses and more await to fill the family with holiday cheer (once everyone gets their fill of waterslides, of course!).
Mauston – 4:00 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: While in Mauston, be sure to stop for a taste of a Dairy State specialty – cheese! You’ll find some of the best around at Carr Valley Cheese, whose dairy delicacies have won hundreds of awards in cheese competitions around the world.
Tomah – 5:25 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: If the pre-holiday train excitement has your little ones squirming, take a break to run around at Wildcat Mountain State Park. Just south of Tomah, this park has miles of scenic trails ripe for exploring and offers stunning views down into the Kickapoo River Valley.
Sparta – 6:40 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: Future astronauts and NASA enthusiasts alike will delight in the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum, where Wisconsin’s only piece of real moon rock is on display. Children can try on an astronaut suit and explore artifacts from Sparta’s dual histories: as the birthplace of Astronaut Deke Slayton, and as the Bicycling Capital of America!
La Crosse – 8:25 PM Arrival
Insider Tip: A holiday trip to La Crosse is not complete without a stop at Riverside Park’s Rotary Holiday Lights. More than two million lights blanket the trees, line the paths and illuminate the displays of this dazzling route, which can be enjoyed by foot or by car.
Follow the train’s journey on Facebook, Twitter, and the CPKC website to stay up-to-date and ensure this year’s celebrations are unforgettable.