Families: Take Ripley’s Red Train!! {+ giveaway}

The giveaway is closed, but you can still hop on the Red Train for a Merry Christmas, St. Augustine style!  Read on to get the scoop…

We hopped aboard Ripley’s Red Train for a Nights of Lights tour tonight and had a blast!  This was hands-down the best Nights of Lights tour experience for a family with little ones in St. Augustine!

"Snow" falls every weekend in December at Ripley's St. Augustine!

First, Ripley’s is keeping the lines short- even last Saturday night the wait was around 15 minutes for the next train!  In a town where #NightsofLights lines can be hundreds of people long, this is an amazing feat.

Santa's little elf walked around making littles laugh!

Second, they offer some great activities to pass the time because little kids waiting in lines is never magical.  Snow falls periodically throughout the night, Santa is there for photos and he even has a bag of early presents, there is a Christmas movie playing on the big screen and there is a balloon man.  He’s really good!!

Sparky the balloon man whipped up some amazing balloon creations for kids waiting for the next train!

After the train ride around the city, where we sang a few songs and yelled MERRY CHRISTMAS! to every pedestrian we passed, we beelined to the marshmallow tent.  Instead of s’mores, we dipped our marshmallow in chocolate and then an elf added sprinkles for a fun, festive, I-made-it-myself treat for all ages!

I was giving away tickets – the contest ended Sunday night at midnight.  Congratulations to Allison P. & Lisa A.!  I hope your families enjoy your St Augustine Nights of Lights tour!

Merry Christmas!!

Comments

  1. Hi Allie,
    As a new resident of this area, I am enjoying your blog! This is my first Night of Light’s experience and I want to do it all!~ I was there for the first night of light’s, have been coming every few days. I just cannot get enough of this amazing city.
    You have given me insight into options I wasn’t aware of and it’s appreciated. ( Gotta say, the Boston thing threw me until I realized it was vacay:))
    There is so much to do and it’s helpful to hear from you what else is available.
    Don’t know if you have addressed the Spanish Military Hospital Museum but I’ve been there twice and it’s fascinating.
    I have the Red Train Holly Jolly tour on my list and will be taking a total of 4. I can’t wait to experience this and share it with others. It’s interesting how many people I’ve met who don’t realize, or maybe just haven’t taken the opportunity, to enjoy what’s right here.
    Thank you so much,
    Donna

  2. I have 6 kids. We live in palm coast. We would love to enjoy the nights of lights. Please consider us. We would need 8 tickets. Thanks so much. Happy holidays

  3. Mary Anne Knight says:

    My grandchildren are coming to visit and we would love to take the them on the train to see the lights! There would be 4adults and two children (7and 4)

  4. Donna Davis says:

    We have lived in Flagler County for 9 years and this will be our 1st trip up to St. Augustine for the Night of Lights, thanks mostly to your twitter & facebook updates that have kept us up to date on all the great things that are happening up there! Thank You!
    There will be 6 of us going, Would love to add the Ripleys Red Train to our adventure : )

  5. Hi Allie,
    I have been a big fan of your blog for a while now. My daughter, son-in-law and grandson live just outside of St. Augustine and I have gotten so many great ideas of what to do when I visit. This past year I purchased a home with them and this will be my first Christmas in Florida!! It would be great for us to be able to experience this wonderful event!! We would be 3 adults and 1 child.
    Thank you for all of your recommendations for the area, they have always been so helpful.
    Best,
    Barbara

  6. Hi Allie,
    As a 10 year St Augustine resident I have heard more about our town from you than anywhere else. I would love to go on the train.
    I would need 5 tickets, (me, my daughter, my 92 year old mother, and my 2 brothers).
    Merry Christmas!

  7. Rochelle Smith says:

    I would love to win tickets to ride on the Red Train during the Nights of Lights!! My family has never been and I think it would be an amazing experience for my family!! I would need 4 adult tickets and 2 child tickets. Thanks so much!!

  8. Can you tell me what night is the lest busiest? I am planning to take my 10 year old special needs son and he does not do well with large crowds. There will be 3 adults and 1 child.

    • Robyn-
      If he wouldn’t enjoy the extras (movie, santa, balloon man) weeknights before school lets out are definitely slowest! Ripleys is moving those trains, though, and waits are minimal with them. Have fun! ~Allie O.

  9. You blog is inspitational. I would take my 5year old son who loves trains me and my husband. My 5 year old would flip out.

  10. Kevin Jennings says:

    Whoah! This sounds awesome! We’ve lived here in Saint Augustine for a little over a year now (moved from Mississippi, yay!) and we’ve always had the intention to go on one of the Red Train tours. We’ve just never gotten around to it! Sounds like the Night of Lights tour is wonderful!

  11. We are St Augustine locals, I have four daughters and my beautiful husband who would love to enjoy the christmas train. Please consider us for the free tickets, it would make our holiday season.

    Thank you
    Amy M.

  12. Thanks for the info Allie. We will have to do this! I would take our fan of 4 and invite 2 grandparents too.

  13. Peggy Shaffer says:

    I’ve been following your website since I moved here last year, and it’s my Go-To place for what’s happening in St Augustine. Love your descriptions and family friendly info. My family will be visiting at Christmas and I would love for them to go on the Christmas Trolley. My daughter is handicapped and it would be a great way for her to see the lights. They would need 4 tickets. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  14. wilma crissien says:

    Hi!!!!! I am from Miami and we are planning to visit St. Augustine for the first time over the holidays to check out the Nights of Lights! We are so excited!! It would be so fun to win these tix so we can really explore all the sights!!! Fingers crossed :)

  15. Tammy Shelton says:

    Yes, please & thank you! There’s 5 of us who’d love to hop on Ripley’s Red Train. (3 big people and 2 little people.) Merry Christmas!

  16. Hi, Allie!

    I’m loving all of your Nights if Lights and shop local posts! Thanks for all the amazing ideas to enjoy good ol’ St. Aug with kids. I am rallying our troops for a Christmas Train tour totalling 10 – 2 little ones, 4 grandparents, 2 great-grandparents and me + hubby! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  17. kathy sexton says:

    Hello Allie,
    I have m.s and my son moved down here to help me out. He has never been there. I would love for him to come out there and enjoy a night fill full of fun and memories to remember before he goes in to the military….Thank you for taking the time to read this.. Just 2 tickets

  18. John Corey says:

    I, too, am new to St. Augustine and we are enjoying all that it offers during the holiday season. My daughter and her husband will be arriving on 12/30 for their first visit to St. Augustine we would love to have them enjoy a trip on the train through the nights of lights. We would need 4 tickets, hope you pick us. Thank you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL IN ST. AUGUSTINE!!!

  19. Jenny Shrode says:

    Sounds and looks like a great time to be had by all. I would have to say 10 in all… we could take Grammi and Poppi with all of us too.

  20. Wow, that looked like a lot of fun! Glad you all had a great time. If chosen, we’d have four people total. Thank you!

  21. Last year we did the Red Train for Nights of Lights and it was AWESOME!! This is my favorite time of year :)

  22. My mom, sis and brother are all staying in St. Augustine next weekend. The 4 of us would love tickets!

  23. Hey Allie, I’d love to take my 3 year old son (and hubby) to see the lights. We’ve never done the train ride with lights, and Joey’s at the age where he loves trains! :)

  24. I would love 4 tickets. Love the lights!!! Husband just got home from deployment and this would be amazing!!

  25. Loni Wellman says:

    Would love 3 tickets to take some friends out on the town! Please and thank you–love the blog

  26. can’t wait to be back in January. 4 of us :-)

  27. We have lived here for 8 years and have never done this!! It would be 7 total, 5 kids and 2 adults!! :)

  28. anjanette says:

    I would love to take my family of 4! Last year was our first year here starting in November. The first thing we did was the holly jolly tour at NOL. Our bus broke down and the driver’s mic went out. We sat on the broken down trolley for an hour sucking diesel fumes before she came back and told us we could get off. It was not a fun time. We’d LOVE a do-over!

  29. Heather Mock says:

    Hi! My son and I are driving down from Georgia next weekend just to see the lights! Would love to have 3 tickets to experience this!!!

  30. We love Nights of Lights! There would be 5 of us!

  31. Hi Allie,
    Every year this has become a tradition for my family. Now that my son is almost 3 and talking like crazy every time we drive through downtown my son yells, “holly jolly!” he thinks the trolley is a train and we are so excited to ride it this year! We have 6 adults and 3 kids.
    Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway! :)

  32. I would take 4 adults and 3 kids with me. :-)

  33. I am constantly talking about you and your blog to my fiance! We are excited to take our 2 year old on the nights of lights “choo choo” as she calls it. We would of course want her big sister and grammy and Nana to join in on the fun! We would at least have 8 guests! What a great way to see the Nights of Lights! I look forward to seeing your posts every day!

  34. My family of three would also take my brother and his wife. We will miss our city’s lumineria due to surgery, so i have been racking my brain on alternative! Thanks for the idea.

  35. This sounds like a blast! There would only be 2 of us.

  36. Hi Allie!!

    I have always wanted to go on the Nights of Lights tour and since I will be out of town without my whole family I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for family time. I would need 6 tickets! Please consider!!

  37. Libby Nemeth Owens says:

    I would take 4 people with me. :)

  38. Elda Orellana says:

    We would love to win the tickets. We are 2 adults and 3 kids. Our first Christmas in St. Augustine! Thanks!

  39. Last Christmas was terribly hard after the passing of my brother in law unexpectedly. I feel we can celebrate this Christmas a lot easier and to win these tickets would be nice. I would take 6 adults and 1 child with me.

  40. Shaun Size says:

    I’d be taking 6 people, including my 13 month old daughter who absolutely loves Christmas lights.

  41. My wife and I would love it!

  42. Teresa Dellinger says:

    Enjoy reading your blogs! I would take my brother, nieces and parents so there will be 7 of us.

  43. Stephanie tanner. Aka blondis femalis on fb says:

    Would love love love to come see the lights and
    Hang out there a few days. In love with that place. :) my 10 month old would love it too

  44. would love to bring my husband and four year old! im 8 months pregnant and would love to be able to enjoy the lights and downtown without the walk. ;)

  45. kristina gonzalez says:

    This is so exciting!! My family just moved here and this is our first Christmas in Florida, so I would take 5 people,that’s including myself,my husband,my son and my parents. This sounds like a wonderful event for everyone to enjoy and be together..thank you for your posts!! I have a St. Augustine “to do”list because of you:-)

  46. Ashley Moses says:

    I would love to take my mother, my husband and my two boys ages 10 and 6. We are the only family we have here in St. Augustine and we enjoy spending our Holidays downtown and especially going on the Red Train Tours! Thanks so much for the contest!

  47. As a St. Augustine native, Nights of Lights is an event that is highly anticipated all year. The city is just picturesque with the thousands of twinkling lights and decorations. What an awesome way to experience our city and the Christmas season! I would love to bring my husband and three girls! Thank you for you constant support of the beautiful St. Augustine community!

  48. We would love to win the tickets. There would be 3 of us..I’d take my wife and my 8 year old son. BTW, we love your site and really appreciate all of the useful information.
    God Bless.

  49. Ooooh neat-o freat-o :) Never even knew this existed. Would LOVE to win some tickets to check it out! Thanks for all the kool stuff you share!! (There are 5 of us and a babe in arms)

  50. We would love to go, but just can’t.there are 4 of us. Thanks!

  51. Lisa Appelo says:

    What a great giveaway! I once saw the Red Train chocked full of Santa Clauses in full dress. All different shapes and varieties. It was mid-summer so they must have been attending an annual conference for Santas. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough! :) Anyway, my favorite train memory. :D We would need 7 passes for our family.

  52. Shaun Clary says:

    It would be me and my two sons. I haven’t been and would really like to go.

  53. I’d take 10!! Fun family night!

  54. Teresa Holloway says:

    I will bring 7… Pick me ….

  55. Gina Hiers says:

    There are 5 of us. The train ride is so much fun.

  56. David Styles says:

    Wife and 2 kids plus my mom and dad. 6 total. Thanks for putting this together!!

  57. Diana Garza says:

    I would love to take my fiancé! We’re both new to the area and haven’t had a chance to see all the lights since we both work so much. Would love to win two tickets!

  58. Hi- we are new to the area and would love to take our children and grandchildren for a Red Train ride. There are six adults and two children (2 and 11).

    Thank you!

    Ps – love your blog.

  59. Hello! We would love 6 adult tickets, plus 2 children. Thank you!

  60. Vera Di Muzio says:

    My nephew Is coming in from Switzerland for Christmas. I would love to bring him , my sister and brother in law to see our town in a “different” light.
    That would make 4, and great blog!

    Thank You!!!

  61. Our family of 14, possibly 16, is coming to St. Augustine for the weekend of the 20th. My mother-in-law has had a rough year and we all wanted just to be together. In lieu of gifts, we decided on this trip. We would love tickets for the train!

    Thanks so much!
    Pam Padgett

  62. My husband hasn’t been on the red train. He wold enjoy it with me and my in-laws.

  63. Steve Donahey says:

    That sounds like a wonderful way to enjoy the Holiday. We visit the area from Gainesville as often as possible. I have not been able to take the family on the trains yet. They love to see the trains traveling the streets of St. Augustine and always ask to go. To ride them would bring them so much joy. We are a family of seven. Two adults one daughter and four train loving boys. Love the blog you always have great ideas. Tried the food truck rally based on your recommendation. The kids loved the bounce house, food, and playground. An event that I would not have tried on my own. Thanks.

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