Last Updated on September 20, 2023
Last Updated on September 20, 2023
Christmas at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock is among the best North Carolina holiday destinations! This Wild West-themed amusement park is a great experience year-round, but Christmas here is a truly special affair.
The holiday spirit comes alive as the park transforms into Tweetsie Christmas for select dates in November and December. There is much to see and do during this event, from the famous ride on a steam locomotive to Christmas shows, s’mores, and more!
Because there is so much happening during Christmas at Tweetsie, we’ve organized the guide into the following sections:
- Where is Tweetsie?
- What is Tweetsie Christmas?
- Tweetsie Christmas Dates
- Ticket Options and Prices
- Things to Do During Christmas at Tweetsie
- Important Tips
- More Holiday Season Events in NC
You can skip ahead to any section or continue reading about what exactly Tweetsie Christmas is and how it started.
Where is Tweetsie Christmas?
Address: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Ln, Blowing Rock, NC
Tweetsie Railroad is located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, officially located in Blowing Rock. Regardless of its location, a visit to Tweetsie is one of the top things to do in Blowing Rock and Boone, even when it’s not the holiday season.
The park’s star attraction is a train ride on an authentic steam locomotive, whose origins date back to 1866.
The History of Tweetsie Railroad
- In 1866, the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad Company obtained permission to build a railroad through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- This railroad expanded to Boone by 1919, where the locals nicknamed the train “Tweetsie” due to the shrill “tweet tweet” whistles that echoed throughout the mountains.
- In 1957, the present-day Tweetsie Railroad park premiered with a three-mile passenger train ride on the original trains.
- It transformed into North Carolina’s first theme park in the following decades. Tweetsie Railroad now features a Wild West-themed town with amusement rides, games, food vendors, shows, and more.
What is Tweetsie Christmas?
Tweetsie Railroad turns into a winter wonderland when Tweetsie Christmas kicks off. Each holiday season celebration adds a special festive atmosphere to the park, as there are added holiday activities and decorations.
Tweetsie Christmas makes a visit to the amusement park especially lovely, as dazzling lights, Christmas decorations, and yummy holiday staples accompany a ride on the beloved steam locomotive.
Tweetsie Christmas Dates
Tweetsie Christmas is typically open on select evenings in November and December. In 2023, open dates are:
- November 24-26
- November 30
- December 1-3
- December 8-10
- December 15-17
- December 20-23
- December 27-30
Tweetsie Christmas Tickets
Tickets for Tweetsie Christmas can be bought on the official Tweetsie Railroad ticket website. In 2023, the prices are:
- Adult: $60
- Child (Ages 3-12): $40
- Child (From 0-2 Years Old): Free
Tickets are available each night of Tweetsie Christmas, with varying departure times for the steam train. Departure times are every thirty minutes from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
Your ticket is bound to the time you have selected, so be on time for the train ride that takes you to the rest of the park.
Things to Do At Tweetsie Christmas
There are lots of fun things to do at Tweetsie Christmas in addition to the train ride. This official Tweetsie map will help you visualize everything that awaits inside!
Of course, the first thing you’re probably looking forward to is your ride on the park’s narrow-gauge steam locomotive—and the ride does not disappoint! The 20-minute train ride winds through the park on a three-mile track.
Passengers enjoy a front-row seat to a display of one million twinkling Christmas lights and a holiday sing-a-long musical, creating a beautiful and joyous environment.
The train is open-air, as are most of the park’s Christmas activities. As such, we strongly urge you to dress warmly for the weather.
Tweetsie Christmas features four fun amusement rides for visitors to enjoy! The rides are:
- The Little Drummer Boy Tea Cup: This is a Tweetsie Christmas exclusive, with visitors enjoying a spin in a holiday tea cup.
- Bikes & Buggies: The kids will have a blast on this circular ride! Choose from a seat on a vintage motorcycle, jeep, or dune buggies.
- F-80s: Kids will also enjoy the chance to pilot their own jet plane on the F-80 ride.
- The Himalaya: This amusement park classic will spin riders forward and back for a dizzying and enjoyable experience.
Santa’s Gingerbread House
Make some memories at Santa’s mystical and cozy Gingerbread House! Santa Claus will be roaming the park until Christmas Day and will be available to take pictures. Children may also want to leave Santa a letter with their Christmas wishlist in his mailbox!
After Christmas, Santa Claus will return to the North Pole. Visitors can meet Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread instead!
During the holiday season, visitors can enjoy the Tweetsie Christmas variety show, which is hosted in Tweetsie Palace. The multifaceted show features all types of entertainment, such as music, dancing, and more.
The show is one of the best things to do at Tweetsie Christmas, so be sure to stop by!
Food at Tweetsie Christmas
S’mores are a staple of the holiday spirit! Tweetsie Christmas features outdoor fire pits for families to roast marshmallows and enjoy this chocolatey treat. The fire pits are located near the Little Drummer Boy and F-80 rides.
In addition to fire pits, there are four dining establishments open for families to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a holiday refreshment.
- Cowboy Cantina is located on the festive Main Street and serves traditional meals like pizza, hot dogs, nachos, and more.
- The Funnel Factory and Fudge Works are delicious specialty shops offering fresh funnel cakes and Tweetsie Railroad’s famous handmade fudge respectively. Both of these are a must to try when visiting Tweetsie Railroad Christmas.
- And finally, Tweetsie Palace offers snacks and desserts for families to enjoy before or after watching the Christmas variety show. These dining options make a trip to Tweetsie Christmas so much better.
And, of course, a visit to Tweetsie Christmas is never complete without shopping for some souvenirs! You’ll find a couple of stores lining Main Street selling everything from Western-themed toys and gear to merchandise and apparel.
Kids will adore the Happy Trails Toy Shop, filled to the brim with toys and plushes with Western features and flairs. Western Mercantile offers all the supplies you’ll need to adopt a proper Western persona, while the General Store has Tweetsie merchandise and souvenirs.
Finally, the Sign and Glass Shop is one of our favorites, as you can ask for a custom-carved wood sign or a personalized car tag. Browse the unique assortment of glassware, both ready-made and custom!
We hopped aboard the Tweetsie Railroad for Christmas in 2022. Here are some of our personal tips to make the most of your visit!
- Dress warmly. High Country is colder than other areas of the state, and when those temperatures drop when the sun goes down, it can be even colder! We saw a lot of people with blankets and even snow bibs!
- Your ticket time is for your train departure. Make sure to arrive in line for your train at least 10-15 minutes before your ticket time.
- The train is old, which means that the seats are small and close together. Please limit the amount of stuff you bring with you, or you might find yourself stuffed in for the 30-minute train ride. The trains often sell out, so unless you park your stroller and feel comfortable leaving all your stuff with it—I recommend packing light.
- Sit toward the front of the train. It is a steam engine, and embers can fly. I sat in the front by chance, and the gentleman behind me told me that the back of the train was also smokier, so the front was the best place to sit.
- Book your tickets in advance online. Tweetsie Christmas often sells out, especially on weekends and closer to Christmas. So if it is a priority for you and your family during your trip to Blowing Rock, get tickets ahead of time!
Ready to Visit Tweetsie Christmas?
Tweetsie Christmas is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in North Carolina during the holiday season. From a classic amusement park experience to the intersection of the Wild West and Christmas, Tweetsie Christmas has something for everyone!
While we look forward to our next Tweetsie Railroad Christmas experience, we’d love to hear from you. Have you ever experienced this unique train ride in NC’s mountains?
More Holiday Events in North Carolina
We love the holidays in North Carolina and have created a few more travel guides that focus on individual events. They feature popular activities like Christmas lights, skiing and snow tubing, and more.
Here are a few of our favorite guides to the season: