Chamber of Commerce, Monticello Illinois

Lunch With Santa

Lunch with Santa on the Train

Join us on December 2nd and 3rd for the 2023 Lunch with Santa on the Train at the Wabash Depot in Monticello, Illinois, a holiday favorite with kids of all ages.

Enjoy a train ride, an individual visit with Santa, and a kid-friendly sack lunch. Our Coach Class Tickets are $20 per person.

The Dining Car Experience is for 4 riders (one table) in one of two dining cars. Turkey sandwiches from Subway of Monticello with chips, a cookie, and water are included along with a commemorative keepsake. While in the Dining Car, there will be coloring pages and games to enjoy at the table! The Dining Car experience is $165 per table. This experience is only available on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Would you like a Private Car Experience and ride the rails like a railroad baron? You can enjoy an exclusive experience aboard Illinois Central Business Car #7! The price is for use of the observation lounge in our private car and includes space for up to 12 passengers of any age. You will be provided turkey sandwich meals from Subway of Monticello for up to 12, fun activities to enjoy during the ride, a family fun Christmas basket for you and your guests to enjoy, 4 commemorative keepsakes, and some extra goodies for dessert. This experience is available at 10:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and costs $850 for up to 12 people.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The 11:15 a.m. train on Saturday, December 2 takes place during the Monticello Christmas parade. Those who ride the 11:15 a.m. train will miss the parade.

We look forward to seeing you at Lunch with Santa!

Check out our frequently asked questions (FAQ) below.

December 2nd and 3rd!

Tickets for this event are available at this time.



How much do tickets cost?
Coach Tickets are $20 per person.  Our Dining Car Experience costs $165 for a table of up to four people.  The Private Car Experience costs $850 for up to 12 people.
Who needs a ticket?

Anyone 2 and older will need a ticket. Those under 2 are required to sit on a lap and will not receive a meal without buying a ticket.

Where are my tickets?

Your tickets will be ready for pickup at the depot in downtown Monticello located at the corner of Livingston and Independence Streets on the day of your train. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time to ensure time to pick up tickets and board the train. Tickets will not be mailed out.

How long is the train ride?

The ride is about an hour long.

Will my child get to meet Santa personally?

Santa will visit individually with each child during the train ride.

What is in the lunch?

Coach tickets receive lunch for a kid – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and a drink. Everyone with a coach ticket receives a lunch. Cheese sandwiches are available on request for those with allergies.  Dining Car tickets receive a turkey Subway sandwich, chips, cookie, and a bottle of water for each rider (4).  Private car riders receive a turkey Subway sandwich, chips, cookie, and a bottle of water for each rider along with vegetables and condiments for the car (12).


There are no restrooms on the train.  Plan to use the restrooms in the depot or across the street inside the Wabash Center, before the ride.