Roaring Camp Railroads Calendar of Events — 2015



Holiday Tree Walk

NOVEMBER 27 - 29 DECEMBER 5 - 6, 12 - 13

Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family and friends to ride Roaring Camp’s daytime steam train to Bear Mountain.  At the summit, guests may sip hot cider and delight in viewing a tree-lined walk of beautifully decorated holiday trees.  Trees are provided by Patchen California Christmas Tree Farm, Los Gatos.

To add to the festive spirit and bring hope to families in need, visitors may bring a new and unwrapped toy to Roaring Camp’s depot to benefit Santa Cruz County’s Toys for Tots campaign.

Toys collected will be distributed to children who otherwise would have less. For each donated toy, Roaring Camp will deduct $2 per train ticket, whether purchased online or in person. Guests are requested to avoid donating toys of aggression or unpacked stuffed animals.

Toys for Tots



Buy tickets online - select date for Holiday Tree Walk Steam Train and click 'Purchase'



Santa Cruz Holiday Lights Train

NOVEMBER 27 - 28 & DECEMBER 5 - 6, 12 - 13, 18 - 23

Departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Choo, Choo, Santa Claus is coming to town, not by sleigh, not by snow but by Train!

Vintage excursion cars, adorned with thousands of colorful lights, roll through the streets of Santa Cruz as passengers lend their voices to holiday carols, sip hot spiced cider and listen to musical entertainment while Santa visits the little ones, or the young at heart! Continue the merriment with your choice of arcade games, mini-golf or laser tag at Santa's Kingdom at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Bring the whole family for festive fun. Happy Holidays!

Dear Santa Letter Download here - Print out your letter to Santa Claus and have Roaring Camp Deliver it by train to the North Pole. Write your letter and bring it with you to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, there will be a North Pole mailbox just outside of the entrance to Neptune's Kingdom by the first car of the train. Roaring Camp will be making a special trip each evening after the Holiday Lights Train to drop off your letters to Santa's Home in the North Pole.

Buy tickets online - select date for Holiday Lights Train and click 'Purchase'

Click here for more information



Chanukah Train


Share the Light of Chanukah Aboard Roaring Camp Railroad’s New Chanukah Train!

Gather at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on the 4th night of Chanukah for the lighting of the menorah at 6:15 pm, and then set off on an incredible 1-hour train ride on Roaring Camp’s vintage excursion cars adorned with thousands of shining lights and Chanukah decorations.

We’ll share in Chanukah traditions and ride the train through the streets of Santa Cruz listening to Chanukah stories, playing dreidel and enjoying kosher refreshments provided by Chabad by the Sea. Evening also includes your choice of mini golf, laser tag or arcade games.

Create a new holiday tradition with family and friends as we experience the lights, stories and traditions of Chanukah in a whole new way! Tickets are $29 adult, and $23 children.

Click Here and choose December 9 Chanukah Train to Purchase Advance Tickets.



Rain Forest Weekends

JAN 2 – MARCH 27

Learn about California's own Coastal Redwood Forest. Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains just a few miles from the ocean, the forest flourishes in moderate temperatures and a year-round water supply provided by the Pacific systems and dense fog.



Eggstraordinary Easter Egg Hunt

MARCH 26 - 27


Hop on Board! The Easter Bunny makes a stop at Roaring Camp. After riding Roaring Camp's real 1880s Steam Train under the majestic Redwoods, over Indian Creek Trestle and through the Santa Cruz Mountains, your kids are going to have the time of their lives scavenging for chocolate eggs at the top of Bear Mountain.

The magic of trains, mixed with the magic of the Easter Bunny. It’s... it’s… EGGSTRAORDINARY!

  Egg Hunt available for Easter Steam Train only. There is no Easter Egg Hunt on the Beach Train. 



Model Railroad Exhibit

APRIL 11 – 12


Kids can’t get enough of these tiny trains, broccoli size trees and little red cabooses. Watch your child’s face light up as they play engineer chugging through the Redwoods, around railroad bends and over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the Boardwalk with the miniature scale of the Central Coast spread out before them.

Once the Model Railroad Exhibit feeds their imagination, the “Real Trains” will be waiting outside to transform imagination into reality. Join us for a special day on the railway.



34th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment

MAY 23 – 25

Travel back in time to the Civil War where encampments of Union and Confederate soldiers re-make history right before your eyes. Experience the sights and sounds of cavalry charges, musket fire and artillery shells in one of the longest-running historic reenactments in the West.

Ride an 1880s "iron horse" through an ancient redwood forest and witness skirmishes as the steam train ascends Bear Mountain. Glimpse a soldier’s daily life as he cooks meals over a campfire, cleans his musket and prepares for the day’s campaign. Then chow down on a Chuck Wagon Barbecue and take in the camp. See you at Roaring Camp for this fun family event on Memorial Day Weekend!



Redwood Mountain Faire

MAY 30 – 31

Music lovers, arts/crafts aficionados, and people of all ages will enjoy this remarkable festival. The annual Redwood Muntain Faire brings together a wide range of music styles on two stages, with juried fine art and crafts, exciting children’s activities, and excellent food and beverages, including local micro-brews and wines. The Faire benefits a wide range of nonprofit and service organizations and is organized by the Valley Women's Club of the San Lorenzo Valley.



Father's Day — Hats Off to Dad


Salute Dad on Father's Day by treating him to a ride on a steam train and then tuck into an old-fashioned Chuck Wagon BBQ platter. Each dad will receive an engineer's cap with the purchase of any BBQ platter meal and one dad will be selected to go on a cab ride in the locomotive! 

The train robbery will occur on all RC Steam Train departures. Those “sensitive to noise” may want to consider our SCBT train to the beach.

Click Here to Purchase Advance Train Tickets.



4th of July Family Fun Events


Bring out the entire family and friends for a fun-filled day of games, live music and an all-American barbecue.



Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Fest

July 11, 12

Two-day music festival featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band, Brett Dennen and more on two outdoor stages. Beer and wine garden, food and merchandise booths. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit their website at and their facebook page



Day Out with Thomas™

JULY 24 – 26, JULY 31, AUGUST 1 – 2

Join Thomas the Tank Engine™ for The Celebration Tour 2015 through the Big Trees. Your ticket includes a fun-filled day of activities: a train ride with Thomas™, picture taking with Sir Topham Hatt,™ temporary tattoos, face painting, bounce houses, storytelling, bubble making, live entertainment, train play tables, and more! So bring the family, come early, and enjoy the day.

Purchase tickets here

Click here for more information



Kids Fare


Our Steam Train takes you through the Redwoods and back, and our Beach Train takes you to Santa Cruz and back. No matter which route you choose, what people enjoy going back to the most is their own childhood. That’s why, this summer, everybody rides for the Kid’s Fare WEEKDAYS AFTER 2PM.

Purchase advance tickets here for the 2:15 Beach Train or the 2:00 Redwood Forest Steam Train.

It will be the most fun you’ve had since you were a kid!



FREE Heritage Events


Free Heritage Events all summer long! Take part in living history with activities for all ages including the old town printing press, blacksmith and engine house tours, live music and panning for gold.

Free Weekday Heritage Activities

Monday: Watch Roaring Camp’s Blacksmith make tools and ornamental ironwork from the coals of a real working forge. Demonstrations are free.

Tuesday: Learn about the effort that went into lighting up the darkness for past generations from our Candle Making Artisan. One free candle per guest.

Wednesday: See a real Old-Fashioned Printing Press in action and be amazed by the skill and               artistry required of print makers in the past. Demonstrations are free

Thursday: I've been working on the Railroad Day. Take your turn at pumping our handcar for a ride           back in time old track gang style. Later in the day meet one of our expert engineers for an informative     talk about our unique geared steam locomotives. Handcar rides and presentations are free.

Friday: Roll up your sleeves and try your luck as a forty-niner at the Gold-Panning station. One, unlimited, free round of Gold-Panning per guest.

Weekend Living History

Celebrate the history of Roaring Camp with the Town Marshal or visit with costumed characters from the Santa Cruz Mountains’ storied past that will be strolling the streets of the town.

On the weekends, Candle Making is $3 and Gold Panning is $1 to try your luck and $5 for guaranteed gold. You can also choose to dig in at the Chuckwagon BBQ, prices vary. Race your own Handcar down the rails, $2, or pose in our authentic period costumes at our Old West Photo Studio. Individual Portrait $30, Couples $40, Groups +$5 per additional subject.



Santa Cruz Starlight Evening Train



Experience the beauty of an ancient redwood forest lit up at night from Pullman-like coaches and open-air excursion cars of the Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway. Smell the aroma of redwood, pines, Tan Oaks and Madrone trees while traveling under the stars. Evening trains depart from and return to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz for a leisurely two-hour round-trip along the San Lorenzo River Gorge and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.

Purchase advance tickets here



Summer Gathering of Mountain Men

AUGUST 22 – 23

Relive history by traveling back to the time of Isaac Graham, the mountain man who settled in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1830s. Visit Roaring Camp's summer gathering of wild and wooly mountain men. Wander through the wilderness encampments, as the colorful and hardy lifestyles of early trappers are re-created. Watch frontiersmen perfect their skills while you chow down on a Chuck Wagon Barbecue lunch from noon to 3 p.m.



Great Train Robberies


Witness shootouts between famed lawmen and notorious outlaws from the 1880’s aboard the Redwood Forest Train to Bear Mountain. See why the West was wild!

The train robbery will occur on all RC Steam Train departures. Those “sensitive to noise” may want to consider our SCBT train to the beach.



Santa Cruz Starlight Evening Dinner and Train


Evening train and dinner excursion departs from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk at 5:30pm and travels along the San Lorenzo River through Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park to Roaring Camp. Upon arrival, a delicious steak dinner awaits you. After dinner, relax to musical entertainment or dancing. On the return trip to Santa Cruz, the train ride brings the forest to life with dazzling color and light. The evening event is four hours, returning to the Boardwalk at 9: 30pm.

Ticket Pricing:
$54 adults
$39 children (ages 2-12)

Purchase advance tickets here



The Moonlight Train Dinner Party


Treat yourself to an evening of fun and relaxation at Roaring Camp's Moonlight Dinner Train Party. Start with a hearty barbecue steak dinner followed by a leisurely train ride aboard vintage railway cars. The steam train stops atop Bear Mountain to a glowing campfire, hot cider and a musical sing along. Upon returning to Roaring Camp, hot apple pie and a live band band await you. Get into the swing of things by line dancing or two-stepping the night away. 

The first moonlight of the year features one of our country western favorites, Steve Bennett and One Eyed Jack. 

The event runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Upcoming Moonlight Events: 

October 3- The final Moonlight Dinner Party of the year will be Salsa Night. Dance the night away with the very talented Steve Abrams Quintet who is sure to get you up and moving. 

Purchase advance tickets here



Big Trees Scottish Gathering


Come celebrate all things Scottish in the beautiful redwoods just minutes from Santa Cruz. Discover your heritage with the Scottish and Irish clans, enjoy bagpipes bands, Scottish heavy athletics, highland dance, traditional and Celtic rock music. Feast on traditional food and ale and shop for unique gifts at our Celtic marketplace! This is a family friendly event, kids ten and under are FREE!
For details visit our website, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter.

For more information, Big Trees Scottish Gathering & Highlands Games



Harvest Faire & Steam Festival


Step into the incredible world of steam power at the Harvest Faire & Steam Festival presented by Kinetic Steam Works and Roaring Camp Railroads. Welcome Fall with heritage children's activities like scarecrow making, pumpkin patch picking, candle making and gold panning. Behold steam-powered line shafts, player pianos, letterpresses, printing presses and more! Admission is FREE for the whole family October 3-4 and children with a Steam Train ticket get to pick out a free pumpkin from our Harvest Pumpkin Patch on Bear Mountain.

Harvest & Steam themed activities include 'Make & Take' Scarecrows, Blacksmith and Print Shop demonstrations, gold panning, candle making and much more.

Purchase Steam Train Tickets Here.



Thomas and Percy's Halloween Party™

OCTOBER 10 – 11, 17 – 18, 24 – 25, 31, NOVEMBER 1


Little engineers won’t believe their eyes—or their ears! This year, for the first time ever, Percy will be joining Thomas the Tank Engine on the rails! Also for the first time ever, Thomas the Tank Engine™ will be able to talk to his fans!

Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas™ and Percy™, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. Activities include: Temporary Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, Videos, Train Play Tables, Pick a Pumpkin (small pumpkins for little ones), Cookie decorating, photos with Sir Topham Hatt, Thomas store and entertainment.

Purchase tickets here

Click here for more information


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