Pullen Park entry arch decorated for holidays.

Holiday Express

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Holiday Express Event Information Holiday Express Parking Know Before You Go Ticketing Sponsors

Holiday Express Event Information

2022 Event Dates: Dec 1-11 and 13-18
Times: 5:00-9:30 pm
Your ticket grants you entry into the event starting at 5:00 p.m.
Please arrive at the train station 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled train time.

Holiday Express Parking

  • Main parking for Holiday Express will be free and located at the Coliseum Parking Deck on the NC State University Campus. 
  • The deck can be accessed via Western Boulevard in either direction by heading towards Pullen Road and then turning left onto Dunn Ave.
    Please note that sections of the deck may be unavailable and you should abide by the signage posted.
  • This location is a short walk from the back of Pullen Park where the event entrance is located.
  • Accessible parking and spaces for those with mobility needs are available at the Pullen Park lot located at 520 Ashe Avenue.
  • Ride share/drop off should enter the Pullen Park lot located at 520 Ashe Avenue and then make a left towards the main entrance.
  • Other vehicles may be turned away at this location.

Coliseum Deck Free Parking Permit Instructions

  1. Visit Go.ncsu.edu/EventParking
  2. Ensure you are logged out of your parking account. 
  3. Select "Purchase Event Permit"
  4. Agree to the Terms of Service
  5. Select “General Events”
  6. Select Pullen Park Holiday Express 2022
  7. When prompted, enter  HolidayExpress22 as the Event Voucher Code. (The code is case sensitive and must be entered exactly as shown.)
  8. Select Confirm.
  9. Select an available Permit Type
  10. Select/Confirm your parking dates. Select Confirm.
  11. Select Location
  12. Select "Add Vehicle". Enter vehicle license plate, state, year, make, model and select Add.
  13. Enter client name and phone number. Select Confirm.
  14. Select Continue.
  15. Enter your email address to receive confirmation of parking permit.
  16. Review information. Select Checkout.

Remember, the permit is virtual, your license plate is your permit. The permit is valid only for the vehicle entered. The Permit is not valid in pay-by-plate locations.  

Are you driving a rental car? If so, please wait to obtain your parking permit until after you have received your rental car. Vehicle license plates cannot be changed once entered. You must obtain your parking permit before leaving your vehicle unattended on campus.

For parking permit assistance please call the Transportation Office at 919-515-3424.

Know Before You Go

This is an outdoor event – please dress accordingly.  Indoor space will not be available for guests.  We will operate in light rain and/or snow.   

Your ticket provides you access to all activities starting at 5:00 p.m.  The gift shop and snacks will have an additional cost.

There are large maps available at each entrance.  Please use your digital device to take a picture of the map.  Activities will take place in the upper shelter area as well as the lower amusement area. 

Train Ride
Your designated ride time is located on your event ticket. Arrive at the train station 15 minutes prior to departure and show your entire group of tickets to the staff. 3 guests maximum to a seat, including children and infants.  

Please arrive on time for your train ride.  Anyone who misses their ride or is attempting to ride standby can attempt to do so starting at 8:30 p.m.  Earlier requests will not be accommodated.

Santa’s Toy Shop
Santa has transformed our caboose into a mobile workshop where he’s been storing some of the toys the elves have finished.  In addition, it’s become his home away from home while he’s in Raleigh!  Stop by for a walk-through experience where you might even be able to see the big man himself!  Due to the popularity of this experience, traditional sit-down photo opportunities will not be available, but you will likely have time for a brief chat and maybe even a selfie for the digital scrapbook.

Please note that this experience may be modified or removed due to circumstances beyond our control.

The Pullen Cafe offers a variety of options for all guests, including those with dietary restrictions and/or allergies so everyone in the family can enjoy something. Additionally, Santa's Snack tent will be located outside the carousel to offer an assortment of holiday treats.  For more information about Pullen Cafe or to see this year's Holiday Express menu, visit www.PullenCafe.com or call 919-803-0030.

S'more Station
Enjoy a delicious free treat and learn about holiday fire safety from the Raleigh Fire Department.

Choose your favorite animal and enjoy unlimited rides on the historic Dentzel carousel while you are serenaded by local performers.

Candy Cane Lane
Visit the crafty elves’ tent and create your own souvenir to bring home with you.
While you’re up there, don’t forget to make a bag of reindeer food to bring home for the 9 highflyers on their big night.
Have you written your letter to Santa yet?  Stop by to work with some of our volunteer elves to get your list created and then send it on its way!

Reindeer Roundup
Santa’s reindeer are loose around the park and we need YOU to help find them!   Stop by one of our roundup stations to receive your scavenger hunt game sheet. If you complete the hunt, there’s a nifty prize waiting for you!
For an additional hint on where to find the reindeer, be sure to take a picture of our map at the entrances!

Gift Shop/Welcome Center
If you have any issues or emergencies, stop by the welcome center for immediate assistance.
This is also the spot for fun-themed merchandise, including our limited-edition carousel ornament from the Charleston Mint!  This year’s ornament is the carousel goat which will cost $15.

Gingerbread Grove
Experience our 27-foot-tall gingerbread slide, our sugar-themed obstacle course, as well as other games and photo opportunities.

Arctic Avenue
Visit this frosty playground where you can participate in a variety of games and activities like the Ava-Launch and the Frosty Fling!
Get your dancing shoes on for our Blizzard Boogie with an assortment of games, prizes and our always-popular snowball fight!

Rotary Snow Globe Experience
Step inside a giant snow globe for a spectacular photo opportunity!  This space will be shared with multiple families and no private options will be available.

Inclement Weather Plan
In the case of severe weather (rain with extremely wet conditions, high winds and/or lightning, extremely cold conditions with ice and/or snow), Holiday Express may be canceled. Weather conditions are evaluated on a daily basis. Event cancellations will be made by 12:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Registered guests will be notified by email and information will be posted on the website. In the case of an event cancellation, guests may attend a designated rain date.
2022 Rain Dates:  December 12 &19 

Refund Policy
All sales are final and no refunds will be provided.  Tickets are transferable via email or text message but may not be sold for more than face value.  Tickets will retain the information of the original guest who purchased the tickets.  Questions regarding extenuating circumstances may be emailed to: holidayexpress@raleighnc.gov


  • Tickets are limited to 8 per household/credit card/IP Address. Any guests who have purchased more than 8 tickets may have all the tickets canceled.
  • Tickets are $15 plus tax per guest and are non-refundable, but they are transferrable. Please note tickets are transferrable between guests, not transferrable between nights. Tickets may not be sold for more than face value. Tickets are required for all guests ages one and older (12 months and under, no ticket required).
  • The train time you purchase is the time you are required to ride. If you miss your train time, you may attempt to ride standby starting at 8:30 p.m. Requests for changes to train times cannot be honored. Please arrive at the train station 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled train time.
  • For information about the event or specific ticketing questions, call 919-996-6468 or email HolidayExpress@Raleighnc.gov.


The City of Raleigh and our event partners the Rotary Club of Crabtree would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous contributions:

Red - $2500
Empire Properties
The UnIntentionals
Raleigh Picnic Co.

Green - $1000
Genesis of Cary/Johnson Lexus of Raleigh
North State Bank
York Properties, Inc.

Santa’s Helpers - $500
Comfort Monster
GMH Realty, LLC
North Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Pleasant’s Electric
SJ Adams Inc.
TriangleOnTheCheap.com/Mace Publishing, LLC
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Zach’s Toy Chest



Holiday Express


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Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
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Parks ProgramsParks