There is just something magical about Christmas at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad in Flint, Michigan.
It’s the time of season when you are constantly trying to create memories and magic for your family that hopefully, as they grow or have a family of their own, they will be able to duplicate or look back on fondly.
What is great about the village at Crossroads is that you are transported to a charming 1800s village where the magic has been made for you.
If you are looking for a winter train ride with some nostalgia and enchantment, look no further.
Choose Your Own Holiday Adventure
There are different options when choosing to spend time at the Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad. Participants can choose to enjoy just walking through the village, a train ride and village combo, and even add a timed buffet meal to their visit.
While I was there, I found out that the village is also open for drive-through nights, so you can take in some of the light displays from your car for a small fee. If this sounds more like where your family is at this season, I recommend looking into that as well!
My family and I decided we would enjoy the village and a winter train ride this year. We had booked an earlier ticket because we still have younger children. We arrived early before our train departure time to enjoy the village.
Be Transported Back in Time
When we first arrived, we were immediately transported back in time to the living museum of Huckleberry Village.
The General Store
We first found a reprieve from the rain in the general store. Full of toys and Michigan goods, you could easily check off just about anyone on your holiday shopping list here. While my eyes caught the handmade jams and Christmas decor, the kids honed in on the toy section.
You could walk away with just spending a few dollars here or maxing out your holiday budget, as I was happy to find many items in all different price ranges.
The Opera House & Cafe
Right beside the general store, you’ll find the opera house with live entertainment at certain times, and on the other side is the cafe where my family got big cups of cocoa and jumbo hot dogs to have for dinner before our train ride.
We were glad to have come a bit early to explore the village beforehand because the line in the cafe went out the door after our train had unloaded.
The menu at the cafe is limited but remember there is a holiday buffet available in the village. Seating for the buffet begins at 5:30 pm and 6:00 pm on select weekdays and 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm on select weekends. Reservations are suggested for the buffet, but walk-ins are accepted based on their availability.
Lights in the Village
After our bellies were full and the rain had let up, we stepped back into the village to keep exploring. You’ll find various photo opportunities throughout the village, and there are many Christmas lights spread throughout the streets.
My favorite was the tree along the Railway Road. You’ll find it easily by traveling the road that connects the meeting hall building and the cafe, it runs parallel to the railroad.
Calling All Train Lovers
Speaking of the meeting hall, make sure you don’t miss visiting that building. There you will find a railroad display set up by the Mid-Michigan railway historical society and friends of the huckleberry railroad.
Engineers were in the building and happy to point out engines and answer the children’s questions. This is worth a visit alone for the little train lover in your home. Make sure to stop in and grab some freshly roasted almonds from the building next door before you continue exploring the village.
Meet Santa and Make Some Magic of Your Own
Another big win for our visit was the Stanley Schoolhouse. This schoolhouse was actually one of the first buildings to be reconstructed out of many original materials. Children attended school in this one-roomed school building from 1883 to 1963.
For our Christmas experience, the kids were able to make crafts out of provided supplies and write a letter to Santa to be mailed off in a Santa mailbox at the entrance of the schoolhouse. If your children pen their letters at home, this decorative box would be worth a stop to drop your letters off to be mailed to the North Pole!
The children also had an opportunity to visit Santa’s House, which you will find on the main street just across from a kettle corn vendor (make sure to grab a bag if you are a popcorn fan, you won’t be disappointed!) Here the kids can visit with Santa himself at select times.
Our family spent two hours visiting the different buildings and shops as well as enjoying a small meal. If you were just interested in viewing the thousands of lights, you could wander the village in about 30-45 minutes.
After we had spent time exploring the village grounds, we made our way to the train platform. You will find stacked steps on the side of the train for the perfect photo opportunity, so make sure to grab a photo of you and your family with the engine all decked out! We did this when we first arrived so we wouldn’t miss the opportunity.
When purchasing your tickets, they will remind you to arrive no later than 15-20 minutes prior to the departure time. We were able to purchase our tickets online ahead of time.
We arrived twenty minutes before, and while there was a line, you could definitely tell that all of the staff were seasoned pros and were able to get all of the families onto their cars effortlessly.
Once you have had your ticket punched and have boarded the train car, you will pick your seats. There was a small introduction before our adventure began.
While the trains are heated, many people on the train opened their windows for great picture-taking and for more adventure, so make sure to dress warmly!
Throughout the 40-minute ride, we were able to view many impressive light displays. There was the perfect amount of history and information about the train, and Christmas carols played to make it a truly magical experience.
My children have already asked when we will be able to return so I consider our visit a huge success.
This was a huge item that we checked off our winter bucket list. If you are searching for more winter fun to get you through these next few cold months, make sure to check out the Ultimate Winter Bucket List.