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The Museum of Life and Science in Durham will offer sensory-friendly Santa Train rides for guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder and similar needs. Train rides will include no yelling in the tunnel and no whistle sound; additional sounds and some lights will be lowered. Additional staff and volunteers from UNC TEACCH Autism Program will be on-hand to assist guests. Cool down kits, noise-cancelling headphones, and social narratives available upon request.

Friday, December 1st Train times: 5:20pm and 5:40pm
Train rides after 6pm will return to full light and sound.

If you are unable to ride at this date and times, cool down kits, noise-cancelling headphones, and social narratives will be available for all Santa Trains.


Climb aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway for a journey to the North Pole. Enjoy a ride through thousands of twinkling lights as we make our way to meet Santa and his elves. Back at the station explore festive activites including:

  • Face painting by Paint Savvy
  • Holiday crafts
  • “Science of Santa” activities including hands-on snow polymer, simple circuits, and more
  • Holiday music and light displays
  • “Skate in your socks” synthetic ice rink
  • Complimentary hot chocolate
  • Pop-up Museum gift shop
  • Sprout Cafe will be open for light snacks and coffee

Pre-registration required. Children 2 and under free.