Events

How to See the Best Trolleys and Buses Decked Out for the Holidays

The best jolly trolleys (and a Grinch-themed bus) will be in the same place at the same time this weekend, and it’s gonna be magical.


septa jolly trolley buses grinch

L: A SEPTA jolly trolley | R: A Grinch-themed bus won SEPTA’s holiday bus decorating contest this year. | Photos via SEPTA

UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to the rainy forecast and will now be held on Saturday, December 22nd.

Good news for lovers of jolly trolleys (and Grinch buses).

The city’s best holiday-themed cars and streetcars will be on display this Saturday at the Trolley Portal Gardens in University City.

The celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During that time, SEPTA will bring the first place and people’s choice winners of the Holiday Bus Decoration contest to the Trolley Portal Gardens as well. If you haven’t seen the winner yet, it’s Grinch-themed and pretty magnificent (so ugly it’s beautiful).

During the event, kids between the ages of 4 and 16 years old can ride a holiday trolley for free (with a paying parent) from 40th Street to Dilworth Park. The trolleys will depart every 30 minutes.

The best part? The newly opened Trolley Car Station nearby will offer $1 hot chocolates — or $5 spiked hot chocolates.

And between 2 and 4 p.m., the University City Arts League will help children make their own painted coasters for free.

Can’t get enough of SEPTA holiday decor? You might want to check out the organization’s new festive Regional Rail train called “The Western Holiday Express,” which, as we said last month, looks a little bit like if the Westworld train ate Santa Claus and a petting zoo. It’s full of presents, ornaments draped over overhead luggage trays, cowboy hats and Christmas trees.

You can catch it at Suburban Station between noon and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.