Our Trip on the Polar Express

The Polar Express is one of our very favorite Christmas stories, both in book and movie form. We were thrilled to be able to schedule a real life train ride on the Polar Express Train ( Texas State Railroad ) in Palestine Texas last weekend. It was quite a drive but certainly worth it for the wonderful memories and unforgettable experience!

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

We arrived early as we were told to give ourselves enough time to park, check in, and do any shopping in the git shop. We did have to park a little farther from the train depot but there were several carts offering rides to/from the depot.  We checked in by giving our reservation name and they presented us with admission tickets, hardback copy 25th anniversary edition of the Polar Express book and special memory tickets for the kids that the conductor would come along to stamp on the ride. You must have a ticket for the Polar Express you know.

Ticket to the Polar Express

Polar Express train ticket for the kids. The Conductor came along to stamp each child’s ticket along our ride.

PJ's

We didn’t have to wait too long before the Polar Express had arrived! The kids had dressed in their PJ’s & robes (this was encouraged) and were ready for a ride to the North Pole.  Our train car was a lot of fun. It looked like a vintage silver bullet train car. We were seated on the upper level and the whole train car was decorated with white, silver, and evergreen Christmas decor. Waiting for each of us at our seats was a delicious chocolate chip cookie. We waited to eat it though because soon after we started moving the attendants on our train started singing and delivering souvenir warm mugs of hot chocolate to accompany our cookie. They came around later and offered whipped cream for our hot chocolate too.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Chef on the Polar Express

The chef who delivered our hot hot hot chocolate to us. “Here we only have one rule: Never, never let it cool.”

After our hot chocolate had been delivered, a recording of the Polar Express played and we got to read along in our copy of the Polar Express. This made it great for kids of all reading levels.

reading along with the Polar Express

Sebastian reading along with the story.

Before we know it an announcement was being made that we were arriving at the North Pole! The lights in the train car dimmed and we all rushed to one side of the train car to get a glimpse. Sure enough, there were elves dancing and even Santa himself waving to all the passengers.

The North Pole!

The North Pole!

We got to spend several minutes of our trip “Oooohing” & “Ahhing” at the North Pole.  Soon we were ready to make the return trip back to the depot but not before we were told that Santa himself had gotten on the train! The kids were thrilled- they would get to meet Santa in person soon! Santa and his elves came by and gave every child a silver bell so they would always believe  in the magic of Christmas. Santa signed our copy of the Polar Express and he even took a picture with the kiddos too.

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa & his elf

The kids were thrilled to get their picture with Santa and an elf as he presented them each with their very own silver bell. Never Stop Believing.

Santa had many more kids to visit before the train ride was finished. So after Santa left our train car staff really stepped it up. They had been leading us in songs and dancing the whole time but the energy after Santa’s visit was very high.  They would invite the kids to dance with them one at a time and we all sang along and clapped for each child dancing. Sebastian was shy but Kaitlyn loved being asked to dance and danced with several of the attendants.

Dancing on the Polar Express

Dancing on the Polar Express

Before we departed our souvenir mugs were washed, wrapped up, and returned for us to take home. The staff interaction was really so wonderful and made the experience unforgettable. Our whole family had a great time and the kids slept great the whole ride home.This would be wonderful holiday experience for any family to enjoy!

To make your own family reservations on the Polar Express go here or call 877-726-7245 to climb aboard.  You can follow them on Facebook & Twitter too!

*My family was provided tickets for our experience on the Polar Express to review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Comments

  1. What a fun experience!! I can’t wait until my guy is old enough to do this. We are big fans of the book and movie in our house, too. I know that one day, we will all get a kick out of this. Thanks for the review!!

    • Heather- Your family will love it!! Definitely make plans to do this one holiday season- you will not be disappointed.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I don’t think we will get to it this year, but maybe next year I can plan ahead and do this for us. I love it!

  3. Reading about this really brought tears to my eyes! What an amazing experience. Thanks so much for sharing. I felt like I was there!!!! Made me sad that I wasn’t.

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