The Polar Express Train Ride – A Saratoga Holiday Tradition

All Aboard! The Polar Express comes to life this holiday season as the Saratoga & North Creek Railway rolls out of the station bound for the “North Pole!”

SaratogaMama editor Jen shares her experience riding The Polar Express

The Polar Express Train Ride - A Saratoga Holiday Tradition

Last night I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek ride on The Polar Express Train Ride in Saratoga Springs. As a child this was one of my favorite holiday books. I was so excited to begin this tradition with my son and share something that was very special to me growing up.  I put him in his Christmas Pj’s and we were ready to go! We were also lucky enough to have my sister and five month old niece join us on the trip.

Cookies and cocoa on the Polar Express Train Ride

For the first part of the train ride, music from the movie played, while chefs provided hot chocolate and a cookie to everyone on board, my son even got to try his first sugar cookie!  While he is too young to try hot chocolate, I got to enjoy some in the souvenir mug, which I thought was delicious. They even have a hot cup in the mug, so your new mug goes home clean. (Souvenir mugs are provided in the dome cars, see ticket info below).

As the train ride continued, the chefs visited and talked to all of the kids.  They helped build the excitement as we approached the North Pole.  The conductor and hobos made their way through the car periodically. The conductor checked that everyone had their golden ticket, but we were also told to keep our tickets safe as the hobos would be looking for them!

Santa and elves aboard The Polar Express

As we approached the North Pole it was great to see the expression on some of the children’s faces, even though my son was a little too young to understand, he loved looking at the lights! The train stopped for a few minutes as Santa and his elves boarded. The elves came through right away greeting the kids. Santa came through the train twice, first to pass out a bell just like the one from the story. The bell even says “The Polar Express” and has the year on it. I plan on using it as an ornament for my son this year.

The kids are enchanted on The Polar Express Train Ride

The second time Santa came through to do pictures with all of the kids.  As Santa made his way through both times, the elves continued to make their rounds, which kept the kids occupied as they awaited their turn with Santa. One elf came ahead of  Santa talking to all of the kids about what they wanted for Christmas, an elf also assisted us in getting pictures with Santa as we had our hands full with two infants.  After Santa went through the car, they played Christmas Carols and the chefs encouraged us to sing along.

The bell and elves on the Polar Express Train Ride

I had been a little nervous that my son was too young to enjoy the ride, but he loved it! He was a little unsure of Santa, as most young children are, but he interacted with all of the chefs and elves that came through and was smiling for a majority of the trip. The ride lasted a little over an hour, which I think is just enough time for young kids.

One thing you should be prepared for is that it can get a little loud at times, although it’s all happy noise! The kids are excited for Santa, there is Christmas music playing and the hobos come through and encourage the kids to ring their bells. Overall we had a wonderful time and I look forward to going again in the future.

GO!  The Polar Express Train Ride

More information can be found here, at the Saratoga Railway Website.

The Polar Express runs on the following dates:  November 16-21, 23-26, 28-30, December 1-3, 5-10, 12-23, 27-30 and January 2-6. There are four different types of tickets that you can purchase; coach, premium coach, lower dome and upper dome.

Prices range from $10.00 for children under two that are held, to $60.00 for adults to sit in the Upper Dome. The seating in the coach and premium coach are like tradition rail cars in that you sit in pairs all facing the same direction, while the dome setting has two pairs of seats facing each other with a table in the center.

 

Comments

  1. Laura DeTommasi says:

    HI i AM TAKING MY DAUGHTER THIS YEAR AND I AM REALLY EXCITED FOR HER BECAUSE SHE NEVER BEEN ON A TRAIN. JUST TO BE IN THE SEATS OF THE TRAIN AND GET THE MUG I THINK SHE WILL BE EXCITED I HOPE IT WILL BE A GREAT ADVENTURE FOR HER. PEOPLE HAVE WRITTEN THAT THEY HAD BAD EXPERIENCES I THINK YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT ESPECIALLY FOR OUR KIDS. WISH ME LUCK AND I CANNOT WAIT!!!

  2. Every year I try to find fun outings for the kids. The polar express is always something I plan to do but every year I just cannot justify how expensive it is! $40 for an adult! Oh well, we will find other reasonable activities.

    • There is another cheaper version up in coopers town which are like $12-$17 a ticket, you can check that one out too. And I think it is a two hour ride too.

    • If you want to save money on the Polar Express Saratoga Holiday train, make your reservations for Nov. 23 or before.
      Starts at $25 adults and $15 for kids

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