It’s time to make your reservations for The Polar Express Train Ride leaving Palestine, TX for the “North Pole” this November 18 -December 23, 2016. My friend Missy took her two children last year, and was nice enough to let me share her photos and experience.


Just like in the story, kids wear their pajamas and go to see Santa. You’ll arrive an hour before your trip to take a shuttle to the train depot area where there is a “General Store.” Be prepared to wait a bit as there will be a line to get onto the train.


The conductor is “fabulous” as is the entertainment on the train. Each train is decorated, has actors dressed as elves, and they hand out Christmas carol music (in case you don’t know all the words). You ride the train for about 15 minutes, then stop to pick up Mrs. Claus who gives each child a bell, stops and talks with them and you can take pictures. Then you ride back (15 minutes) and get off where you started, but this time Santa is there! There are lots of Christmas trees and snow machines. The 4-9 year olds can sit on the stage and the elves perform for them before Santa comes out.


Once you leave that tent, and get your hot chocolate, you go back to the General Store for photos with Santa. There was also a glass blowing place next door where you can make a Christmas ornament.

There are three ticket levels – Standard, Lone Star and Diamond Class. The nicer levels have upholstered seats, heat and air conditioning plus some other goodies listed on the website. This is a great event for preschoolers and slightly older kids who have younger siblings. It will sell out, so if you want to go make sure you purchase your tickets now.

Another option is the North Pole Express® train ride in Grapevine, happening November 25 – December 23, 2016. Tickets for this ride go on sale in July. More info here.

The Polar Express Train Ride
The Texas State Railroad
Palestine, TX