The Polar Express: A new holiday tradition for families

Published on: November 6, 2013 | Last Updated on August 30, 2018
The Polar Express Train Ride

The Polar Express Train Ride (Credit: Screenshot from Saratoga and North Creek Railway)

If you’re lucky enough to be a grandparent, multiple generations of your family have probably read the book,  The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. You may have seen the movie of the same name that starred Tom Hanks. Now you can incorporate the story of The Polar Express into your family’s own holiday traditions.

A unique 52-mile train ride through the Hudson Valley, from Saratoga Springs to the Adirondack town of North Creek, shares the same illustrious name. The Polar Express holiday train ride is sure to bring smiles to the faces of children, their parents and grandparents.

What it is:

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway is running vintage trains that will be festively decorated (with a creative holiday-themed program to match), taking passengers to Santa’s North Pole Village between November 15, 2013 and December 29, 2013.

Your group will board the round-trip train ride in Saratoga Springs, New York. Amtrak service is available from NYC to get you to and from the station. (Overnight hotel packages are also available.)

What it will be like:

  • Kids can come in their comfy pajamas.
  • Conductors will punch souvenir tickets.
  • Dancing chefs will deliver a treat and hot chocolate in keepsake “The Polar Express” mugs for each guest.
  • Music from the “The Polar Express” movie will play en route.
  • Before arriving at the North Pole Village, the iconic book will be read by the voice of author Chris Van Allsburg.
  • When the 30-minute train ride magically arrives at Santa‘s North Pole village, it will be welcomed by Santa and his elves.
  • On the return trip, Santa and his helper will board the train and greet each child with the first gift of Christmas, a bell cut from his sleigh.

*This article was corrected on 11/18 to update the end date of the run to December 29, 2013.

For information on the schedule, rates, and reservations for this unique experience, visit The Polar Express Website.

Online reservations, subject to availability, can be made up to 24 hours in advance.

  • Reply
    Polar Employee
    November 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The info you have incorrect: The Polar Express does not go 52 miles to North Creek. The Hudson Valley is South of Albany, not north. The last day is Dec 29th. The story is read by Liam Neeson.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      November 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Polar Employee,

      Thanks for letting me know about the error in the end date. The text above has been changed to reflect that.

      Yes, the Hudson Valley is South of Albany. (I happen to live in the Hudson Valley). But the post does not say it is South.

      Finally, I checked with the company and the book is read by Chris Van Allsburg.

      I truly appreciate your taking the time to write. I strive to be as accurate as possible!

      Thanks! Irene

Leave a Reply