The Polar Express Experience

It’s a beautiful month. We know that snow is on it’s way, but in the meantime, I am relishing this weather. Though the days are mostly warm, the holidays are upon us, so we decided to go with friends to the Polar Express, in November.

One of my favorite things to do with children during the holiday season is the Polar Express Experience. Tickets to the Polar Express can be found on the link below. They do sell out early, but they allow for returned tickets and announce those opportunities on their Facebook page. Click the link and grab your tickets today.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE – Colorado Railroad Museum

Have you never been? If that is the case, here is a little walk through of how the event goes.

To begin, you’re welcomed into a heated “Polar Express Pavilion” where you enjoy the theater element of the evening, watching the story of the Polar Express on stage. Just prior to the performance you are served toasty hot cocoa and cookies. We have three boys, and I didn’t hear a peep out of any of them during the story.

After the performance, walk to the station for the train’s arrival. Along with the cocoa and cookies, a “letter” to Santa is available for the kids, and you can fill it out and pop it right in the mailbox on your way board the train.

My youngest dropping in his letter to Santa

This is a restored steam engine, pulling beautifully decorated passenger cars. (Spoiler Alert) The trip takes you to the “North Pole,” which one of my kiddos found a bit problematic until he realized it was a quick trip around the museum property. We like to pretend it was the real North Pole though. The engine arrival gives you that historic feel.

Train pulling into the station and sounding the whistle

While you are on the train, the theater continues as you reach the North Pole, where you get to take a peek at Santa and his elves in action.

watching Santa work

At the end of the ride you have the option to visit Santa’s train and receive a small gift. You also have the opportunity (if you dare) to enter the gift shop on the way out. The kids had a great time and we will absolutely do it again.

If you plan to make this trip, here are a few ways to get the most of it.

  • Arrive early if you can. When you arrive early, you can take in the museum, get a good seat, and be ready to hear the story of the Polar Express. You could roll in right as the story begins, but the railroad museum is such a unique venue, preserving the history of the rails that have served this nation, not getting to see everything feels like an opportunity missed.
  • There are both heated and unheated parts of the experience. Dress accordingly, wear layers, and holiday themed attire, PJ’s, onesies etc. are all welcome if not encouraged. This year the weather was really nice, and I carried my jacket the whole night, but other years it might run during a heavy snow. Just have options available so you can be comfortable whole time.
  • Get your tickets early. As of the date of this post all First Class seats are sold out. We did standard seating and it was great. Those are still available at this time, but they won’t last long.

Be prepared for about 90 minutes of fun. There is very little downtime, so it’s perfect for the young ones. I hope you all get a chance to check out this unique holiday event in Golden, Colorado.


The Santa train
passenger train
Whitney Barnett
Whitney Barnett

Whitney is an Erie resident with boys in three local schools.
She is a Realtor and regular contributor to Erie News and Views.
In her “free time,” she volunteers on the PTO, skis as often as she is able, and has redesigned her dream kitchen a dozen times in her mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: