Children of all ages can now experience the same Christmas spirit as the children in the animated masterpiece “The Polar Express.” The movie that was inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s classic book has now come to life! These trains offer a lot more than just cocoa, cookies, and Christmas carols, they offer Christmas cheer for the whole family. Across New York, there are many places where this is possible!
All of these locations are accessible via Amtrak and Enterprise!
Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express
Children gather at the windows as Santa and his elves get ready to board the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express. | Photo Courtesy of Catskill Mountain Railroad Events
The Polar Express is back in Kingston! With the officially licensed Warner Bros™. train, this winter spectacular is a perfect replication of the movie. The conductors punch tickets in the same fashion as Tom Hanks’ “The Polar Express” character, hot chocolate is served to passengers and there is a sing-along! During the ride, there will also be a reading of Chris Van Allsburg’s book that inspired it all!
Dates for the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express Ride
November 15-17, 22- 24, 29-30
December 1, 6-8, 12-15, 18-23, 26-28
Departure Times: Vary daily
Ticket Prices on the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express Ride
Off-Peak: Adults: $41; Children (Ages 2-12): $32; Toddler (Under 2, In Lap): Free
Peak: Adults: $50; Children (Ages 2-12): $40; Toddler (Under 2, In Lap): Free
Cancellation Policy: Tickets are non-refundable.
Parking Location: Westbrook Lane Station- 149 Aaron Court, Kingston, NY 12401
Parking is free for all and adjacent the train station in the Kingston Plaza lot. Guests are required to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to their departure time. This allows time to park and check in at the Westbrook Station. Boarding will begin approximately 20 minutes prior to listed departure times.
Take Amtrak to the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express Ride
Experience the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express via Amtrak to Rhinecliff-Kingston Station in the Hudson Valley—Don’t forget to use the Amtrak See New York and Save 15% discount! The Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express Ride is 13.8 miles from the Rhinecliff-Kingston Amtrak Station.
Adirondack Scenic Railway’s Polar Express
The decorated Adirondack Scenic Railway’s Polar Express train. | Photo Courtesy of Cargo Law
Travel north from Utica’s Union Station and become engulfed in the Christmas magic! Passengers will enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and they will even get to meet the cocoa chefs. Families are encouraged to show up in their pajamas for this magical ride. For an even greater experience, try the First Class Cocoa Car! Mrs. Claus and the Chefs will be there for a meet and greet. All passengers will get to listen to Liam Neeson’s reading of Van Allsburg’s classic!
Dates for the 2019 Adirondack Scenic Railroad Polar Express Ride
November 15-17, 20-24, 29-30
December 1, 4- 8, 11-15, 18-23
Ticket Information and Train Times
Coach Seating: Adults: $46; Youth (Ages 2-12): $38
First Class Seating: Adults: $67.50; Youth (Ages 2-12): $57.50
Departure Times: 4:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
Cancellation Policy: The Adirondack Scenic Railroad does not offer refunds. Reservations may only be switched to a different day, subject to availability.
Parking Location: Utica Train Station, 321 Main St, Utica, NY 15301
Children under two ride for free and must be seated on a parent’s lap. Online sales reflect actual inventory.
Take Amtrak to the Adirondack Scenic Railway Polar Express Train
Experience the Adirondack Scenic Railway Polar Express via Amtrak to Utica Station in the Central New York—Don’t forget to use the Amtrak See New York and Save 15% discount! The Adirondack Scenic Railway Polar Express is located at the Utica Amtrak Station.
Looking for a getaway? Explore the area with an Enterprise rental. Get picked up from the Utica Amtrak Station and taken to your reserved NYTRAIN Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Click here to reserve your car or call the Utica office today at 315-736-0002.
Medina Railroad Museum’s Polar Express
Photo Courtesy of Medina Railroad Museum
Not only will you and the family have a chance to view the educational and historic Medina Railroad Museum, but you will also get a chance to ride the Polar Express train! Halfway through the trip, children can expect a visit from Santa! Each child will get to sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy his company. When the train arrives at the North Pole, the children will be greeted by dancing elves and Christmas music. The friendly staff of the Medina Railroad Museum makes this experiences a bit more enjoyable for parents are families, as well.
Dates for the 2019 Medina Railroad Polar Express
December 1, 7-8, 14-15
Departure Times: 11:20am, 12:40pm, 2:00pm, 3:20pm, 4:40pm, 6:00pm
Ticket Prices on the Medina Railroad Polar Express
Passengers receive hot cocoa and a cookie. Children under two will receive a bell from Santa, but hot chocolate and cookies are not included.
All Tickets: $36*; Children under two ride free on a lap
First Class passengers receive their own Polar Express ceramic souvenir cocoa mug, hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and a cookie. Children under two will receive a bell from Santa, but hot chocolate, cookie and souvenir mug are not included.
All Tickets: $51*; Children under two ride free on a lap
*Admission to the museum is included in your ticket fare.
Cancellation Policy: Tickets are not refundable and can not be exchanged. All sales are final.
Parking Location: 698 Gwinn St, Medina, NY 14103
Try to arrive one hour prior to your train departure to allow time for parking and to ticket pick-up in the museum. The Polar Express will start boarding 15 minutes prior to departure time and the train will leave promptly.
Take Amtrak to the Medina Railroad Museum’s Polar Express
Experience the Medina Railroad Museum’s Polar Express via Amtrak to Buffalo-Depew Station in Buffalo, NY—Don’t forget to use the Amtrak See New York and Save 15% discount! The Medina Railroad Museum’s Polar Express is located 35.2 miles from the Buffalo-Depew Amtrak Station.
Morristown and Erie Canal Railway’s Polar Express
Meet Santa on the Morristown and Erie Railway’s Polar Express. | Photo Courtesy of Philms
On this magical holiday ride, children will be greeted by Santa himself, and they will all receive a sleigh bell, just like in the movie. This trip included hot cocoa and cookies and has the sound effects of the actual film. Jill Hightower, logistics and event manager at Morristown and Erie Railways said, “Experience the joy of caroling and holiday entertainment that will surely encourage you to join in and take part of the whole experience. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride and join in on the magic of Christmas!”
Dates for the Morristown and Erie Railway’s Polar Express
November 16-17, 20-24, 26-27, 29-30
December 1, 3-8, 10-24, 26-30
2019 Coach Class Pricing
Value Departures: $46 Adult, $41 Child
Standard Departures: $56 Adult, $51 Child
Peak Departures: $66 Adult, $61 Child
2019 First Class Pricing
Value Departures: $70 Adult, $65 Child
Standard Departures: $75 Adult, $70 Child
Peak Departures: $80 Adult, $75 Child
Child: Ages 2-11
Departure Times: Vary daily
Cancellation Policy: Tickets are non refundable. Reservation dates and times may be changed within 24 hours of purchase and are subject to pricing differences. However, no guarantees can be made that your reservation can be changed.
Parking Location: 80s Jefferson Rd, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07981
Parking is availble at an off-site lot near the event for $7 per vehicle and shuttles will be provided to transport passengers to the station. Parking passes should be added to your order during checkout. Further parking information will be distributed via email prior to your departure date. Please arrive 90 minutes prior to your departure to allow time to park and ride the shuttle.
Take Amtrak to the Morristown and Erie Canal Railway’s Polar Express
The Morristown and Erie Canal Railway’s Polar Express is located 34.2 miles from the New York-Penn Station and can be reached via the Morris & Essex Line toward Dover, or the Montclair-Boonton Line towards MSU with a transfer to Morris & Essex Line towards Mount Olive aboard New Jersey Transit.