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All Aboard For An Enchanting Holiday Ride

Discover Magic Of Christmas On The Polar Express Train Ride

It’s all about believing and the magic that happens when one does! It’s time once again for the heartwarming story of a boy’s search for the meaning of Christmas. The story comes to life when St. Louis’ treasured holiday tradition, The Polar Express Train Ride, departs Union Station for the North Pole.

What better way to kick off the 2023 holiday season than with one of St. Louis’ most highly anticipated holiday events, one that brings such joy to so many families? It’s a chance to relive the magic of the classic Christmas story based on the beloved children's book and to meet Santa.

St. Louis Union Stations’ Cameron Schoeffel says they’re excited to bring this holiday tradition back to St. Louis. “Families can make holiday memories at Union Station and can even turn their visit into a staycation by booking a decorated suite at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel," he explains.

The journey begins at Union Station’s holiday train park, where the conductor invites passengers aboard The Polar Express Train with its sparkling lights and dazzling holiday decorations. On the way to the North Pole, riders can interact with the Polar Express characters, Santa Claus and his elves.

St. Louis mom Jeannie Smith says it’s the perfect way to get her kids, ages 2, 6 and 9 into the holiday spirit. “Every year when I tell my kids we’re going to ride with Santa on The Polar Express, they get excited. They always prepare by writing a letter to Santa and giving it to him on the train.”

“Their eyes light up when they see the train because they know the magic is about to begin,” she adds.

Set to The Polar Express motion picture soundtrack, this unique holiday experience transports passengers into the magic of the much-loved holiday classic as they listen to well-known Christmas tunes sung by a medley of familiar voices such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Steven Tyler, the Andrew Sisters and Josh Groban.

The story is all about believing. The main character, a young boy, starts his journey doubting the existence of Santa Claus. After an extraordinary ride on the Polar Express, he becomes a true believer.

Jeannie says, “It’s such a magical experience, especially for those with young children, because it brings the Polar Express book to life, and the characters sing the entire way to the North Pole.”

Families are encouraged to wear their holiday pajamas for this scenic ride. They’ll be treated to creamy hot chocolate and delicious cookies while listening to a reading of the classic book. Upon arriving at the North Pole, Santa will board the train and visit every good little boy and girl to give them the magical gift of Christmas. 

Jeannie says it's reminiscent. “There’s something about sipping hot chocolate that brings me back to my childhood and happy holiday memories with my family.”

Cameron says there’s even more holiday fun to be had at Union Station this year. “In addition to riding The Polar Express Train Ride, families can enjoy the Pancakes with Santa breakfast and lunch or dinner at Sleigh Shed, the holiday pop-up experience inside our Train Shed restaurant.”

Start the holiday celebration with a magical ride on The Polar Express Train Ride for an unforgettable family experience that can create a lifetime of lasting holiday memories.

For tickets and more information, go to

“There’s something about sipping hot chocolate that brings me back to my childhood and happy holiday memories with my family.”