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What You’ll Discover On The Polar Express Train Ride At Union Station

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This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

The Polar Express train ride is finally back here in St. Louis! And the train cars can actually leave the station again! You’ll discover all that you truly missed when you climb aboard with your golden ticket this year at Union Station. It’s a round-trip journey unlike any other and fun for the entire family. A magical journey with a focus on the first gift of Christmas and creating wonderful memories that you will enjoy for years to come. Your children’s faces will indeed light up from the magic of this classic holiday story!

polar express train ride

What You’ll Discover On The Polar Express Train Ride At Union Station

Of course the walk through train experience was a lot of fun last year. My kids loved it, but it was just not the same as riding on the Polar Express. When I told them that the train was going to actually moved my daughter squealed with delight. “Wait. We are going to ride on the Polar Express?! Like ride on it? Like it’s a real train that’s going to move???” Yes, we did and it did.


See all about the Polar Express train ride in 2023 on the blog HERE.


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The original Polar Express is back in St. Louis!

Was it ever good to be back on the Polar Express train ride! Such a magical trip that our family loves experiencing each year.

st louis polar express train ride

Discover The Polar Express Train Ride

The media preview night is always the kick off to the holiday season for my family. From that point on we all feel extremely festive. There’s just so much to do and discover on the way to the North Pole.

The Polar Express is a multigenerational event.

st louis union station polar express premium dome train car

My parents were in town visiting and went with us this year. They loved it. My mom kept saying that she felt like a kid again. It truly is a holiday activity for the whole family. Very multigenerational

There are lots of train car options to choose from.

premium dome car observation train in downtown st louis

This year we were assigned to Santa’s Sleigh (in one of the observation cars) and it was amazing. I highly recommend this experience. Santa’s Sleigh is a premium dome car and ranges in price from $55-95 depending departure time, day of departure, and package type. Inside the observation car there are booths to seat 4 people, a couch that will hold 4 people and 8 swivel captain’s chairs. All are under a ceiling of observation windows. Truly a deluxe tickets experience!

Ticket prices vary depending on which magical train ride that you’d like to take part in. All train passengers will meet Santa, drink delicious hot chocolate, receive a special gift of a keepsake sleigh bell, listen to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, sing Christmas carols, dance in the aisles with Santa’s helpers and have a magical experience with the classic children’s book. The Polar Express experience is just so much fun!

These are all the types of train tickets and rail cars:

Coach class seating – These seats are forward facing in sets of two with one seat at the window and one seat at the aisle. Pricing: $35-$60

First class seating – You’ll find small tables with four seats around and must be purchased in groups of four. Pricing: $55-$85

First class dining car – This car is seating that’s at a table top and sold in groups of four. Pricing: $55-$85

Premium dome car lounge – This area is the lower level of the premium dome car. It’s a spacious lounge area with chairs. Pricing: $55-$95

baby with davids gluten free cookie on polar express

Santa Baby

Wear those matching pajamas… and masks! 

target hearth and hand magnolia matching pajamas

Face masks are required while indoors and on the trains. (I’m sure that won’t be the case for next year. We are so close to normalcy!) Pajamas are optional, but why not get in on the fun of the Polar Express by wearing the sleepwear? I love getting pictures of my kids in matching pajamas each year. The teenager even agreed to wear the pajama bottoms so I call that a big win! I found these matching Christmas pajamas online at Target. They are part of the family pajamas collection from Hearth & Hand with Magnolia and I think they are absolute perfection. See the complete collection HERE.

Plenty of photo opportunities before the train ride.

polar express train ride

giant christmas rocking horse

polar express train

You’ll even feel like you are walking around Santa’s workshop while you wait to board. It’s magic and wonder that only adds to the overall experience of the Polar Express train ride!

Each person gets a delicious cookie and hot cocoa to enjoy on the train.

polar express hot chocolate mug with round trip ticket davids cookie

Every passenger will get a cup of hot chocolate and a David’s chocolate chip cookie (gluten free, dairy free, and nut free), but the ceramic mug (seriously the best mugs ever) is only included with a first class dining car, premium dome car, or premium dome class car lounge ticket.

Each passenger will also get their very own silver sleigh bell from THE man in red and interact with the related characters from the cherished Polar Express book.

polar express train ride santa

The kids loved spending time with Santa Claus and the silver bell still rings for our family.

And you’ll discover that you truly believe in the magic of it all.

After we were back in the station, we took a ride on the St. Louis Wheel and then ate dinner at the St. Louis Soda Fountain. And of course we also saw all the pretty holiday decorations. I always love how decorated Union Station is for the holidays. It’s Christmas magic at every turn. I could seriously just sit in one of the Adirondack chairs next to the lake and stare at the beautiful lights for hours.

I’d say that it was a pretty amazing night at Union Station.

st louis union station christmas tree

Make the Polar Express train ride at Union Station in St. Louis part of your own family’s holiday tradition.

skyline wears onesie christmas pajamas at polar express

Get your train tickets and experience the magic of Christmas with the Polar Express train ride at Union Station St. Louis HERE.

Such a great time and we cannot wait to experience the Polar Express train ride again in 2022! Speaking of… I’m sure that I’ll be giving away tickets for that excursion so stay tuned for next year!

Get all the details for the St. Louis Polar Express 2023 Train Ride at Union Station HERE.

Check out the other St. Louis family activity ideas on the Seeing Dandy blog HERE.

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blog owner at Seeing Dandy Blog
A mom blogger for over 15 years, Tara Smith lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her audiologist husband and four kids. Her blog has been featured on local media television shows like News 4 Great Day and Show Me St. Louis, as well as in the Farmhouse Style Magazine for Country Sampler. She loves to travel, explore the Midwest, make crafts and read.

This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

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