|The historic Blackstone Valley train|
depot was renamed for the Polar Express
|At the train depot there were multiple Polar Express photo backgrounds and a place to write a letter to Santa|
The Polar Express operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the five weekends leading to Christmas. We brought our two families on a Saturday afternoon for the 1:00pm train. There were seven of us--four adults and three children ages 2.9, 4.5 and 5 years old. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas on the trip and ours did so. We rode in the Comet car, which, after the Rudolph car, is the most affordable of the six train car/ticket options. This article will speak to our particular experience on the Comet car and it should be noted that each train car will have some variation and offer its own unique experience.
|The depot was decorated inside and offered a small concession stand. The train platform greeted us with (fake) snow!|
|Elves turned the pages while our|
storyteller read fromThe Polar Express.
|Storyteller Jen was great at keeping|
the kids engaged the whole ride through
|L to R: The golden train ticket, the special gift from Santa, the kids stretched their legs by dancing in the aisles.|
The train cars are beautifully decorated with lace curtains, festive red and green seat covers, giant wrapped presents in the luggage racks above the seats, and garlands for atmosphere. All cars are heated and there are bathrooms on every other car (on Dancer, Comet and Cupid). The seats in the Comet car are very comfortable making it an enjoyable ride.
|Getting our golden tickets punched|
|The arrival of Santa Claus!|
|Santa happily paused for a photo|
After the ride, Santa waits in his sleigh
inside the depot for family photos
- The Blackstone Valley Polar Express website has a ticket purchase section which offers different tiered pricing for the various train cars. From highest price to most affordable, you can choose from the premium cars Prancer, Dancer, and Dasher, and the coach cars include Comet, Cupid, and Rudolph which are all the same price. See pics of the (undecorated) cars.
|The train cars were decorated with red|
and green seat covers, garlands, and more
- Price tiers for each car will reflect a slightly different experience. The Prancer Car is the dining car so you’ll find tables with place settings and it’s a perk that your family can be seated facing each other.
- For 2016, the Premium Cars will also include free gifts such as Polar Express teddy bears (Dasher), Polar Express Santa hats (Dancer), or the Polar Express ceramic mug (Prancer) included with your ticket purchase and have individual armchair seats and large observation windows. The premium cars also have fewer seats per car (and are always the first to sell out) so in addition to being roomier, they offer a more personal, more intimate experience with your family and the performers.
|The kids played Polar Express Bingo |
to pass the time on the train.
- The Coach Cars are all very comfortable and festively decorated as well but they include conventional forward facing bench seating and will include more passengers.
- Although every car will include the Santa visit, Polar Express Bingo, collectible coloring books, sing-alongs, storytelling, cocoa, cookies, collectible travel mug, and gift from Santa, the various performers will offer their own twist on their show. For example, the Dasher performer brings a guitar and leads a more musical show so your families’ experience may vary slightly.
- In 2016 they are offering 3 ticket price tiers--Adult, Children's tickets (13mos-12y), and an Adult with Baby lap-sit option (infants up to 12 mos).
Adult tickets range $44-68 (Nov) and $52-82 (Dec).
Children (13mos-12y) tickets range $42-67 (Nov) and $49-79 (Dec).
Adult with Baby lap-sit tickets range $54-78 (Nov) and $62-92 (Dec).
Prices on the train cars increase in price the closer get closer to Christmas.
Knowing the ticket prices and how kid-focused the event is, we think kids who are at least 2-3 years of age are best suited to the experience. 2016 upgrade info.
- The Blackstone Valley Polar Express Train Ride operates on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the five weekends leading to Christmas. Trains depart at 4:00pm and 7:00pm on Fridays, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, and 7:00pm on Saturdays, and 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 4:00pm on Sundays.
- Pictures can be taken at the train depot with Santa, Conductor, Chefs and Train Engineers and in front of the lovely Polar Express backdrops--all are all included with your ticket price! You should plan to use your own camera to take pictures as there is not a formal photographer (and therefore no extra photo purchase fees). Santa pics are only post-ride (to keep the anticipation for his arrival on the train ride) but the others are available before you board the train. Though the post-ride line to have photos with Santa was very long, it moved quickly and we made it through in 10 minutes.
|We appreciated the time Santa took |
with each of the children on the train.
- We traveled to the Blackstone Valley Polar Express Train Ride from the Framingham, MA area and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the station. The depot was easy to locate. It took about seven minutes to park but only two minutes in line to have our tickets scanned to get into the station. Parking is free.
- Pajamas are encouraged and welcome for this event—yes, for both kids and adults!
- The gift shop is located inside the depot and accepts cash and credit cards.
- Anyone needing to use the restroom before boarding the train would need to exit the station to visit Guest Services around the side of the building.
- The train is wheelchair accessible containing a lift for non-motorized wheelchairs.
- Tickets sell very fast for this beloved annual event and the tickets sell out every year. Believe it or not, certain tickets are already on sale for 2016 on select dates and select cars.
- New changes coming for 2016: Certain premium cars will include extra goodies such as a Polar Express Teddy Bear (Dasher car), a Polar Express Santa hat (Dancer car), and the exclusive Polar Express ceramic mug (Prancer car).