Quick Details


THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the National Railroad Museum features a live rendition of the Hot Chocolate Dance followed by a dramatic reading of the original Polar Express™ book. Patrons then board the train for the ride to the North Pole. Once we reach the top of the world, Santa personally greets each and every child.

2019 Dates:

  • November 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
  • December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

2019 Show Times:

  • Show times are at 4:00, 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. See THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride FAQ for details.
  • 2019 POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets go on sale Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Chevron down FAQs
  • What is the Polar Express Train Ride at the National Railroad Museum?
    Following the original book and movie, you will be immersed in the Polar Express story. When you arrive at the Museum, you enter our Lenfestey Center. Before the show, you are welcome to stroll among the decorated trees in the Festival of Trees, explore the full-size trains or play Reindeer Games.

    The show begins with the Hot Chocolate Dance, after which we all sip a cup of hot chocolate. Next we listen to a dramatic reading of the original Polar Express book.

    Our conductor then calls “All Aboard”, inviting us to ride the Polar Express to the North Pole. On board the train, our adventure continues as you interact with the characters from the story. This is not a train ride where you will see holiday decorations every inch of the way.

    We will travel through cold, dark forests, encounter a hobo, view the Northern Lights and see polar bears in the Arctic Circle. Santa will visit with some of the passengers on board the train. Once we arrive at the North Pole, those that did not visit with Santa on the train will have time to see him before he heads around the world on Christmas Eve.

    How long is the program?
    Total: approximately 90 min. Pre-show: 30 min. Program/Train Ride/Visiting with Santa: 60 min.

     Is this a Museum fund raising event?
    Yes! You are not only sharing in a great holiday tradition and family experience, but your ticket fee helps support the educational programs and operations of the National Railroad Museum. Thank you very much for your support.

    Who presents THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
    THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at the National Railroad Museum® is operated by the Museum’s staff along with more than 80 volunteers and actors performing during each of the 38 shows that are spread over 13 nights. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their continued support and passion in providing such a quality show.

    Ticket Prices by Train Car:

    • Northern Lights: $19.75 all seats, all ages – 154 seats per show (Double-deck Coach)
    • Glacier Gulch: $25.00 all seats, all ages – 66 seats per show (Single-level Coach)
    • Arctic Circle – Table: $37 all seats, all ages – 36 seats per show (1920s Dining Car) –
      Tickets in this class must be purchased in blocks of four.
    • Spirit of the Season – Table: $37 all seats, all ages – 24 seats per show (1939 Dinette/Observation Car) –
      Tickets in this class must be purchased in blocks of four.
    • Spirit of the Season – Lounge: $45 all seats, all ages – 20 seats per show

     Who needs a ticket to participate in the Polar Express?
    Everyone, regardless of age, needs a ticket to attend a Polar Express show. Even if a child lap sits during the program they are required to have a ticket.

     Where is the event held?
    At the National Railroad Museum, 2285 S. Broadway, Green Bay, WI 54304.

    What are appropriate ages for the Polar Express?
    Although everyone is welcome to participate in the Polar Express, it may be more meaningful for children if they understand who Santa Claus is.

    When do tickets go on sale?
    Tickets for the 2019 Polar Express will be available at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, 25 July 2019.

    How soon should I purchase my tickets?
    Tickets go on sale July 25, 2019 at 10 a.m. For the past three years, 96 percent of all Polar Express tickets sold out in 90 minutes. Plan to purchase your tickets as soon as possible.

     Once tickets are sold out they are gone. There is no waiting list as there are no returns, refunds or exchanges.

    Will you be adding additional shows this year?
    YES! We are excited to announce that we’ve added five additional shows for 2019, adding an additional 1,500 seats.

    How do I purchase tickets online?
    Please visit – Please note, there will be a ticket service fee, which varies based on ticket price and number of tickets purchased.

    Is there a phone number I can call to purchase tickets?
    To purchase tickets over the phone, please call 1-800-895-0071.  Please note, there will be a ticket service fee, which varies based on ticket price and number of tickets purchased.

     Can I purchase tickets at the Museum?
    NO! All ticket purchases must be completed through Ticket Star at
    or 1-800-895-0071 or at the Resch Center box office in Green Bay, WI.

     Can you guarantee that I will get the show date and time I want?
    The key to getting tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is to be flexible. The premium cars sell out fast, so do certain dates, and times. Make sure you have multiple options before going online to buy your tickets. There is no guarantee you will get your first choice of date and time.

    On the day of my Polar Express show what time should I arrive at the Museum?
    We strongly recommend that you arrive 30 minutes before your show. Doors open 30 minutes before each show. This will be your opportunity to see the Museum, enjoy the Festival of Trees, participate in the children’s activities, take photos and shop the Museum Store. Please do not arrive any earlier than this.

     With my Polar Express ticket can I tour the Museum during regular hours on the day of my show?
    No, sorry. Your Polar Express ticket is good for your specific show only. It will not be honored for Museum admission during regular hours on the day of your show. As part of the Polar Express program you will experience most of the Museum’s indoor exhibits. Be sure to arrive 30 min. before your show time. This will be your opportunity to see the Museum, enjoy the Festival of Trees, participate in the children’s activities, take photos and shop the Museum Store.

    Are there any ticket refunds or exchanges?
    All ticket purchases are final. There are absolutely no refunds or exchanges.

     How do I know if the tickets I purchased legitimate?
    The only tickets that the Museum will accept for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are those purchased through Ticket Star. Only the Ticket Star printed ticket will be accepted for admission. We will not honor any electronic tickets! While we’ve worked to reduce the possibility for fraudulent ticket sales, should you choose to purchase your tickets through a third party, you do so at your own risk.

     Can I take photos with my camera during the show?
    Please take all the photos with your camera that you would like. We ask that the photos be for your own personal use. Photos taken during the Polar Express or on the Museum grounds may not be used for commercial purposes unless prior permission has been granted by the Museum.

    Should I wear my pajamas to ride the Polar Express?
    Of course! Children and Adults should wear their pajamas when they ride the Polar Express!

    Will we ride a real train?
    Yes, you will be riding aboard real, full-size train cars. The train only travels around the Museum’s grounds.

    Is the Polar Express handicap accessible?
    Yes, Museum buildings are handicap accessible as well as the Glacier Gulch that will be used for the Polar Express. We do have a wheelchair lift available to assist passengers with train boarding. Please inform our staff of any special needs you may have when you arrive at the Museum to enjoy the show. Northern Lights, Arctic Circle and Spirit of the Season are not handicap accessible.

     Please note — historic trains that are on exhibit within the Museum’s facilities may not be accessible due to the irreversible modifications that would be required to make them open for all. In such cases, additional interpretive materials have been provided at floor level so that everyone may experience the piece, albeit from a different perspective.

     Will dinner be provided at THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
    There is no dinner being served at THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

    What if my child has food allergies?
    The cookies do not contain nuts but may come from a bakery or facility that processes nuts. The hot chocolate does contain dairy products. Anyone with a food allergy or special dietary needs is welcome to bring an alternate treat or drink item to enjoy. Please contact us if you need an ingredient list.

    Do you have a sensory-friendly version of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
    No, sorry. To bring the book and the movie to life in a live-action performance, there will be loud sounds, lighting, music and dancing. Please keep in mind to bring noise reducing headphones if you have a child or adult who needs to reduce the sensory experience.

    Where do I park?
    There is parking available on the Museum grounds. Parking attendants are available to assist you.

    Can I bring the family dog or pet?
    NO pets allowed at the Museum, with the exception of service animals, following ADA regulations. For details on our pet policy, please visit our website.

     Is there lodging available in the area?
    Yes, there are many hotels in the area around the National Railroad Museum. For a complete listing, please consult the Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau website — From the home page click VISITOR INFORMATION > HOTELS & MOTELS. Next narrow your search to the STADIUM AREA. These hotels will all be within two miles of the Museum.

     Can you give me directions to the Museum?
    From the North:

    Follow 1-41 S. to Exit 165. Take the ramp right for WI-172 East. Take ramp towards Ashland/Oneida St.

    Turn left on Vanderperren Way/CR-HH. Turn left onto I-32 N/Ashland Ave. Turn right onto Cormier Rd.

    Turn left onto S. Broadway and the Museum is immediately on the right.

    From the South:

    Take I-41 N to S. Ashland Ave. in De Pere. Take exit 163B and follow Ashland Ave for 2.75 mi to Cormier Rd.

    Turn right on Cormier Rd., go .25 miles, turn left on S. Broadway and the Museum is immediately on your right.

    From the East:

    Follow 1-43 N to 172 W. Take the exit toward WI-32/Oneida St./Ashland Ave. from W-172 in Ashwaubenon.

    Turn right on Pilgrim Way, turn left on S. Broadway to the Museum.

    To Use GPS: Enter 2285 S. Broadway, Green Bay WI 54304

    I lost my tickets. What should I do?
    Don’t panic! We can help. Should you misplace your printed tickets, please come to the Museum for your show. When you arrive visit the ticket desk in the Lenfestey Center lobby. We will ask you to present a photo ID; and will then verify your tickets.