A family holiday adventure that brings the magical story to life!

DECEMBER 12 & 13, 2020Polar Express Book Cover     

We are hopeful that VCTF will be able to bring our signature Polar Express event to you this December 12th and 13th in the same magical form we have over the last 18 years. 

We are aware however, that we may have to adjust.  We are working to provide a Polar Express virtual event package if we are unable to physically gather. We plan to include a reading of the Polar Express with visuals from the story, a personal message to your children from Santa and of course, a golden ticket and bell for all those who are able to hear the bell ring!

This year, when you DONATE $100 BEFORE JUNE 30 you may purchase tickets for VCTF's Polar Express in 2020 and 2021. Click here for ticket purchasing information.

Currently our schedule is eight trains daily: Noon, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7pm (Boarding times 15 minutes prior to train time.)

Tickets are $30 each.  Children under 24 months before the event ride free.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride runs through rain, hail, sleet and snow!

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride adventure begins in the Wing Building lobby at the corner of King and Steele Streets, (just South of Union Station), in Burlington, Vermont. Engineers welcome families into the south entrance of the Wing Building where they’ll await their train. Passengers are encouraged to wear pajamas. Each child is asked to donate a new or gently used children’s book to Santa’s sack. The Fletcher Free Library will be distributing the picture books in time for the holidays through the Library's Books for Children Gift Campaign. 

Conductors greet passengers as they board the train from the Wing Building in Burlington for their ride to the 'North Pole' (Union Station). The ride is about 20 minutes. During the ride, hot cocoa and cookies are served by chefs, while conductors lead a Christmas carol sing along.

Upon reaching the 'North Pole', children leave the train, passing through a sea of elves, as they enter Union Station. The Polar Express story is read aloud, as artwork from the book follows the page turns on a big screen. Once the story is finished, the reader shakes his sleigh bell and we, too, hear “the most beautiful sound we have ever heard.”

The chime grows and grows until we realize it is coming from behind the crowd. Santa appears and invites children to join him on the upper level of Union Station. Santa gives each child a bell from his sleigh as passengers exit the building. Everyone should walk down Battery Street to return to their cars to avoid running into children who are passengers on the next train.

The entire trip takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes including the boarding time of 15 minutes. This is a handicap accessible event. Please email Special Services by December 1st to let us know upon which train you are riding. Here are the details on handicap parking. Children with food allergies should bring their own cocoa and cookies.

All proceeds from this event benefit VCTF.

Free parking at Perkins Pier!  See our map of the event.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride photos courtesy of Stephen Mease Photography.

THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.