Things to Do

A Real ‘Polar Express’ Experience on the North Pole Flyer

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‘Tis the season for hot cocoa, the big man in red and dreams of a real “Polar Express”-type of experience. If you’re lucky enough to live within traveling distance of Austin, you can experience the North Pole Flyer Holiday train event that is hosted by the Austin Steam Train Association. This railroad adventure is sure to delight everyone – to kids from one to ninety-two.

A 2-Hour Long Holiday Delight

North Pole Flyer

Photo: Facebook/austinsteamtrain

The North Pole Flyer is a special two-hour excursion on a real train that features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, all-you-can-drink hot cocoa and a locally baked holiday cookie. Each car is decorated for the season where passengers enjoy a live reading of the North Pole Flyer book. Santa Claus will spend time in each car to “check your list twice,” and pose for photographs before handing out a gift to each child to remember this special ride!

Plan Ahead for 2018

North Pole Flyer

Photo: Facebook/austinsteamtrain

All cars on this ride are pulled by a diesel locomotive. Parties may be seated at shared tables, or in shared seating sections with other passengers. Private compartments are available for purchase, but riders in compartments will need to step out into the general lounge area to enjoy many activities. This two hour, round trip ride has no layover.

On each date, the train departs at 8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 7 p.m., and you are encouraged to arrive 30-45 minutes prior to your departure time to get parked, boarded, and seated.

The website for the Austin Steam Train warns that this popular holiday tradition goes on sale in January each year, and is mostly sold out by November. A check of their website confirmed the sold-out status of this event for 2017. So, while you might have missed the train (so to speak) for this year’s North Pole Flyer, make plans to get your tickets for next year as soon as you can. Tickets go on sale in December for the 2018 event here. You can also learn about the other events that the Austin Steam Train Association hosts by visiting their website.

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