Nov 28, 29 & 30, Dec 4-7, Dec 11-14, and Dec 18-21
Every Christmas season since 1995, Conway Scenic Railroad has hosted Polar Express, inspired by the book that has become a Christmas classic. Long before railroads across the country began offering their own versions of the story, our event was sanctioned by author Chris Van Allsburg himself, along with his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, and it’s one of the oldest and most elaborate productions in the country.
Departing from our 1874 station in the center of North Conway Village, the Polar Express travels over historic tracks to the “North Pole” while Chefs in their dress whites serve hot chocolate and chocolate-covered nuggets along the way. Upon arrival, families are greeted by the sight of Santa’s brightly-lit headquarters atop a small hill and led there by lively elves who guide them along an illuminated path. Here, the audience is entertained with Christmas songs before the book is read on stage, followed by an appearance by Santa himself. On the return train trip, the train’s narrator leads a Christmas sing-along while little silver bells are given to all on board. This is truly a magical experience.
This event now is organized and sponsored by the Believe in Books Literacy Foundation, a local non-profit organization which sells tickets as a fundraiser for its literacy programs. Most of the tickets are available only through a lottery system, with drawings on October 23rd (Oct 1st is the deadline for entering), or through lodging packages. Please visit the lodging section of their website to view package options.
One of our favorite quotes from the book:
Santa: Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.