All aboard for THE POLAR EXPRESS at St. Louis’ Union Station!
For the first time ever, pajama-clad families can board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ at St. Louis’ famed Union Station for a train ride to remember. Onboard a real train, as they are whisked off to “the North Pole,” they will relive the magic of the classic children’s book, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ by Chris Van Allsburg. In the story a young boy takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole and receives a special gift from Santa.
Officials announced this morning that beginning Nov. 22 THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will depart from Union Station at 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 28.
The train ride — like no other train ride anyone has taken — is set to the soundtrack of the 2004 movie, THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Passengers are whisked away on a 40-minute round trip ride to “the North Pole” while hot chocolate and treats are served and passengers read along with the book. Once the train reaches “the North Pole,” Santa and his helpers greet passengers, board the train and give each child the first gift of Christmas — a silver sleigh bell. On the way back to Union Station, chefs will lead passengers in singing Christmas carols.
Tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ experience in St. Louis begin at $38 and vary depending on the date and class of service. They can be purchased online or by calling 314-942-6942.
Hotel packages including accommodations at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Doubletree by Hilton, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets and souvenirs can be booked online or by calling 314-621-5262.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ is just the latest in a flurry of extraordinary Christmas events for St. Louis residents and visitors alike this holiday season.
“The highly anticipated Ameren Missouri Festival of Lights celebration will once again help ring in the holiday season with entertainment, food, holiday lights and fireworks,” St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission President Kitty Ratcliffe said. “It will be held right here in Union Station on Saturday, Nov. 22 beginning at 4:30 p.m.”
Another returning favorite, also sponsored by Christmas in St. Louis, is the Ameren Missouri Thanksgiving Day Parade with 130 parade units set to kick off through the streets of downtown St. Louis on Nov. 27.
Other major St. Louis holiday events for 2014 include:
- Way of Lights, a unique display of more than one million lights and displays at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Nov. 21-Jan. 2.
- A Motown Christmas at the Sheldon, a soulful interpretation of holiday favorites by Brian Owens at the Sheldon Concert Hall & Art Galleries in Grand Center, Dec. 4.
- Garden Glow, a spectacular lights display at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Nov. 22-Jan. 2 Wednesdays through Sundays.
- Winter Wonderland, a twinkling display of holiday lights and scenes in Tilles Park, Nov. 26-Jan. 1.
- St. Louis Zoo’s Wild Lights, a dazzling display of lights among the animals at the Saint Louis Zoo. Nov. 18-30, Dec. 5-7, Dec. 12-14, Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 26-30.
- St. Louis Symphony Live at Powell Hall Concert: A Winter Fable, an event featuring Circus Flora and the Symphony in high-wire holiday fun for the entire family, Dec. 12-13.
- Christmas at the Cathedral featuring the Archdiocesan Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Handbell Choir and Orchestra performing old and new Christmas classics, Dec. 13.
Shopping in St. Louis has never taken a back seat to anywhere else in the country, and the tradition continues. Bargain hunters will love St. Louis Premium Outlets® and Taubman Prestige Outlets for their holiday shopping.
And you can count on the quaint shops of Webster Groves, Kirkwood and old town St. Charles as well as the gift shops at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center and the Saint Louis Zoo for one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list.
The St. Louis holiday season concludes with First Night in Grand Center Dec. 31. This annual event featuring musicians, storytellers, dancers, magicians, actors and puppeteers and concluding with a spectacular fireworks display at midnight will be extra special this year as it closes the almost year-long celebration of St. Louis’ 250th birthday.
Guest Blogger Kathie Sutin a freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri contributed to this blog.