Best Places to Ride the Polar Express in Colorado

The Polar Express is a classic holiday story about believing in the magic of Christmas. Our family watches the movie almost every holiday season. Two winter’s ago we made the trek down to Durango to ride the Durango Silverton Polar Express and experience the magic in person. Riding the Polar Express anywhere in snowy Colorado is a special experience.

While we rode the Durango Silverton Railroad, there are a couple of other railroads in Colorado that offer a similar experience. No matter which line you chose, riding the Polar Express in Colorado should certainly be a magical experience for the entire family.

It is always best to book tickets early if you want a spot for one of Colorado’s Polar Express rides.

Colorado has a couple of magical Polar Express oprions for your family.

Your Family Can Experience the Magic of the Polar Express in Colorado

Getting to the North Pole from Colorado may be easier than you expect. At least if you and your family can get lost in your imaginations and are able to book one of the trains specializing in helping you live out the story of the Polar Express.

Insider Tip: Book early as seats do sell out early for these magical train rides.

As you prepare to board your Polar Express train, characters and scenes unfold before your eyes. You will catch some of the story as you board. Then upon arrival at the “North Pole,” you will want to watch for Santa, his elves and the Christmas spirit all around. You  may even get to delight in the inspiring story as it takes place right outside your window.

Upon the return from the North Pole, Santa may board your train car to present each passenger with a small gift. Perhaps your train ride will even include steaming hot cocoa and Christmas carols.

Generally the experience of all of the Polar Express train tides is very similar. The differences will reside in the decor, the views, the quality of the trains and the actors. But ultimately your decision of which to choose may be based on which is closest to your home or a place you want to visit.

Aboard the Polar Express at the Durango Silverton Railroad.
The magic of the Polar Express as seen through the eyes of children.

Durango Sliverton Railroad Polar Express

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is back to its full glory and it will begin mid-November and run through early January 2023. Tickets are on sale now, as of October 2022.

This magical round trip journey to the North Pole aboard the historic Durango and Silverton Railroad on The Polar Express was fun for our entire family. We wore our PJs, listened to the story, drank hot chocolate, sang Christmas Carols, and visited with Santa! The actors were excellent and the Christmas cheer abounded.

The Durango Silverton Polar Express runs a fairly large number of Polar Express trains. Thus it will have a fair amount of availability. But you will still want to book quickly for your choice of time and date slot. It will sell out. The earlier time slots seem to go the quickest.

Santa greeting passengers on the Durango Silverton Polar Express.

Colorado Railroad Museum Polar Express

Tickets for The Polar Express Train Ride at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado go on sale to the General Public on October 4, 2022. Museum Members have the week prior (starting September 27) to purchase tickets in advance exclusively.

Our family has not had the opportunity to experience the Colorado Railroad’s magical Polar Express journey. Every year it sells out immediately. The Colorado Railroad Museum runs their Polar Express a few less days that the Durango Silverton Railroad. That combined with the location next to the major metropolis of Denver makes it very difficult to book.

Other Colorado Holiday Train Experiences

The Durango Silverton Railroad also run a Christmas Tree Train where passengers get to take the train through a winter wonderland to choose and cut down their own Christmas tree.

Royal Gorge Route Railroad in Cañon City

While we haven’t ridden the Royal Gorge Santa Express train, riding the train any time of the year is a really cool way to see this area of the state. This train takes you through the Royal Gorge with 1000+ foot cliffs on either side, rafters running the river right beside the train and the sight of the Royal Gorge Bridge 1000 feet above.

During the holiday season the Royal Gorge Route Railroad in Cañon City runs a Santa Express train to the North Pole. At the North Pole, Santa and his special Elves board the train to pass out a special holiday bell to each ticketed child as he makes his way through the train.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad runs a Santa Train out of Antonito, Colorado.

Georgetown Loop Railroad

The Georgetown Loop Railroad runs a Santa’s North Pole Adventure and a Santa’s Lighted Forrest out of Georgetown, Colorado.

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a magical winter train ride? Perhaps it will snow and lights will twinkle out the train windows as you enjoy holiday songs and hot cocoa. There certainly is a magic in sharing this experience with children who believe!

Header Image courtesy Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum.

Riding the Polar Express in Colorado is a magical experience for the entire family. Here's where to find the Polar Express, Santa Trains and what to know about the experiences. #Colorado #PolarExpress

Riding the Polar Express in Colorado is a magical experience for the entire family. Here's where to find the Polar Express, Santa Trains and what to know about the experiences. #Colorado #PolarExpress

Riding the Polar Express in Colorado is a magical experience for the entire family. Here's where to find the Polar Express, Santa Trains and what to know about the experiences. #Colorado #PolarExpress
Best Places to Ride the Polar Express in Colorado

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