St. Louis -- Even in the time of Coronavirus, an important St. Louis holiday tradition will continue to bring joy to famlies. The Polar Express will return to St. Louis Union Station for the 2020 season with some changes to allow for appropriate social distancing and safety.
The popular family event has been recreated as "BELIEVE! The Polar Express Experience" for 2020. The beautifully decorated Polar Express trains will remain stationary under the Union Station train shed this year for a walk-through event. Guests will interact with the Polar Express characters and Santa Claus in whimsically decorated tents and on the Station's plaza.
BELIEVE! The Polar Express Experience is the magical story of a boy's search for the real meaning of Christmas, based on the beloved children's book.
The event begins November 20 and continues through December 30, 2020.
After beginning their journey, guests will feel the approach of a mysterious train and see the Conductor inviting them to board THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Set to the motion picture soundtrack, non-moving train tours will transport passengers into the magic of the beloved holiday classic.
During the experience, hot chocolate and cookies will be served by dancing and singing chefs and guests will read along with the children's book,The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his elves will visit with children and give them the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell.
Characters and helpers will wear masks and masks will be required for all guests over the age of nine per St. Louis City Health Department guidelines.
Timed tickets will be available from 1 to 9 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, the event will be open from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m. Timed tickets will allow for appropriate attendance sizes and social distancing during the event. Ticket prices range from $27 to $45.
More information about dates, fares and event times is available by calling 314-942-6942, or by visiting www.STLPolarExpressRide.com. Families are encouraged to wear their holiday pajamas for the experience.
THE ST. LOUIS WHEEL & MORE
Admission to BELIEVE! The Polar Express Experience can be combined with tickets to ride the St. Louis Wheel or to explore the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. The 200-foot-tall observation wheel will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. for views of the glittering downtown holiday lights. Additional activities on site include the St. Louis Aquarium, open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and during holiday breaks. The St. Louis Carousel, an 18-hole mini-golf course at the Wheel plaza and the St. Louis Ropes Course and A-Maze-Ing Discoveries Mirror Maze inside Union Station also are open during the event.
St. Louis Union Station will continue its popular holiday fire and light show set to Christmas music on the train shed lake during the Polar Express season. The Polar Express movie will be shown in the Wheel plaza every night during the season.
Polar passengers can get a head start on their holiday shopping at The Winter Market, which offers a holiday shopping experience open during Polar Express hours inside the event space. Carnival games, strolling entertainers and holiday lights add to the festive atmosphere.
ROOM PACKAGES AT THE ST. LOUIS UNION STATION HOTEL
Guests can save 20 percent on their Polar Express Experience tickets when they purchase a hotel package at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel package includes tickets to BELIEVE! The Polar Express Experience and deluxe accommodations or an exclusive holiday-decorated suite with turn-down service for the complete seasonal experience. Book a hotel stay here: https://www.stlthepolarexpressride.com/hotel-packages
NEW THIS YEAR: PANCAKES WITH SANTA
Select Saturdays and Sundays in December, families can enjoy a special Pancakes with Santa breakfast in Union Station's Grand Hall. Pancakes topped with strawberries and fun whipped cream Santa faces are served with bacon and milk for the kids or coffee for the grownups. Seatings are available at 9, 9:45, 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on December 5 & 6, 12 & 13, and 19 & 20, 2020. Santa will visit with every child during the event. Tables will be placed at appropriate social distances and only one group will be seated at a table. Masks are required per City of St. Louis Health Department requirements. Tickets are available at: