1. Pack Snacks. If you live a ways from the train station, depending when your train departs, you may want to pack a road trip supper or snacks with you for before or after your train ride. Food is available at the train station but we packed our own to save $ and avoid lines.
2. Wear P.J.s! Yes, even the adults. Many families even show up in matching P.J.s! It adds to the magic of it all and I must say, wearing P.J.s on the train ride was extremely comfortable! Just bring your winter gear to wear over top as you are waiting outside to board the train.
3. Buy tickets early! I mean as SOON as they go on sale! Tickets must be purchased in pairs. we went in the lowest priced car and were more than happy, comfortable and could see everything we needed to. There are a few ways to get early access to tickets. Just visit the website for more info. We tried to get into the same car as another large group and even with early access we weren't able to. Tickets sell very fast.
4. Timing. since it gets dark earlier in winter, we scheduled our tickets for 4:30pm. This made for a sunset train ride, arriving at the North Pole in the dark. Perfect! The added bonus was seeing all the beautiful Christmas lights of the farms we drove past on the way home.
5. Souvenirs. Licensed Polar Express items are available at the train station. They offer beautiful keepsakes, books and more. You may want to plan ahead to budget for a few items as they will be hard to resist, especially if it is your first or only time going.
I highly recommend this as a family Christmas outing. I feel it may become a new tradition for our own growing family!