It's that time of year again! This is when the B&M Catering staff don our holiday whites and our puffy chefs' hats. We make gallons of hot chocolate and head on over to the Blackstone Valley Polar Express for some holiday FUN!
One thing we know for sure - every single year, the Blackstone Valley Polar Express train ride is well-received by everyone.
How does it work? As you enter the Polar Express train station and wait for your boarding time, you will find lots of photo opportunities with chefs, the elves and the conductor. Once you board the train you'll receive your golden tickets.
You can expect the train ride to last 90 minutes. It takes 45 minutes to get to the North Pole to pick up Santa and then 45 minutes back to the station. The experience is seamless. Nobody gets bored as there is plenty of entertainment.
Of course, there is a reading of Chris Van Allsburg's Polar Express story. The chef will show everyone the pictures in the large-style book that he/she carries around.
Then - and this is where we come in - everyone enjoys some hot chocolate and cookies, since that's what they do in the book too.
Of course, everyone enjoys singing Christmas songs together.
Santa will make the rounds, spending time with each group of children and offering every child their very own bell within a beautiful box.
After Santa’s visit, there is more singing, coloring, and games of bingo.
When the ride was done, families and groups will find lanterns along the path to find Santa back at the station for more photos.
In case you’re thinking of taking your children this year, here are some tips and thoughts shared by RhodeyGirl Tests:
1. Buy your tickets way, way in advance.
2. Pay attention to the seating options.
There are different options for train cars with different seating and price points, so pay attention to that when buying your tickets. Our seats were in Comet which was perfect for our group of young children and parents.
Also note that we received different things based on which car we were in. For example, in the Comet car we received a basic plastic bag to hold all of our hot chocolate travel mugs, bells, coloring books etc. In the car next to us, where the tickets were more expensive, they received adorable reusable bags.
In general I would say the tickets were a huge value. Not only did we have 2 hours of fun, but the kids met Santa, got cute reusable Polar Express travel mugs, a high quality bell, a yummy cookie, a coloring book with crayons, and a candy cane.
3. Wear holiday pajamas as a family.
It was so adorable to see the different families dressed up in matching pajamas and robes. We had all the kids in the same jammies, but it would have been even more fun if we were in pajamas too.
4. Don’t bring your coat.
The train cars are heated, and they decorate the storage above the seats. Once we made it into the station we sent one person from our group to put all of our coats in the car. The station was packed and it would have been too much to hold coats and bags and not lose any kids.
5. Go early.
We got there about 15 minutes before boarding and it was perfect. The Blackstone Valley Polar Express train ride website actually recommends an hour before, but I don’t think we would have needed that much time.
6. Kids with allergies are safe here.
The hot chocolate at the Blackstone Valley Polar Express train is made without dairy, and the cookies have a clear label with the ingredients. I love that they take care to make it as safe as possible for ones with allergies.
Everything was clearly well thought-out, from selling popcorn and drinks in the station before boarding, to having portable heaters set up outside the station for when you’re in line. If you’re thinking about going to the Blackstone Valley Polar Express train ride but are unsure – GO FOR IT. You will not regret it!
Tickets are available online or by calling 401-495-1213.
The Blackstone Valley Polar Express is the largest fundraiser for Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, an international award-winning 501(c)3 non-profit that inspires and implements sustainable tourism in Northern Rhode Island. Proceeds from this event go toward their Blackstone Valley Heritage Environmental Trust Fund aimed at providing environmental education programs for local youth in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts.
(thanks to the Pintarich Family of Berry Insurance (Franklin, MA) for sharing their photos with us)