Last Updated on September 21, 2023

All aboard!

We may be a few months away from the Christmas holidays, but it’s not too soon to be planning ahead, especially if you’re hoping to take the little ones on a very special trip to the North Pole.

The historic Grand Canyon Polar Express returns again for yet another season, leaving the Williams, AZ station (located 30 miles west of Flagstaff) and traveling to none other than a magical version of the North Pole.

The Polar Express is a holiday-themed train adventure for guests of all ages, following the storyline of the beloved children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg and later made into a Hollywood blockbuster.

Each winter the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life once again on a journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams to the enchanted beauty of “the North Pole”—where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting with a jingle bell for every good boy and girl.  

A holiday family favorite, guests will embark upon a magical train adventure – featuring holiday songs, lively chefs, cookies and hot chocolate, a special reading of “The Polar Express,” and of course a visit by Santa himself.

The Polar Express adventures run about 90 minutes, and this year will take place from November 10 through December 30, 2023 with trains running most nights at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm. 

Prices for Sunday through Thursday evening departures are $39 for kids ages 2 to 15 and $58 for adults.  Tickets for Friday and Saturday departures run $53 for children and $70 for adults. The Christmas Eve Limited on December 24 is priced at $97 for adults and $67 for children and includes special mementos.

Guests and groups can even charter their own train or have private luxury railroad cars added to the scheduled Polar Express travel times.

Polar Express Package

Child with Santa following Grand Canyon Polar Express trip to North Pole.
Child with Santa following Grand Canyon Polar Express trip to North Pole. Photo courtesy of Xanterra Travel Collection

For those hoping for a more in-depth experience, The Grand Canyon Railway also offers a Polar Express Package, which features overnight accommodations as well as Polar Express tickets. The package includes the Polar Express train excursion, a one-night stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, and breakfast and dinner for each member of your party at the famous Fred Harvey Restaurant. The package price for two adults and two children starts at $410, excluding tax.

Polar Express reservations may be made by visiting, and if past years were any indication of success, tickets will sell out fast (especially popular with those who truly believe)!