The holidays are such a great time of year to create memories and participate in family traditions. In our home, one of our favorite things to do is “Polar Express” night, based off of the movie The Polar Express. The kids go absolutely crazy for it, squealing and jumping up and down at the mere mention of it’s name.
Of course, with 3 kids my motto is always to have fun but to keep it simple. So with that in mind, I came up with a few steps to make the evening of our Polar Express adventure memorable.
Print a train “ticket” and bell tags
Make some silver “sleigh” bells
I purchased a fairly decent bag at the Dollar Store, but you can also purchase them from any local craft place. Be sure to have one per child to avoid a big fight! Print and cut out a bell tag from your free printable sheet (link above) for each bell and attach it with a piece of string or ribbon. Hang the bells with tags on your Christmas tree or have them somewhere handy for later in the evening. If you can manage this without the kids knowing they exist, even better!
Snacks for the “train” ride
Prepare a snack and hot cocoa for the “train” ride. Our kiddos are big time popcorn eaters so I usually pop a bag, mix in some red and green m&m’s and any other goodies I’ve got handy, and then brew up a batch of hot chocolate. After all, it’s not the Polar Express without the famous hot choc-o-late!
Photo courtesy of Pams Party & Practical Tips
Take a ride on the Polar Express!
After the snacks and cocoa are ready, have the kids line up at the car with their tickets so that they can board the train (whatever make and model yours might be!). If you own a hole puncher, pull it out to punch each ticket. No need to spell out any crazy words like the conductor in the movie. That’s just crazy-pinterest-mama type stuff!! A punch or three will do ya and keep your tiny tots from freezing before they load in. Collect their tickets and hand out the refreshments.
Tour the local Christmas light displays
Your Polar Express ride can be through your neighborhood, a local Christmas light display event or anywhere that you may find decorated homes, yards or buildings. Turn the holiday music up, sip your cocoa and mosey through town while taking in the sights.
A movie viewing and special bell surprise
When you return home from your “train” ride, head into the house and snuggle down to watch The Polar Express movie. Once it ends (or earlier, if you think you might have a few sleepyheads on your hands), pass out the sleigh bells you’ve made and encourage them to ring the bell. Important: You MUST NOT let on that you can hear it ringing. If you are a Polar Express newbie, make sure you Google the Polar Express sleigh bell so you know what you’re up against!
So there you have it, a wonderful evening full of fun, yummy treats and a truly terrific Christmas movie – and most importantly, a night that your children will look forward to each and every holiday season!