Think Ahead: Polar Express Train Ride Tickets in Lake County {2016}

While the swimming pools may still be open, ice cream is still being consumed daily, and school supply shopping is  in full swing;  it is never too late to start planning for Christmas.  Especially when it comes to the Polar Express train ride. Although this event takes place in December near Christmas, the popularity of this event means you need to register as early as now.

Polar Express Train Ride Tickets Lake County

Never heard of the Polar Express and don’t know why it is so popular? The idea is based off of the loved Christmas book and movie.  During the train ride. families hop aboard a train in their pajamas and hear a reading of the story The Polar Express while often times eating a snack. Santa usually comes aboard the train for a visit.  Riders then return back to the station. It is a super cute family tradition that doesn’t break the bank.

Last year my town’s park district sold out this event in only a matter of hours. We were not able to get tickets. This year I am determined to be more prepared,  and I will help you be more prepared by telling you what days the tickets go on sale in your town so your children can too experience the magic of the Polar Express.

Photo Source: Antioch Facebook Page.
Photo Source: Antioch Facebook Page.

Polar Express Train Rides in Lake County

Antioch Park District , North Pole Express Train
Antioch Metra Station, 305 Depot St., Antioch
Train Departs:  November:  29th & 30th.
December : 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22,&  23rd.

To Register:  Tickets go on sale for residents  on Thursday, October 13th at 9:00 a.m.
Tickets are $22 residents / $25 dollars non-residents and includes lunch, crafts, cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from the big guy himself.  Tables seat six at the North Pole so there is a limit of 6 tickets per purchase.
For more information, call Antioch Parks and Recreation at 847-395-2160


Barrington Park DistrictBarrington Express to Santa’s Workshop
Barrington Metra Train Station, 201 S. Spring St., Barrington
Train Departs : December 10th at 9:32 a.m. and 11:32 a.m.

To Register:   Tickets are $16 residents / $19 non-residents. Registration opens for residents on August 9th and for non-residents on August 16th. Birth date for each participant must be provided.  Registration deadline is November 18th or when all seats are filled.


Deerfield Park District,  Santa on the Deerfield Candy Cane Train
Deerfield Metra Station , 860 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield
Train Departs:  December 4, at 1:00 p.m.
**EDITORS NOTE 8/14/16 – SOLD OUT***

To Register: Registration opens on August 1, at 7:00 a.m. online and at 9:00 a.m. in person.  Ticket pricing is $17 for residents and $21 for non-residents.


Grayslake Park District , Polar Express
Grayslake Train Station – Lake Street, 67 St Paul St. & Lake St., Grayslake
Train Departs : Sunday December 4, at 1:52 p.m.

To Register: Registration for this event will begin on 8/4 for Residents and 8/15 for Non-Residents. Ticket includes train ride, snacks, special guest, carols and a gift. Space is limited to 50 people per car, 2 cars available. Tickets may be purchased online or in person. Cost s $15 child resident and $12 per adult. Every child that rides needs a ticket, no-resident rates are higher.

Photo Source: Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Facebook Page.
Photo Source: Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Facebook Page.

Lake Forest Park District , Santa on the Lake Forest Claus’s Coach
**EDITORS NOTE 8/14/16 – SOLD OUT***
Lake Forest West Metra Station, 10205 North Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest
Train Departs: Saturday, December 10th from, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and Sunday December 11th, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30p.m.

To Register :  All passengers must be registered and all children must ride with at least one adult and all adults must have a child passenger. Registration begins on August 9th at 8:30 a.m. for residents and August 16th for non-residents. Ticket pricing is $28 Residents / $34 Non-Residents.


Lindenhurst Park District , Santa on the Lindenhurst Polar Express Storytime Train
Grayslake Metra Station.  Lake & St. Paul Streets, Grayslake.
Train Departs : To be determined. The park district will announce the exact day with the fall park district book. Please note this information will be released to the public in mid- November.

To Register :  Ticket pricing and registration information will be available in mid-November.  2015 pricing was $10 for residents ; non-residents $11.

 © T.Rubel| Little Lake | 2014
© T.Rubel| Little Lake | 2014

 Mundelein Park District,  Polar Express Storytime Train
Prairie Crossing  Train Station, 3001 Midlothian Road, Libertyville
Train Departs :  December 10, 3:10 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
**EDITORS NOTE 8/31/16 – SOLD OUT***

To Register : Children’s tickets are $12 residents / $22 non-residents, adult tickets are $15 residents/ $25 non-residents. Registration opens for residents on August 31st. Non-resident registration begins a week later. Children under 2 are free but must be registered.


Park District of Highland Park, Santa on the Train
Highland Park Downtown Metra Station, 2700 Saint Johns Avenue, Highland Park
Train Departs : December 3, 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and December 10, 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

To Register: Children’s tickets are $27 residents / $47 non-residents, adult tickets are $15 residents/ $25 non-residents. Registration is open now.

Photo Source: Round Lake Area Park District Facebook Page.
Photo Source: Round Lake Area Park District Facebook Page.

Round Lake Park District, Santa on the Polar Express Storytime Train
Round Lake Metra Station, Route 134 and Cedar Lake Rd., Round Lake

Train Departs : December 17th  with two different time slots. One is at 12:07 p.m. and the other is at 1:56 p.m.

To Register: Tickets go on sale for residents on October 6th, Non-resident registration begins October 19th.  Tickets  are $24 residents / $34 non-residents. Stop by the Robert W. Rolek Center to purchase tickets.


Vernon Hills Park District,  Polar Express  
Libertyville Metra Station,  200 Lake St., Libertyville
Train Departs:  Saturday, December 10th with time slots at 9:42 a.m., 11:42 a.m., and 1:42 p.m.
**EDITORS NOTE 8/18/16 – SOLD OUT***

To Register : Purchase date is August 9th for residents and non-residents on August 16th. Tickets are $20 residents and $25 non-residents. All riders must register to have a ticket aboard the Polar Express! Children under 2 are free but do need to be registered for space reasons.
For more information call Vernon Hills Park District at (847)367-7270.


Polar Express Rides Outside of Lake County

Christmas Express Santa Train
2002 Church Street, East Troy, WI
Train Departs : November 26 & 27, December 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. , and 2:30 p.m.

To Register: Tickets can be purchased online at Advanced registration is required to secure a spot. Ticket pricing to be announced at a later date.  Bring a non-perishable food item with each member of your party and receive a 25% discount on tickets at our Depot. All donated items benefit the East Troy Food Pantry.


Which one will you be riding on with Santa ? 

Miss your chance to get tickets? Check out our post on how to create your own polar express party.



Dance academy of Libertyville
About Tracy Rubel 93 Articles
Tracy dreams of someday being considered a “cool” mom and she can still remember the days when she had time to put on makeup in the morning. She is a young, single, stay-at-home mom to an awesome little boy named Jayden. She recently graduated college with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has lived in various parts of Lake County her whole life. Every day, she and her son set off in her Jeep, rocking a pair of oversized sunglasses, in search of a new and exciting adventure to go on. In her free time she enjoys photography, reading, dancing, yoga, shopping, and pinning kid’s activities on Pinterest. She truly believes that if she was given enough Starbucks that she could rule the world.

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