Nick McWilliams reporting – Although Christmas is nearly half a year away, tickets for the Polar Express are on sale.

The yearly railway attraction brings to life the book and movie renditions of traveling to the North Pole and meeting with Santa Clause for area children.

According to Director Museums Jacob Masters, children can participate in activities while on their way to the North Pole, and go home with a unique gift.

“Kids and their families get on the Polar Express while wearing their pajamas and we take a trip to the North Pole to see Santa Clause. On board, we have games and activities like with elves. We serve hot chocolate and cookies. And on the way back, each child visits with Santa Clause, and then he gives them a bell.”

Masters advises early purchases for interested families, with tickets for Saturday and Sunday rides usually taken first.

This year, a Deluxe car will be offered, which provides various amenities for Express riders.

“You get to wait inside, you get to board first. Children who ride the Deluxe get the engineer’s hat and whistle, and the car [has] less people in it, but no tables.”

Private cars are also available for purchase.

Riders will have special guests from the movie such as the conductor and hobo, along with the story written by Chris Van Allsburg.

Ticket purchases can be made by calling the Depot at (740) 922-6776.

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