A favorite area holiday tradition for kids of all ages is the Polar Express Train excursion at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and its back starting Friday, Nov. 8 and will be running through Dec. 31.

The 1.25-hour round-trip excursion departs the Bryson City depot for a journey over the river and through the woods to the North Pole. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, riders enjoy warm cocoa and cookies while reliving the magical story.

Children’s faces show the magic of the season when the train arrives at the “North Pole” to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards The Polar Express, greeting each child and presenting each with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Bring your camera! Sing Christmas carols as you return back to the Depot.

Here's a tentative list of trip departure times - subject to change:

  • Nov. 9-10 and Nov. 15-30 at 5 p.m. 6:35 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
  • Dec 1-23: Mon-Fri 5, 6:35, 8:15 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m., 1, 5, 6:35, 8:15 p.m. Sunday 3, 5, 6:35, 8:15 p.m.
  • Dec 24 Christmas Eve: 3, 5, 6:35 p.m.
  • Dec 26-30: 5, 6:35, 8:15 p.m.
  • Dec 31: STEAM 5 & 6:35 p.m.

Coach class ticket prices begin at $42 for adults and $28 for children ages 2-12. Children under two years old ride complimentary in coach.

Upcoming dates

Download schedule


  • Starting Friday, November 8th, 2019, repeats every day until Tuesday, December 31, 2019 — all day


Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

45 Mitchell Street
Bryson City, NC 28713


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