Polar Express 2018 Walk-in Registration

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Pre-registration is closed - Sign up on the day of the event!

  • Saturdays, December 1 & 8: 11am - 3pm
  • Sundays, December 2 & 9: 2pm - 4:20pm

Walk-in Registration

  • Pre-registration began at 9am on Tuesday, November 27, and between in-person registrations and 8 busy phone lines, it only took until 11:30am to fill up our pre-registration spots! Thank you so much for your patience with us, and for your enthusiasm!
  • If you didn't get to pre-register your family, don't worry! Walk-in registration is the perfect back-up plan, and we have just as many seats available for those of you who sign up this way.
    • Simply send someone from your family to sign up in the Children's Department on the day you would like to attend - come as early as you can in order to secure your seats if you're in need of a certain time! - and then bring the entire family at your assigned time.
      • Schlow opens at 9am on Saturdays, and will open at a special time of 12pm on Sundays for the two weekends of Polar Express. (Our normal Sunday hours are 1pm-5pm.)  
      • No walk-in registrations will be taken over the phone.
    • Children age 2 and younger are considered "lap-sit children", and will not receive their own seat on the trolley. When registering, let us know how many adults and children (3 and up) will need a seat, and how many children (2 and younger) will be sitting on an adult's lap.
    • A new group will begin their Polar Express experience every 20 minutes, so we will ask you to choose a time on the hour, 20 minutes past the hour, or 40 minutes past the hour within each event day's time frame. (11am-3pm on Saturdays, 12/1 and 12/8, and 2pm-4:20pm on Sundays, 12/2 and 12/9.)
    • You will receive a tag marked with your family's chosen time, and we ask that you wear the tag to the event. The tag is a reminder that your family will board the second of the two trolleys headed to Santa's Workshop during your time slot.
  • One registration per family, please. For example, if you would like your children to ride the trolley with their cousins and aunt and uncle, or with a neighbor family, each family will need to register separately for your desired time slot. (Grandparents and other adults with no children of their own do not need to register separately; include them in your seat total.)

Program details

  • Stop by the Children's Desk to let us know you've arrived.
  • Listen for the bell and the "All aboard the (time) Polar Express!" announcement. When you hear us call your family's time, go to the window seat area in the back of the Children's Department for a delightful reading of Chris Van Allsburg's classic story - complete with elves turning the pages!
  • After listening to the story, each child will receive a small bag, containing a bell and a coin to spend at Santa's Workshop.
  • Next, climb aboard the trolley for a festive ride to Santa's Workshop, where your child can pose for a picture with Santa himself!



  • Our Library parking lot may be full on Polar Express days, so please be prepared to park elsewhere downtown. You will find a map of other options at the bottom of this page. Remember, parking is free in the Downtown parking areas on Sundays! 

Your car and stroller

  • Remember that the Library closes at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. If you leave your stroller in the Library, you must return for it prior to closing. If you park in our lot, you will also need to allow enough time to validate your ticket and leave the lot or garage before 5pm.
    • If your family is part of the last Polar Express group (4:20pm on Sundays), you must take your stroller with you as the Library will be closed before you return from Santa's Workshop.


Have a question? Ask us now! We're happy to help at any time.

Copyright (c) 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. All rights reserved.


Posted 10/23/2018