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The Polar Express is one of our family’s favorite Christmas stories. It is such a magical book that we end up reading it time and time again. On Christmas Eve, we read the book and watch the movie. To bring the magic into our home, we do some other fun activities!

fun at home with the Polar Express from Simplly Real Moms

As a Christmas Tradition, start by having wrapped gifts for each of your children. Inside, have a new set of pajamas, a movie ticket for the Polar Express, and a mug for hot chocolate. If your children weren’t in the holiday spirit before opening the gift, they will be now-even the oldest of your children!

Before reading the story, it’s fun to start with your children writing a letter to Santa Claus.

Start by making tickets together for to ride the Polar Express. Let your children create and decorate their tickets.

Then, set up your dining chairs in a row like a train. Call, “All aboard!” and have your children give you tickets to board the Polar Express!

Serve your children hot chocolate while you read them the story of The Polar Express on the train. We have an amazing recipe for Polar Express Hot Chocolate–it is seriously more amazing than typical hot chocolate and you’ll see why it’s worthy of the title of “Polar Express Hot Chocolate” once you try it!

Hands down THE BEST Hot Chocolate ever. Perfect for Christmas Eve or Caroling!


As you finish the book, pull a bell out of your pocket. Tell your children to listen very closely and that if they believe, they will be able to hear the sound of the bell. Give each of your children their very own bell from Santa’s sleigh.

There are a countless activities you can do with your children to expand the story:

  • You can play “Conductor Says”. Similar to Simon Says, your children have do an activity when the conductor says and not if the conductor doesn’t say. Let your children take turns being the conductor.
  • Collect bells of different colors (I got mine at Joann Fabrics). Let your children sort the bells by color.
  • Make a train out of graham crackers. Similar to the graham cracker gingerbread houses, use graham crackers to make the Polar Express train!

The last thing we do as a family is curl up and watch the movie. What a wonderful way to spend time together this Christmas Season!