How to Create a Magical Polar Express Christmas Party - Fern and Maple (2024)

It’s so much fun looking back on old parties. Especially the ones where the kids are so little! This magical Polar Express party is one I’ve been reminiscing over lately. It was so long ago, before I blogged or began planning and styling parties for a living. It was so much fun setting it up with my friend Sarah for our little ones. It still makes me smile and more importantly BELIEVE!

Better yet it was quick and easy to put together and full of affordable decor. I’m sharing all of this with you in the hope that you are inspired to get on board the magical Polar Express, it’s a magical ride!

P.S. If you want an easy one-stop shop for similar items, I created a list for you in my Amazon shop!

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As a blogger, I sometimes receive compensation and/or products in exchange for my styling and crafting services. I also may receive a small compensation from affiliate links on this page. As always, all project ideas and any opinions expressed here are my own. For further information on our disclosure policy please check out ourdisclosure page.

How to Set Up a Magical Polar Express Party

Welcome

All aboard! We started with a light box, welcoming passengers to the celebrations. This light up sign from Oriental Trading could also be a really cool option!

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Ticket Booth

Then we handed each of them a ticket to ride on the Polar Express and of course a little bell, something to hold and believe. You can make the tickets and bells yourself- or purchase these cute “Believe” bells and ticket stickers from Oriental Trading. The ticket booth is a cardboard shop front from Ikea, but here is another option. Really easy to set up! Add a wreath in the front and it is the perfect color for a Christmas ticket booth.

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Craft Station

As soon as the kids arrived we had an activity they could get started on. We turned the dining room table into a painting station with two projects. The first, salt dough trains Sarah had cut out with a train cookie cutter. We added ribbons to turn them into tree ornaments and provided small bags for these to be put in once dry. The second, ceramic train money banks from the dollar spot (here are some similar paintable ceramic trains if you can’t find the banks). Don’t forget to make wet wipes easily accessible for these activities!!

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Polar Express Train Table

A must for any Polar Express party, a train table. The kids loved being able to play with the trains. We popped the table up on some “snow” for a winter look. That is Sarah’s daughter Riley Grace on the left and my little monkey Parker on the right.

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Letters to Santa Station

As the kids were meeting Santa at the end of the rail track we set up a “Letters to Santa” station for last minute wishes. We picked up simple glittered foam snowflakes to decorate the walls, fake snow balls and a tiny little holiday village.

All you need to set up a mini station like this are crayons, stamps, pencils, paper and envelopes. A simple box decorated as Santa pants makes a great mail box, or you could purchase one like this.

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Polar Express Movie Watching

The main event was of course a screening of The Polar Express. We had a little fun with this. I used a couple of plastic tablecloths as a cover over the bed to make it look like a train engine. Then cut out a steam engine face out of different card stock colors and added it to the front.

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We made the “train” super cozy with comforters strewn everywhere and bean bag chairs covered in plaid. A conductor hat (here is a simpler option) and teddy bear (here is an even cuter Christmas option!!) sat in every chair.

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Around the television we hung layers of tissue snowflakes. A winter scene as the train passed by.

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Party Favors

Once the movie was over, and it was time for our friends to leave each child stopped by baggage claim to pick up a small favor. All the kids favorites- mini trains, bubbles, stamps and stickers.

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We nestled these inside used vintage suitcases, oodles of faux snow and a glimpse of their favorite bedtime story at Christmas time.

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So what do you think? Time to board the Polar Express? Don’t forget to check out my Amazon Shop for an easy one-stop shopping list of similar items!

For tons more Christmas inspiration, check out my post with 15 Magical Holiday Party Ideas for Kids, Teens, and Adults!

Happy Partying!

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