the polar express in phillipsburg, nj.

On Friday I went with my fam on The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ!

It was an attraction designed for children. But we didn’t bring any of the actual children in our family because they, like the chickens, go to sleep and rise with the sun. Since the train ride was at 8pm it was precisely 3.5 hours after their bedtime.

I felt bad they missed out but like most things made for children I REALLY ENJOYED The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ and felt like it may actually have been made FOR ME.

My sister and her boyfriend (now fiancé! More on that later) invited us and I was like awww that sounds silly but okay sure. And it WAS silly but like the best kind of silly.

My sis and her fiancé, pre engagement!

I grew up in the area out there in the forest and in my day “Pburg” was where the mall and the movie theater were and therefore civilization and therefore the place to hang out. So on the way we were all like “oh it’s on South Main St? By the one thing or by the other thing?” And we went back and forth in the annoying way that only people that are marginally familiar with an area will do.

We finally arrived for parking in a church parking lot (I didn’t catch on fire, WHEW), and walked over to where we would be boarding THE POLAR EXPRESS, in Phillipsburg, NJ. On South Main St, by the other thing.

The temperature felt colder than I was led to believe it would feel and although I was wearing two layers, leather leggings and a tutu, I was still chilly AF. It was even a long tutu!

Literally The North Pole

As we approached, a giant blow up Xmas tree could be seen! And Xmas lights on trees that guided the passengers down a hill!

Monster blow up Xmas tree. Jeez.

At the bottom of the hill there was this really cool old organ playing Xmas songs that I was super into. I was really super charmed by it and I’m still not sure why. I think because organs like that may quite possibly be the original robots. If I’m right about how they work, that is. My thoughts about how they work involve them working by themselves. Like a person gets them started and then they just organ-the-heck-out for a certain amount of time without human operational intervention. I could be wrong though. I don’t know, look it up. Ugh.

There was also a little tent with hot chocolate and snackies! And also photo ops but I was scared I would get in trouble for busting out my tripod and selfie light at their pre ordained photo op spots so I found my own spots outside.

Omg snackies.

It was a bit annoying finding a spot because there were a lot of kids there and my mom had to help protect the tripod from being knocked over. And more than one kid was like “oooo what are you doing?” And I was like “I don’t know…A THING. GO. AWAY.” And my mom made up some line about “blogging” that was “kid friendly” and that was sufficient for some of them.

Plz leave me alone, kids.

Because of these child intruders I didn’t really get the shots I wanted but I guess I was technically an invader in the child-space this time, instead of it being the other way around, and I should be grateful for what they did allow me to capture. Those jerks.

Me w/ camera assistant mama <3

After I took some pics my dad got me some hot chocolate AND IT WAS THE GREATEST HOT CHOCOLATE. In the classic tale of The Polar Express there is a line about drinking hot chocolate that is as thick and rich as melted chocolate or something along those lines and THIS was THAT hot chocolate. It was delish AF on this wild ride, The Polar Express in Phillisburg, NJ.

So good that things got kinda sloppy.

Actually all of this happened before the ride or before the train even got there for us to board. But eventually it DID get there and it was time to hop on!

The train!
Xmas lights inside the train.

The train cars were all old ones and I wanted to know more about their history but I couldn’t find the right person to ask. I’ll look it up later. But they were decorated so nice with Xmas lights and when it got going they turned the overhead lights off and it felt like you were inside of an Xmas tree and I was…ALL ABOARD FOR THAT. Harhar.

I’m an adult, and you can see I already got cookie crumbs all over my scarf.

For the “entertainment” they went along with the story and some of the song(s) from the movie version with Tom Hanks. So there was like a performance of sorts with people in chef outfits running around with hot chocolate and singing about hot chocolate and I was like “wait what, more hot chocolate? SIGN ME UP.”

Sup, losers?

As the train moved they read through the whole story over the PA system and it was great. I loved the story as a kid and I guess I still love it now. They passed out more hot chocolate and cookies, and also bells! Like the one the little boy gets in the story.


Eventually some “caribou ran across the tracks” and the train screeched to a halt. Then the man of the hour, Santa, arrived. The kids were all pumped about Santa but I tried to stay calm.

Excited for more than Santa.

Not about Santa! Maybe a little…but Santa had the ring for my sister’s BF to propose to her! I helped him pick out the ring and we were all involved in the surprise for a whole nerve wracking month of secret-keeping so it was finally time for the main event!

When we got there for the ride my mom had asked “who has the ring?” and my sister’s fiancé said “Santa” and my mom thought he said “Shannon” so she came to me like I had it and I didn’t and it caused a few minutes of panic but then it was okay. UGH.

Srsly excited but when will the lies be over tho?

Santa handed him the ring and he proposed and my sister said yes! Wahoooo! She seemed surprised in the moment! She’s a big snoop and always tries to find everything out so we all had to try very hard to keep her from finding out that it would happen exactly then and exactly that way. We think she KIND OF knew but we also think some of the surprise stayed intact because of our EFFORTS.


A ton of family and friends for both sides were there in the train car and everyone was pumped! After the engagement we all took pictures and laughed and chatted and caught my sister up on the many tales OF OUR DECEPTION.

The moms!

During this time they also had an elf around and a man singing Xmas music.

Post engagement elf bomb.

My sister’s FIANCÉ (!) was encouraged by the music playing man to sing along to “Dominic the Donkey” and do the donkey sound and the man playing the music was like “another one bites the dust harhar” and all those old dude “you’re getting married now, mannn” jokes propagated by the patriarchy. But whatevs it’s fine I guess.

My sister’s fiancé sings backup on “Dominic the Donkey”

Overall The Polar Express in Phillisburg, NJ was a success! Both for our group’s purposes and the purposes of those around us, I believe. I saw many happy families in their PJs having a grand time.

Enjoyable! 🙂

Have you ever been on The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ? I’d recommend it! If I didn’t have to be coherent to take pics of my sis I totally would have pregamed. And during gamed. And brought Baileys in a flask and put it in the hot chocolate. Although I’m not sure of the bathroom situation on the train. My dad said it was a “pump.” Maybe like a boat? I didn’t want to find out.

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