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Polar Bear Express

All aboard for a special holiday railroad adventure.

Tickets

Advanced, date-specific tickets required. Only valid for date purchased.

  • Adult: $28
  • Child (3-12 years): $23
  • Toddler (Under 3 years): $10

Tickets are available through Hold My Ticket. Please contact Hold My Ticket for questions on your ticket. 1-877-466-3404. [email protected]

2017 Dates

Dec. 1, 2, 3 and Dec. 7 through 23.

Hop aboard the Rio Line Train's Polar Bear Express for an evening ride with Santa to a glittering world of holiday enchantment.

The Polar Bear Express includes admission to River of Lights. These events are fundraisers that benefit the Zoo, Botanic Garden, Tingley Beach and Aquarium.

Tickets Include

  • Hot cocoa and sweet treat upon boarding
  • Enchanting story as the train rolls on
  • Travel the rails to meet Santa
  • Santa presents every child & toddler with a souvenir gift
  • Final Stop admission to River of Lights

Schedule

  • 5 p.m. – Arrival
  • 5:15 p.m. – Train Boarding
  • 5:30 p.m. – Train Leaves Station

Adult New Year’s Eve Eve Express

Start your celebration early and cap off 2017 with the third-annual New Year’s Eve – Eve Express.

Ride the rails and ring in the New Year with an adult beverage and sweet treat, write down all of your worries and document your dreams for 2018, then throw them into our fire pits and watch the sparks incinerate the bad and ignite the positive.

Take a stroll through River of Lights and finish out the evening with a gourmet meal in Shark Reef Café with an exquisite menu created exclusively for the New Year’s Eve Eve Express.

Tickets are sold in pairs so grab your loved one, friend, or family member and come celebrate under the stars.

Tickets are $115 for 2 spots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ticket Info

  1. Can I purchase Polar Bear Express tickets online?
  2. Will Polar Bear Express sell out?
  3. Does an infant need a ticket?
  4. What are the ticket restrictions?
  5. What happens after I purchase tickets online?

Event & Passenger Info

  1. What is the Polar Bear Express?
  2. What happens on the train?
  3. How long is the train ride?
  4. What are the seating arrangements?
  5. Are there restrooms on the train?
  6. Can I bring my stroller on the train?
  7. Is the train wheelchair accessible?
  8. Is storage available for personal items?

Traffic, Parking & Boarding Instructions

  1. Will there be traffic delays?
  2. Where do I park?
  3. Is there an additional cost for parking?
  4. Where do I board?
  5. How do I get to the train station from the parking lot?

Dress & Weather

  1. Are train cars heated?
  2. How should I dress?
  3. Will Polar Bear Express be canceled due to weather?

Answers

Ticket Info

1. Can I purchase Polar Bear Express tickets online?

Tickets must be purchased in advance and are only available online at HoldMyTicket.

2. Will Polar Bear Express sell out?

Polar Bear Express is an extremely popular event and will most likely sell out. If you plan on attending with friends and family, we recommend purchasing tickets for your entire group, via one transaction.

If tickets are not available for a selected date, choose another date for ticket availability.

Visitors who arrive at the train station without tickets will not be able to ride the Polar Bear Express.

3. Does an infant need a ticket?

Every passenger is required to have a ticket. Infants would require a $10 toddler ticket.

4. What are the Ticket Restrictions?

All sales are final. Polar Bear Express tickets are date specific and only valid for the date purchased.

Expired tickets have no value and are not eligible for refunds, reissue, rain-checks or upgrades.

We recommend one adult for every four to five kids.

Seating is General Admission, on a first-come, first-served basis, with a 20 person per-car capacity. We cannot guarantee that all parties will be seated together.

5. What happens after I purchase tickets online?

You will receive an e-mail with a confirmation and link to a PDF that contains your tickets.

You must bring the ticket (either printed or on your smartphone) to the Garden Train Station in order to board the Polar Bear Express. Tickets can only be scanned once.

Event & Passenger Info

1. What is the Polar Bear Express?

Polar Bear Express is a magical, nighttime experience aboard the Rio Line Train on journey to meet Santa and experience the glow of River of Lights.

2. What happens on the train?

  • Upon boarding: Passengers are treated to hot cocoa and a treat.
  • En route to meet Santa: Enjoy an enchanting story and holiday music as the train rolls on…
  • Santa Stop: Santa and his elves are awaiting your arrival to board the train & will move through each train car to greet each child and toddler and present them with a special souvenir gift. Passengers stay on the train.
  • Final Stop: Return at the Garden Station & unload at your final destination, admission into New Mexico's largest, all-original holiday production -- River of Lights.

3. How long is the train ride?

About 30 minutes, including Santa stop and gift presentation.

4. What are the seating arrangements?

All seating is General Admission and limited to 20 passengers per car.

5. Are there restrooms on the train?

There are no restrooms on the train. Facilities are available for use before and after the train ride and are located in the Garden and Aquarium Plaza. There are also two portable restrooms as you enter the Garden Station lot.

6. Can I bring my stroller on the train?

Due to limited space, strollers are not permitted on the train. Strollers may be left at the Garden Train Station during the ride and picked-up after. Though strollers are secure and attended to during your trip, do not leave valuables behind. We are not responsible for theft of damage of items left in strollers.

7. Is the train wheelchair accessible?

The Train Station is Wheelchair Accessible BUT can only accommodate a limited number of wheelchairs on the train (three max).

Staff assistance is available to individuals with the ability to transfer to a seat during boarding and unloading.

Wheelchairs may be left at the Garden Train Station during the train ride. Though wheelchairs are secure and attended to during your trip, do not leave valuables behind. We are not responsible for theft of damage of items left in wheelchairs.

8. Is storage available for personal Items?

If you need to bring a bag, pack a reasonable size that will comfortably fit on your lap or under your seat. The train will be full and does not have sufficient space for oversize items. Polar Bear Express reserves the right to deny boarding of oversized items. Do not leave personal belongings on the train. Take everything with you when exiting the train.

Traffic, Parking & Boarding Instructions

1. Will there be traffic delays?

Depart your home early to avoid traffic delays.

Traffic congestion is expected during the evening commute to River of Lights and parking lots will fill to capacity. It is important that Polar Bear Express attendees plan ahead, arrive early and allow 5 minutes extra to park and walk to the Garden Train Station.

We suggest arriving 30 minutes before departure. Be sure to allow extra travel time for traffic, parking, walking to Train Station and boarding. The train will depart on-time.

Highly impacted areas expected along: Interstate 40, Rio Grande Boulevard, and Central Avenue.

2. Where do I park?

Attendees must park in the main, Garden and Aquarium lot - Enter New York Avenue, North of Central.

Allow 5 minutes extra to park and walk to the Garden Train Station.

3. Is there an additional cost for parking?

There is no charge for public parking.

4. Where do I board?

Turn in tickets and board at the Garden and Aquarium Train Station.

5. How do I get to the train station from the parking lot?

From the New York parking lot, walk through the Garden Plaza past the aquarium entrance, into the rear parking lot to access the Train Station.

Note: Parking is not available in the Train Station lot.

Dress & Weather

1. Are train cars heated?

In addition to River of Lights being outdoors, Polar Bear Express Train cars are not climate controlled. Although cars are enclosed and windows shut, they are partially exposed to weather and wind from the front and back of each car with no heat.

2. How should I dress?

Dress for winter weather. Dress warm and bundle up in layers. Remember, train cars do not have heat and are partially exposed to nighttime winter elements. In addition, River of Lights is an outdoor event.

3. Will Polar Bear Express be cancelled due to weather?

We do everything in our power to remain open for all event dates.

Trains operate during all weather conditions and we do not give refunds or exchanges to those who are unable to attend their scheduled night due to weather. In the rare case of a cancelation, a notice will be posted at www.RiverOfLights.org.

You also can contact 311 for up-to-date event and ticket information.

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Contact Information

ABQ BioPark

505-768-2000

or
Dial 311 (505-768-2000)