All aboard for a special holiday railroad adventure!
Advance, Date Specific Tickets Required. ONLY valid for Date Purchased.
2014 Tickets On Sale November 7
- Adult: $27
- Child: 3-12 yrs $22
- Toddler: Under 3 yrs $10
Polar Bear Express tickets are only sold ONLINE & must be purchased in Advance!
Tickets are date specific & ONLY valid for the date purchased!
- December 5
- December 6
- December 7
- December 12
- December 13
- December 14
- December 19
- December 20
- December 21
- December 22
Polar Bear Express
Hop aboard the Rio Line Train's Polar Bear Express for a nighttime 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.
- Hot cocoa & 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
- 5 p.m. – Arrival
- 5:15 p.m. – Train Boarding
- 5:30 p.m. – Train Leaves Station
- Can I purchase Polar Bear Express tickets online?
- May I purchase tickets by phone or in-person?
- Will Polar Bear Express sell out?
- Does an infant need a ticket?
- What are the ticket restrictions?
- What happens after I purchase tickets online?
- What are the ticket policies (printer/email problems, forgotten tickets, online security)?
Event & Passenger Info
- What is the Polar Bear Express?
- What happens on the train?
- How long is the train ride?
- What are the seating arrangements?
- Are there restrooms on the train?
- Can I bring my stroller on the train?
- Is the train wheelchair accessible?
- Is storage available for personal items?
Traffic / Parking / Boarding Instructions
- Will there be traffic delays?
- Where do I Park?
- Is there an additional cost for parking?
- Where do I board?
- How do I get to the Train Station from the parking lot?
Dress / Weather
Tickets MUST be purchased in Advance & are ONLY available Online. NOTE: There is NO service charge(s) to purchase tickets online.
Polar Bear Express tickets are NOT sold by Phone or In-Person. Tickets are ONLY available Online & MUST be purchased in Advance.
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.
Every passenger is required to have a ticket. Ticket prices are $22 for Children ages 3-12, Toddlers under 3 are $10
You must have a valid email address, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit card, Internet access & Printer to purchase tickets Online.
All sales are final. Polar Bear Express tickets are date specific & ONLY valid for the date purchased! Expired tickets have no value & are not eligible for refunds, reissue, rain-checks or upgrades.
We recommend (1) Adult for every 4 to 5 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.
You will receive two emails with a confirmation and link to a PDF that contains your tickets.
You MUST bring the printed tickets to the Garden Train Station in order to board the Polar Bear Express. Tickets can ONLY be scanned ONCE.
- EMAIL PROBLEMS:
Ticket buyers receive two emails—a purchase confirmation & a link to the PDF that contains your print-at-home tickets. If you haven't received two emails from the BioPark, check your spam or junk mail box.
BioPark emails come from an address ending with ‘@cabq.gov’. You may need to add this address to your safe-senders list.
- PRINTER PROBLEMS:
If you have problems printing, bring your ticket or purchase confirmation number(s) to the BioPark during regular business hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily).
Present said numbers & picture ID at the Administration Office to redeem the tickets. Administration Office is closed after-hours & during Special Events.
- FORGOTTEN TICKETS:
If you forget your tickets, you must provide a picture ID of the ticket buyer & ticket or confirmation number at the Garden Station.
ONLINE TRANSACTION SECURITY:
We have partnered with Siriusware to make print-at-home tickets as secure as possible. All credit card information is encrypted before transmission and storage.
Event & Passenger Info
Polar Bear Express is a magical, nighttime experience aboard the Rio Line Train on journey to meet Santa & experience the glow of River of Lights!
UPON BOARDING: Passengers are treated to hot cocoa & a cookie.
EN ROUTE TO MEET SANTA: Enjoy an enchanting story & holiday music as the train rolls on…
SANTA STOP: Santa & his elves are awaiting your arrival to board the train & will move through each train car to greet each child/toddler & 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!
Approximately 30 minutes, including Santa stop / gift presentation.
All seating is General Admission & limited to (20) passengers per car.
There are NOT restrooms on the Train. Facilities are available for use, before & after, the train ride & located in the Garden / Aquarium Plaza as well as (2) portable restrooms as you enter the Garden Station lot.
Due to limited space, strollers are NOT permitted on the train. Strollers may be left at the Garden Train Station during the ride & picked-up after. Although, strollers are secure & attended to during your trip, do not leave valuables behind. We are not responsible for theft of damage of items left in strollers.
The Train Station is Wheelchair Accessible BUT can only accommodate a limited number of wheelchairs on the Train. (3 max)
Staff assistance is available to individuals with the ability to transfer to a seat during boarding & unloading.
Wheelchairs may be left at the Garden Train Station during the Train ride. Although, wheelchairs are secure & attended to during your trip, do not leave valuables behind. We are not responsible for theft of damage of items left in wheelchairs.
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 & 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.
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 & parking lots will fill to capacity. It is important that Polar Bear Express attendees plan ahead, arrive early & allow 5 minutes extra to park & 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 & boarding! The train will depart on-time.
Highly impacted areas expected along: I-40, Rio Grande Blvd. & Central Ave.
Attendees MUST park in the main, Garden/Aquarium lot - Enter New York Avenue, North of Central. Allow 5 minutes extra to park & walk to the Garden Train Station.
There is no charge for public parking.
Turn in tickets & board at the Garden/Aquarium Train Station.
From the New York parking lot, walk through the Garden Plaza past the Aquarium entrance, into the rear parking lot to access the, clearly identified, Train Station. Note: Parking is NOT available in the Train Station lot!
Dress / Weather
In addition to River of Lights being outdoors, Polar Bear Express Train cars are NOT climate controlled. Although cars are enclosed & windows shut, they are partially exposed to weather & wind from the front & back of each car with NO heat.
Dress for winter weather! Dress warm & bundle up in layers! Remember, train cars do NOT have heat & partially exposed to nighttime winter elements. In addition, River of Lights is an outdoor event!
We do everything in our power to remain open for all event dates. Trains operate during all weather conditions & 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 cancellation, a notice will be posted at www.RiverOfLights.org, or contact 311 for up-to-date event & ticket information.