All Aboard the Polar Bear Express!

A nighttime train whisks you away on a magical journey aboard the POLAR BEAR EXPRESS!

FAQs

Tickets MUST be purchased in Advance & are ONLY available 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 & will most likely sell out again. If you plan on attending with friends & 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: $28 Adults, $22 Children ages 3-12, Toddlers under 3 are always $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.
Upon purchase completion, you will be given instant access to print your ticket(s). You will also receive an email receipt confirmation which includes a link to print 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.
Print at Home Tickets: Must have a printer to purchase tickets. Upon purchase completion,your tickets will pop-up in your browser for at home printing.
Email Problems: Ticket buyer will receive an email with a purchase confirmation & link to your print-at-home tickets. If you haven’t received an email 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 (9:00am-5:00pm 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, we are able to scan tickets off a smartphone from your email confirmation 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.

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 treat
En route:
Enjoy an enchanting story & holiday music as the train rolls on…
Santa Meet & Greet:
Santa & his elves are awaiting your return at the train station 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!
Dates:
* Tickets are date specific & ONLY valid for the date purchased!
Fridays: December 2, 9, 16, 23
Saturdays: December 3, 10, 17
Sundays: December 4, 11, 18
Monday: December 19
Tuesday: December 20
Wednesday: December 21
Thursday: December 22
Time:
The train will depart on-time. Be sure to allow extra travel time for traffic, parking, walking to Train Station & boarding! See ‘Traffic’ for additional travel tips.
5:00pm – Arrival
5:15pm – Board Train
5:30pm – Leaves Station
How long is the Train Ride?
Approximately 25 – 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 over-sized items. Do not leave personal belongings on the Train. Take everything with you when exiting the Train.

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.
Event traffic will be heaviest on December: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19
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 permitted in the Train Station lot!

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.