The Stringtown Polar Express is open to the public, but you must have a reservation to attend. Because of the number of requests we receive far exceeds the number of reservations available, reservations are assigned in a random lottery fashion.

How do I get a reservation?

1. If you haven't already, create a login:

  1. Go to the Registration page.
  2. Enter your email address and click Submit.
  3. Go to your email and find the confirmation email.
  4. Click the link to login and set your password.

2. Submit a reservation request:

  1. Go to the Reservation Request form.
  2. Enter your information.
  3. Click Submit.

3. Wait to hear back from us, which could take several weeks. Read more below. You can also check the status of your reservation request.

Why is there a lottery?

Each year, the number of requests we receive far exceeds the number of reservations we have available. As a result, reservations are assigned in a random lottery fashion. We feel this is the fairest way to assign the limited seats we have available.

How does the lottery work?

The reservation request form opens in early November and is left open for several weeks. Near the middle of November, we start assigning reservations.

If your request is selected, you will be notified by email. The email notification will contain a link for you to confirm that you have received it. If you do not respond to the email, we will call you to make sure you are aware of your reservation.

All reservations will be filled by Thanksgiving day, since we start running the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you are not emailed or called before Thanksgiving, then we were unable to fill your request.

Why are my chances of being selected?

Each year, we receive several times more reservation requests than we are able to fill. Unfortunately, that means your chances of being randomly selected are small. We wish we could provide this opportunity to everyone who submits a request, but there are simply more requests that we can fill. As volunteers, we run as many days and as many hours as we can to accommodate as many people as possible, but unfortunately a vast majority of the requests will not be filled.

In the spirit of full disclosure, yes, our friends and family get first priority, and the remaining spaces are given to the public as described above. The reason we started doing the Stringtown Polar Express was to share our testimony of the true meaning of Christmas with our friends and family. Through the years, we have continued to provide this experience to our friends and family, but have expanded it to allow the general public to come as well.

How can I increase my chances of being selected?

You will have a significantly higher chance of being selected if you choose the days and times that are the least popular. Monday, Friday, and Saturday are the most popular days, and 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm are the most popular times. If you select the earlier or later times during the mid-week, you will have a much higher chance of being selected.