The Polar Express at Union Station 2020

This year things have been switched up a bit but the big news is that The Polar Express is back at Union Station in downtown St. Louis! Grab your masks and grab your kiddos and head downtown for a unique holiday experience unlike any other in St. Louis!

Even in the time of Coronavirus, an important St. Louis holiday tradition will continue to bring joy to families. The Polar Express returns to St. Louis Union Station for the 2020 season with some changes to allow for appropriate social distancing and safety.

The popular family event has been recreated as Believe! THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience for 2020. The beautifully decorated trains will remain stationary under the Union Station train shed this year for a walk-through event. Guests will interact with the The Polar Express characters and Santa Claus in whimsically decorated tents and on the Station’s Purina Performance Plaza.

Believe! THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience is the magical story of a boy’s search for the real meaning of Christmas, based on the beloved children’s book and hit film.

The event begins November 20 and continues through December 30, 2020. 
After beginning their journey, guests will feel the approach of a mysterious train and see the Conductor inviting them to board THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Set to the motion picture soundtrack, non-moving train tours will transport passengers into the magic of the beloved holiday classic.
During the experience, hot chocolate and cookies will be served by dancing and singing chefs and guests will read along with the children’s book,The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his elves will visit with children and give them the first gift of Christmas, a silver bell.
Characters and helpers will wear masks and masks will be required for all guests over the age of nine per St. Louis City Health Department guidelines. 

Timed tickets will be available from 1 to 9 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, the event will be open from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m. Timed tickets will allow for appropriate attendance sizes and social distancing during the event. Ticket prices range from $27 to $45.

More information about dates, fares and event times is available by calling 314-942-6942, or by visiting www.STLPolarExpressRide.com. Families are encouraged to wear their holiday pajamas for the experience. 

THE ST. LOUIS WHEEL & MORE
Admission to Believe! THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience can be combined with tickets to ride the St. Louis Wheel or to explore the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. The 200-foot-tall observation wheel will be open daily from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. for views of the glittering downtown holiday lights. Additional activities on site include the St. Louis Aquarium, open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and during holiday breaks. The St. Louis Carousel, an 18-hole mini-golf course at the Wheel plaza and the St. Louis Ropes Course and A-Maze-Ing Discoveries Mirror Maze inside Union Station also are open during the event.

St. Louis Union Station will continue its popular holiday fire and light show set to Christmas music on the train shed lake during the season. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ movie will be shown every night during the season.

Guests can get a head start on their holiday shopping at The Winter Market, which offers a holiday shopping experience inside the event space. Carnival games, strolling entertainers and holiday lights add to the festive atmosphere.

ROOM PACKAGES AT THE ST. LOUIS UNION STATION HOTEL
Guests can save 20 percent on their Believe! THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Experience tickets when they purchase a hotel package at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel package includes tickets to Believe! THE POLAR EXPRESS Experience and deluxe accommodations or an exclusive holiday-decorated suite with turn-down service for the complete seasonal experience.

Book a hotel stay here: 
https://www.stlthepolarexpressride.com/hotel-packages

NEW THIS YEAR: PANCAKES WITH SANTA
Select Saturdays and Sundays in December, families can enjoy a special Pancakes with Santa breakfast in Union Station’s Grand Hall. Pancakes topped with strawberries and fun whipped cream Santa faces are served with bacon and milk for the kids or coffee for the grownups. Seatings are available at 9, 9:45, 10:30 and 10:45 a.m. on December 5 & 6, 12 & 13, and 19 & 20, 2020. Santa will visit with every child during the event. Tables will be placed at appropriate social distances and only one group will be seated at a table. Masks are required per City of St. Louis Health Department requirements.

Tickets are available at:
https://www.stlthepolarexpressride.com/pancakes-with-santa

There is so much to do this year at Union Station. It is worth a trip to visit and see what all the excitement is about. Our little family of four felt very comfortable wearing our masks, walking around, and enjoying everything Union Station has to offer. Just remember the three W’s. Wear your mask, Wait 6 feet apart, and Wash your hands!

October Surprises!

What a month! It was so jammed packed with fun that it took me an extra nine days just to write this post! Okay, not really, but October was a good month for candy, costumes, and more! Check out my October 2020 wrap-up below.

We kicked off October with #inktober2020. Abby, Alex, and I each did 31 different illustrations through-out the month of October using prompts provided by Inktober. It was a lot of fun sitting with the kids and doing our drawings each night. There were lots of fun and interesting ideas brought to the table by each of us. Check out my Instagram at dadSTL and Abby’s Instagram at AbbyDoodlesArt to see all of our awesome work!

One of the sadder days of October had us spending the day packing up and moving some of my mom’s stuff. My mom was a wonderful person and had so many ideas and projects, unfortunately she teetered on the line of hoarding. So this move was definitely a big project, one that is far from finished, but we made a big dent. There were a lot of memories packed away. We will eventually make our way through all of the boxes, it will just take some time.

In other crazy October news, a marina that I do web design work for caught on fire. That was a very interesting day.

Union Station had their Halloween Experience, so we had to check that out. It was a lot of fun and the kids had an absolute blast. Union Station has some of the coolest events during the various holidays. We are super excited for the new Polar Express setup this year. It looks so fun and unique compared to previous years!

Pumpkin painting, pumpkin patches, and trunk-or-treats filled up a few weekends for us. Halloween is always a great time of year to get together with family and start celebrating the end of the year! I think this year we did three different trunk-or-treats, one at a car dealership, one at a car show, and one at a church! We went to the Eagle Fork pumpkin patch this year as well, and to top it all off the kids even got to go trick-or-treating this year!

The night before Halloween was even a fun one for the kids. Mischief night as it is known to some, Devil’s night as known by others. The kids stayed with their mischievous aunt and uncle and decided to go out and cause mayhem as they toilet papered our house and sped off into the night!

This year the kids decided to dress up as Negan from The Walking Dead and Harley Quinn. I decided to dress up as the great and all powerful sorcerer. It was a lot of fun, I even read some tarot cards and predicted a few futures!

Finally, as Halloween came to a close, so did Daylight Savings and the time decided to fall back. So on the day after Halloween, we decided to smash our pumpkins for what will become a yearly tradition! Using a baseball bat, golf clubs, and a few other creative ideas the kids and I spent a couple hours smashing some pumpkins and then tossing the bits and pieces into our compost.

And there you have it! St. Louis Dad’s October! I am sure there is more, but I am getting old and tired, and it’s about time for my nap.

Winter Home Woes And How To Solve Them

It’s fair to say that through the winter months can bring numerous challenges for homeowners that you need to be aware of and prepare for. If you do this, you can avoid problems with property damage and expensive repairs. Let’s explore some of the biggest winter woes that you can face and how to handle them the right way. 

Snowed In

It’s possible that you get snow this winter. This can be quite the nightmare because it could stop kids getting to school or you being able to reach work in the morning. To tackle this issue, you ideally need to invest in a high quality snow blower. The best snow blowers will make fast work of snow that’s built up around your property. Of course, you could already have a snow blower that just isn’t working as well as it should. If that’s the case, then you might need to think about fixing it. If you navigate to these guys, you’ll find some great advice on how to make the right repairs here. 

Water Trouble

Alternatively, you might find that there are issues with water in your home. If the rain starts to fall, even the smallest hole or gap in your roof can be a complete and utter nightmare. The good news is that it’s easy to handle trouble like this. You just need to contact a roofer and get them to check your roof before the winter weather sets in. Ideall, you should make sure that you are exploring issues here around the fall to give you enough time to get them fixed. Remember, if you leave this for too long, the problem can get a lot worse. 

Lights Out 

You might find that you have issues with power outages through the winter months. This can occur due to problems with the wind or it might be due to snow falling on the lines. In either case, the power going out can be a massive problem. Particularly, if it occurs at an inopportune moment such as when you’re cooking a meal on Christmas day. That’s why you might want to think about investing in a backup generator. These are a lot more affordable than most people realize and will fit into a typical budget. 

Pesky Pests 


It’s a well known fact that insects in the home become more common through the winter season. However, people do tend to forget that this can also lead to a full blown infestation. You need to be wary of this problem and ensure that you are taking the right steps to prevent it. This can be a case of filling in any cracks along the walls of your property. You might also want to think about laying down some bug spray and traps to ensure that a problem like this doesn’t catch you by surprise. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the common issues that you can have with your home through the winter months and what you can do to solve these problems. If you take the right steps, then you can avoid a lot of problems with property damage and headaches further down the road. 

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Halloween at Union Station!

All Aboard! The Union Station Halloween Experience brings family fun to the fall season in St. Louis, October 9 – 31.

Created for children 12 and under and their families, the Union Station Halloween Experience is a themed walking journey through the historic railroad terminal’s stationary rail cars. Each train car features a spooky theme including pirates, witches, dark creatures and a candy wonderland. 
Guests can purchase tickets and start their Halloween journey inside a huge tent filled with a not-so-scary maze, a series of boo-rific decorated rooms and a big barnyard where guests 12 and under receive a free pumpkin.
Onboard the rail cars, characters read a story with clues and interactive elements to solve the Riddle of the Werewolf. Kids get a special treat at the end of the journey.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is open daily, October 9 – 31 from 1 to 9 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 8 p.m.

My two kiddos LOVED the Halloween Experience at Union Station. It was just the perfect amount of scary for them. My son is six and he was holding my hand so tight while walking through the spooky maze. My daughter is ten and wasn’t as scared but just loved how everything was setup.

With a magic show, a balloon artist, and much more, the first part of the Halloween Experience was already worth checking out. The second part, which consists of going through several train cars that are decorated with some crazy Halloween flair was just as fun. Listening to the story and putting together the clues provided a unique experience that kids and adults should really enjoy.

Ticket options allow guests to incorporate package deals with Union Station’s other attractions, adding a visit to the St. Louis Aquarium and the 200-foot-tall St. Louis Wheel at a reduced price.

Timed tickets for the Union Station Halloween Experience are $20 per person and may be purchased on site or online at: https://www.stlouisunionstation.com/halloween-train-ticketing.

With normal Halloween plans changed due to COVID-19, the new event has been created with guest safety in mind. Just 12 people will be admitted to each train car at a time to allow for appropriate social distancing. Masks are required and family groups will be seated separately. The train cars and tent areas will be sanitized throughout the day according to Union Station’s strict safety protocols.


STAY AND PLAY
Hotel room packages with Halloween Experience tickets start at $150/night for families that want to continue the Halloween fun with an overnight stay at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel after the event.
Parking for the event is $5 per car.

ACTIVITIES ON THE PLAZA
A fall festival market tent will house shopping and activities on the Purina Performance Plaza. Halloween items will be for sale, including decorating kits for pumpkins distributed during the event. 

Fun festival-style food and drinks will be available on the Plaza and Soda Fountain, Union Station’s popular retro diner, is adding Halloween Freak Shakes to the menu.


HALLOWEEN ON THE WHEEL
Scan the skies for witches and ghosts from the top of the St. Louis Wheel. The 200-foot-tall observation wheel at Union Station will be lighted in Halloween color themes during the event and a scary soundtrack will play on the Plaza. Hourly fire and light shows will entertain families on the Union Station lake. 


UNDERWATER SCARES
The St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station gets in on the Halloween fun with underwater pumpkin carving. The Aquarium’s talented divers will create Jack o’ Lantern treats for the fishy residents of Shark Canyon. Carving demonstrations will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during dive shows at 11 a.m. and 1:30 and 4 p.m.

The Union Station Halloween Experience is located under the historic train shed at 201 S. 18th Street, St. Louis, MO 63013.