Polar Express™ Volunteer Information

Click here to register and purchase tickets (for those who have done this before)

Thank you for considering a volunteer position with the Polar Express! Each December, we rely on the spirit of hundreds of volunteers to bring our magical journey alive for over 3,600 passengers who visit our ‘North Pole.’ Pick the volunteer position which best suits you. We have two shifts each day, or you may choose to work all day. The shift times are specified on the registration forms. For more details, read on!


We need elves! Our largest group of Polar Express volunteers is the adorable elves. As an elf you will be stationed in the North Pole (Union Station). Your job is to welcome the passengers who arrive on the train, especially the children, to the North Pole. As the train pulls into the station, the group of elves will form a large V configuration OUTSIDE the station entrance, reaching from the first train car to the last train car and stretching as it narrows to the entrance of the station. We encourage you to hoot, holler, shout, clap, make noise and show wild enthusiasm when the train arrives! As the families and children walk by you, kneel down and whisper Merry Christmas and be sure and use the names of the smallest children (each child will be wearing a name tag).

Sample script:
“Merry Christmas Julia, you have been so very good!”
“Welcome to the North Pole, Will!”
“Thanks for coming Sam, we hope you love the story”

After the story reading, elves form a path leading to the stairs and continue to greet children and wish them a Merry Christmas. Be on the lookout for children who run ahead of their parents and ask them to “wait for Mom and Dad.” It gets very congested as families travel up the stairs so you may have to lift children up and ask them to ‘show you where Mom and Dad are.’ Go up one or two steps so you and the child can be seen by frantic parents.

After September 2, Groups of 5 or more elves who do not need tickets should register by contacting us at polarexpress@vtchildrenstrust.org.

After September 2, Individuals register to volunteer HERE.


We have several opportunities to volunteer behind the scenes. You can decorate the station and trains the week prior to the event. At the event, you may be assigned to help with parking, deliver cocoa and cookies to the train, and clean up. If you prefer a behind the scenes role, please note in your comments on the web sign up. Shift times may differ.

We hope to see you at the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation Polar Express, Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2015.


Elves welcoming the train

Photos: Steve Mease