How to Host a Polar Express Movie Night at Home

Do your kids enjoy watching The Polar Express? We have already watched The Polar Express a few times already this month. It is one of our favorite Christmas movies. Before Christmas is pretty low-key in our house, we decorate the Christmas tree, make cookies, attend church on Christmas eve, and watch Christmas movies together. This year, I thought that it would be cool to invite a few friends or the cousins over to watch The Polar Express and create a new tradition.

We try to teach our children that money doesn’t grow on trees and if you want something, then you have to work hard for it. Christmas time is no different. Don’t get me wrong, we love surprising the kids with a few of their wants and doing other things like hosting a Polar Express party or making fun treats to give away. Let’s give the kids a magical experience and create lifelong memories.

Hosting a Polar Express movie is fairly simple and it is something that you can even pull off with a last minute grocery run or have family/friends help contribute to the movie night.. 🙂

Wear Pajamas

Let the kids put on their favorite pajamas. Also, have everyone bring a pillow and blanket so that everyone can be comfortable while watching The Polar Express.

Have a Hot Chocolate Bar

During the movie, the children riding the train to go see Santa at the North Pole indulge in a warm cup of hot cocoa. The kids love drinking their own cup of hot chocolate during the movie. Instead, of drinking a plain cup of hot cocoa, set up a hot chocolate bar. The hot chocolate bar should contain a few of your child’s favorite things to mix with their hot cocoa. We suggest getting the following items:

  • candy cane crushed into small pieces
  • sprinkles
  • chocolate chips
  • white chocolate chips
  • whipped cream
  • marshmallows
  • caramels
  • peppermint syrup
  • coffee syrups (vanilla, amaretto, caramel)
  • peppermint mocha creamer
  • cinnamon sticks
  • crushed graham crackers
  • crushed Oreos
  • Christmas themed Peeps
  • Andes mint baking chips
  • Christmas M & M’s
  • Torani Chocolate Sauce
Hosting the Best Polar Express Movie Night (2)

Sugar Cookies

The kids always enjoy eating sugar cookies while watching the movie. You can make homemade sugar cookies or pick some up at the store while you are getting toppings for the hot chocolate bar. My kids love dipping the sugar cookie into the hot chocolate too.


Popcorn is always a hit with the kids. We always pop several bags of microwave popcorn and pour it into a huge bowl. The huge bowl of popcorn goes in the middle of the room so that everyone can reach it. If you have a large group, you can divide it into several smaller bowls. Add white chocolate and Christmas colored sprinkles for a festive flair.


When the kids drink all of their hot chocolate, I usually offer them Hawaiian punch or water. And then I make tea for the adults.

Pass Out Jingle Bell Necklaces

Head to Dollar Tree and buy jingle bell necklaces to give to all of the attendees. If you can’t find them at Dollar Tree, you can find bells at Walmart and buy red nylon string and make your own. The kids will enjoy the small token on appreciation.

Set Up a Photo Booth

Taking photos of your fun Polar Express party is a great way to cherish the memory forever. Set up a fun photo booth and use props to create the magical moment. Let the kids take selfies, photos by themselves, and with friends.

Growing up some of my fondest Christmas memories are those shared with family and friends. Having your friends and family over to enjoy time together watching The Polar Express is a fun way to create lasting Christmas memories. Who says you have to exchange gifts as a family? Why not host a Polar Express movie night with the family instead? Instead of bringing gifts, you can even ask guests to contribute to the snacks and goodies. Have fun!

The Polar Express is currently on Netflix for your enjoyment.

Have you ever hosted a Polar Express movie night with family and friends?


Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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  1. robin rue says:

    That is such a fun idea. I will have to bookmark this for December when we bust out all the Christmas movies.

  2. I love this movie, and these are great tips for the movie. I can’t believe we are talking about polar express.

  3. With Christmas not that far away something like this would be fun to do with my kids. I cannot wait to do something like this with them. It really looks like a lot of fun.

  4. This just gets me OH SO EXCITED for the holidays!!!! YES!!! 🙂

    1. I am secretly excited for the holidays as well. 🙂

  5. What a fun time! We might have to do this. I’ve always liked the movie.

    1. I hope they enjoy some of these suggestions.

  6. Polar Express is one of our favorite movies. And I love the idea of a hot chocolate bar.

    1. I hope your kids enjoy watching their favorite movie during the holidays this year.

  7. OK now this sounds like such a fun night in! I love Polar Express and a cosy night in definitely means PJs!

    1. Cozy nights watching movies in my PJs with the kids is one of my favorite things to do and I can’t wait for our family movie nights.

  8. My kids love this movie. We will have to have do some of these when the time comes.

    1. I hope you can implement a few of these ideas for the kids this Christmas. They will be surprised and love it.

  9. ahhhh, these are brilliant ideas! I like the chocolate bar idea the most. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I hope your kids get to enjoy a hot chocolate bar while watching their favorite movies this winter.

  10. Any time I can wear PJs when watching a movie and drink hot chocolate, that’s a winner in my book!

    1. I agree. Cozy Pjs, hot chocolate or flavored coffee, and movie nights are the best. I can’t wait.

  11. These are great ideas for a Polar Express party. My kids grew up listening to the book and we have watched the movie several times.

    1. I hope that your kids enjoy having a Polar Express party this year while watching the movie.

  12. Catalina says:

    This sounds like a fun movie night! I will use your tips for sure!

    1. I hope you enjoy your Polar Express movie night this Christmas.

  13. Oh, the hot chocolate bar is so perfect for us! I haven’t seen the movie yet, will be checking it out!

    1. I hope that you enjoy this movie with warm glass of hot chocolate with your favorite toppings.

  14. What a fantastic idea! I too would love to host a Polar Express Movie Night. That hot chocolate bar sounds amazing.

    1. This post secretly has me excited for the holidays. I’m ready for hot chocolate filled with marshmallows and blanket forts on the floor watching Christmas movies. 🙂

  15. This is such a great idea for a night with my grandkids! I love this and we haven’t seen the Polar Express movie yet!

    1. I hope that you and your grandkids get to enjoy a Polar Express movie night this Christmas season. 🙂

  16. These are such great ideas to host a Polar Express movie night. I love the idea of using decor and festive foods to really set the mood.

    1. I can’t wait to do this tradition with my kids again this year. They loved it and it is a way to get into the Christmas spirit.

  17. Gervin Khan says:

    These are great ideas for hosting a Polar Express movie night and I am so excited to try this on this holiday season.

    1. I hope you enjoy your Polar Express movie night with the family. 🙂

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