The Polar Express Comes to Paso Robles

by Tina Swithin

Written and illustrated in 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express has become a children’s Christmas classic that my family cherishes during the holiday season. The plot of the story involves a young boy who has lost his Christmas spirit and boards a train that magically appeared to whisk him away. To his astonishment, the train is headed for the North Pole and is filled with chocolate, candy and other pajama clad children. On this magical adventure, the boy receives a bell that can only be heard by the children who “believe." The gift of the bell and journey to the North Pole reignited the boy's belief in the spirit of Christmas.

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” – The Polar Express

Each year, my best friends and I, along with their children board the Polar Express in Paso Robles, California to experience the magic of the Christmas season. Paso Robles, you may be asking? Yes, each year, there is a special reading of The Polar Express which takes place on Le Vigne Winery’s historic Pullman train cars. Lots of pajama-clad children climb onboard to experience a special reading of The Polar Express. This is an unforgettable family tradition that is a holiday must-do for the entire family.

Join Le Vigne Winery for The Polar Express on December 15th and 21st with readings at 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm and 7:00pm.

  • Wine and cheese tasting
  • Cookies and hot cocoa
  • A visit with Santa Claus
  • Children are encouraged to wear their favorite cozy PJs

Tickets are $10 for children and $20 for adults. All proceeds benefit the youth and families served by the Family Care Network.

Le Vigne Winery, 5115 Buena Vista Drive, Paso Robles, California

(805) 227-4000


Tina Swithin is a freelance journalist covering family travel and "hidden gems" in California. Tina writes for The Huffington Post, Examiner, Bay Area Parent Magazine and many others. Tina resides in San Luis Obispo, California with her husband, daughters and Standard Poodle.