The Polar Express Clonakilty



Santa is coming back to Clonakilty this Christmas!

Get ready to be enchanted as The Polar Express returns, bigger and more magical than ever before!

ASD/Sensory time slots will take place on Saturday 2nd December 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and are available to book on the separate calendar below.

Join Santa and Mrs Claus, all the elves, and a host of festive friends for an extraordinary indoor and outdoor, walk-through Christmas adventure designed to delight the entire family. Be immersed in the Christmas magic with sing-alongs, interactive storylines, and lots of excitement that will captivate all the family. Meet Mrs Claus who has a special request for all the young visitors.

This year Santa is delighted to meet you and your family in his cosy Christmas cabin. Engage in heart-warming conversations with Santa and capture precious photos. Meet Dusty the magical teddy bear, visit the mystical magical forest, hop aboard the Choo Choo Road Train. Keep your eyes peeled for Jack Frost and The Grinch who you might spot on Mount Crumpit!

Twinkling lights and seasonal magic will fill the air as you explore the Villages of Light and see miniature West Cork as you’ve never seen it before. Follow the model trains and have fun trying out the remote control boats and mini diggers.

Santa, the Model Village staff, and the team at Karl O’Connor Creative are working hard to make sure this is a magical and unforgettable Christmas experience for all the family. 

Booking Guidelines:

  • The experience will take 1 hour and 30 minutes, after which families are welcome to enjoy the Village of Lights and outdoor activities. We suggest planning a 2-hour visit; please keep this in mind when selecting your date and time.
  • The ASD-friendly booking times are Saturday 2nd December from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Please use the ASD-friendly specific booking link and check the FAQs below for more information.
  • Please tick the wheelchair option if there is one or more in your party with a wheelchair. Please do not tick the wheelchair option for prams and buggies.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book in advance?
Yes, booking in advance is essential. As we are running on a limited number of days, we strongly recommend booking early. Tickets go on sale Friday 22nd September 2023.

Will we get a time with Santa and get a professional photo with him?
Yes, this year Santa is delighted to meet families in his Christmas Cabin. He will talk to families and pose for a professional Christmas photo. A souvenir photo with Santa Claus can be purchased for €12.50 or three photos for €25 (Buy two get one free). This is optional and payable on the day. Envisage Photography will be on hand to take the photos.

Is there parking on site?
There is free parking for customers of the Model Village.

How long does the event last?
Groups start every 15 minutes and the experience will take approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes. After visiting Santa families can explore The Village of Lights, outdoor activities. We suggest planning for a 2-hour visit; please keep this in mind when selecting your date and time.

What is the ASD-friendly booking time?
On Saturday 2nd December, we will be running ASD-friendly booking times between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Santa experience will be dialled down for sound, lighting, visuals and have smaller capacity numbers. Staff will be on hand to support family members with moving through the experience. This time is for anyone who would enjoy a less busy and less-stimulating visit. Bookings should be made with the specific ASD Polar Express Booking Calendar above.

Will children receive a present?
Yes, children will receive a present as part of the experience. Children can choose their present from a wide range of toys in Santa’s Toy Workshop.

Is the event different by day and by night?
The event will feel different by day and night, and we think there are great positives to both! The train carriage decorations and the Model Village diggers and boats will be best in the daytime. The Magical Village of Lights and Christmas lighting around the site will be best at dusk and night-time.

Will there be food and drinks available to purchase?
There will be tea, coffee, hot chocolate, refreshments and snacks available on site. For more substantial items for lunch and dinner, we suggest looking at the many great eateries in Clonakilty town, which is under 10 minutes’ walk from the Model Village.

Is the event indoors or outdoors?
The experience takes place both indoors and outdoors. We advise rain-appropriate clothing and shoes. Dress warmly in layers, hats, and rain gear when necessary.

Will there be toilets on site?
Yes, there are toilets, wheelchair-accessible toilets and baby changing facilities at the Model Village.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?
The event is wheelchair accessible – the two Christmas carriages have ramps and operate with a one-way system. There are wheelchair accessible toilets, and the Road Train can accommodate one wheelchair per journey. The Village of Lights and all areas of the Model Village are wheelchair friendly.

Can I reschedule my booking?
Yes, you can reschedule your booking, but only to an available timeslot – please contact us at with the details. We will do our best to accommodate you but cannot guarantee it.

If the event cannot proceed, will I be refunded?
Yes, you will be fully refunded if the event cannot go ahead. If the event cannot proceed for a particular day or days, for example, due to an extreme weather event with code red, you will receive a full refund.

Can I cancel my booking?
We have a no-refund policy for cancellations. You can, however, transfer/give the booking to someone else as long as the attendee number stays the same. If you decide not to show, email as there may be a family waiting for your booked time.

I need to add an extra child/adult to my booking. How can I do this?
If you need to add more individuals to your booking, please email, and we will endeavour to accommodate you.

Health Guidelines:
We are operating in line with the Failte Ireland Safety Charter and will follow all government guidelines during the event. If this event is cancelled, you will be issued a full refund.