Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, in Newcastle brings the classic Christmas story The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg to life with a series of magical interactive storytelling workshops.

This festive season, Seven Stories is inviting families to revel in the magic of Christmas with an interactive telling of this beautiful Christmas tale. Guests of The Polar Express Festive Story Workshop can grab a golden ticket at arrivals before heading upstairs to the enchanting attic where they will climb aboard an imagination train. Little ones and their grown-ups will meet a trainee Story Driver who is about to take their Story Driving test and needs their help, before finally snuggling up with a warm drink and tasty treat to see where the magical story takes them.

Helping to bring the story to life will be a spectacular cardboard train created by cardboard wizard Lottie Smith which will welcome families as they arrive for their adventure as well as providing the base for a clever festive cardboard craft making session.

To make it an unforgettable family day out each ticket includes a Story Workshop, a sweet treat from Ouseburn's Dreamworld Cakes (contestants in this year’s Bake Off: The Professionals), a hot chocolate or warm milk, a special cardboard craft activity designed by Lottie as well as 10% discount in the Seven Stories bookshop, where families can buy their very own copy of The Polar Express to relive the magic at home.

Furthermore, The Polar Express Festive Story Workshop tickets include free entry to the visitor centre so families can enjoy a full day out exploring its many unique exhibitions, craft areas, cosy café and bookshop plus from Tuesday 26th November visitors will have the chance to see its bespoke Christmas Window, painted by Snow Artist Tom Baker

* To well and truly get in the festive spirit, under 5s can also enjoy breakfast with Mrs Claus in her Christmas kitchen every Tuesday to Friday throughout December (Tuesday 3rd December – Friday 20th December) with festive themed games, crafts and activities.

Beth Coverdale, creative producer at Seven Stories, said, “We’re very excited to announce The Polar Express Festive Story Workshop sessions as part of our Christmas activities here at Seven Stories. Designer Lottie Smith has created a clever Polar Express train made out of cardboard materials which we think will fascinate visitors plus our amazing story catchers are set to captures lots of imaginations.

"Our team love sharing brilliant books with families all year round, and we can't wait to welcome everyone aboard for this very special festive interactive story." 

Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express was first published in 1985 and is now considered to be a Christmas classic. The book was adapted as an Oscar-nominated motion-capture film in 2014 starring Tom Hanks with Van Allsberg serving as an executive producer on the film.

Visitors can choose from weekend and holiday workshops for all the family (priced at £9.50 per person) or under 5s midweek workshops (priced at £7.50 per person).

The centre will also host two relaxed workshops on Thursday 19 December at 1.30pm and Saturday 21st December at 3pm.

The Polar Express family workshops begin on 23rd November and run until 23rd December.

Under 5s workshops start a little later on Thursday 28th November and run until 19th December.

*Breakfast with Mrs Claus costs £3.25 per child and includes 1 slice of toast with butter and jam, a glass of milk, fruit juice or hot chocolate and a small bowl of mixed fruit. Children will also get a small biscuit to ice. For any child's breakfast purchased grown-ups can get a tea or filter coffee for just £1. This is a drop-in event, no booking required. There is a minimum spend of £3.25 to take part in activities and crafts. The last food orders are at 10.30am.

For more information and to book tickets visit: