Past Meetup

“Polar Express” Volunteer Elf Night

Peninsula Train Depot (behind Winking Lizard - park at Lock 29)

1630 Mill St. W. · Peninsula, OH

How to find us

Park at Lock 29 parking lot in Peninsula, cross over tracks and meet us at the "garage" building to get your costume.

Location image of event venue


Come out and volunteer to be “North Pole” elves for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Railroad’s “Polar Express” train. Afterwards we will meet at Fisher’s or the Winking Lizard for food and drinks at 8:30pm. Dress for the weather as we will be outside for an hour and a half.

***Update from the elf training session on 11/2: Arrive between 6:45 and 7pm to get your elf costume. Come to the "garage" that is located directly across the tracks from the Lock 29 parking lot, to get your costume between 6:45 and 7pm. After getting costume, walk over to the back of the building that is the bathrooms for Lock 29. We will then get instructions and spread out into different zones to greet the train when it comes by. Two trains will come by, then we will return the costumes and get a free cup of hot chocolate and cookies. When we are "done" here we will go over to the Fishers for food and hanging out.***

***Well-behaved dogs are welcome. Children are welcome but you have to keep watch over them. While we need your help at this event, you are welcome to come up and serve as an elf on any evening they do the Polar Express train.***

Details: The “Polar Express” train will stop nightly at the Peninsula train depot. Passengers will remain on the train, but will be able to look out the windows. The park service will decorate the area to look like the North Pole, and they need up to 100 volunteers each night to dress up and act like Christmas elves. You have to be over 18 to participate so please do not bring children and no dogs.

They have enough costumes for 100 volunteers but if you happen to own an elf or santa costume you’re welcome to bring it. They will instruct us how to act when we get there, but basically we will be acting out vignette’s like pretending to build toys, bake cookies, etc. We will act for two Polar Express trains (one from Rockside and one from Akron), for about 15-20 minutes for each train, and the rest of the time we will be standing around waiting for trains to arrive, receiving instructions, etc.

Important sign up info: besides RSVPing here, you need to be over 18 and complete an online volunteer form – lots of fields so best to do over a computer and not over a smart phone. If you are not able to sign up here you will have to fill out a form once you get there that night and you’ll have to bring your driver’s license or government ID. Please try to sign up ahead of time though if you can.

Click this link to fill out volunteer form (will take a minute to fill out)

Scroll to bottom of page and click “Apply now over age 18”, then click “accept and continue”. Fill out form. For “how did you hear about us” write in “Spokes N Jokes.” For “interested in” select “special events” then submit.

If you have any questions, Moses (the leader of Spokes N Jokes meetup group) and I will be attending an Elf orientation session for group leaders (yes, for real) in early November so you can ask either of us if you need more info; if you need to call me (Becky) you can do so at[masked].

Please invite your friends – we can take up to 100 people. Just let us know how many will be coming, and everyone who comes has to be over 18 and fill out a volunteer form.