DERRY — It was a journey of a lifetime for young explorers hoping to find that perfect holiday prize while visiting a famed frosty land.

Children hopped on the Polar Express last week during Taylor Library's popular annual story hour, giving young library patrons a chance to hear stories, ride a special train and meet Santa Claus himself.

The library hosts three imaginary trips to the North Pole every year, often with a long list of children hoping to grab a ride.

The popular holiday event is based on the "Polar Express" book by Chris Van Allsburg, telling the tale of a young boy taking a snowy journey to meet Santa Claus.

The library has hosted the story times for more than 15 years, and every year it draws a crowd as staff transforms the small East Derry library space into a winter wonderland, complete with holiday cookies and cocoa.

Children arrived in their pajamas and received a special bell, as they got ready for the trip to the North Pole. Children then hear stories and await then Santa's arrival, who listens to each child's wishes for Christmas.

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