This winter, Sam’s Club stores around the country are throwing free holiday parties that are open to both members and nonmembers. The only catch? The train-themed Sam's Club Merry Express Event will only be coming to 1 in 12 Sam's Club stores this year.
We've got all the details about the Sam's Club Merry Express event and what you can expect. It’s one of the freebies included in your Sam’s Club membership cost, so take advantage of the free food, gifts, and fun.
Here’s everything to know about Sam's Club Merry Express — including which cities will be hosting the event.
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1. Sam's Club Merry Express is one big parking-lot party with tons of freebies.
This Sam's Club event is essentially one big Christmas party held outdoors in the Sam’s parking lot. It’s 100% free — and something that competitor Costco surprisingly doesn’t offer during the holiday season.
The Merry Express event is train themed, and each “train car” in the parking lot will have a different perk:
Take a photo with Santa at Santa’s Engine
Stop by the Gift Car to play the giant claw game and grab your free gift
Get free food and drinks at the Dining Car
Visit the Burt's Bees Caboose for a reindeer toss game the whole family can play.
Plus, there are even more freebies and tasty holiday-themed samples inside the store (membership is required for in-store activities).
2. You don’t need to be a Sam's Club member to attend.
That’s right — the Merry Express event is totally free to the public. You do need to sign up ahead of time, but you won’t be asked to show a membership card unless you want to hit up the extra freebies inside the store.
3. The Merry Express is coming to more than 50 stores between Nov. 1 and Dec. 20, 2023.
The free holiday event is coming to more than 50 Sam’s Club locations in November and December. Hours vary by location, but typically the event is held from either noon to 6 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
4. But only 1 out of every 12 Sam’s Club locations will host the event.
There are 599 Sam’s Club locations across the country, but only 52 of them will host the Merry Express event.
This makes it even more exclusive than other Sam's Club events, including the Taste of Sam’s Club event, which happened Nov. 10 - 11, and the Sam’s Club Trick or Treat event we saw in October.
5. Is the Sam’s Club Merry Express Event coming to your city?
Here are the locations and dates for all of the Sam's Club Merry Express events this year. Check to see if your location is on the list!
I've bolded the cities that have upcoming events.
Aiken, SC: Dec. 3
Albany, GA: Nov. 8
Albuquerque, NM: Dec. 17
Alexandria, LA: Dec. 17
Amarillo, TX: Dec. 20
Anderson, SC: Nov. 26 *during the Black Friday sale
Austin, TX: Nov. 15
Bakersfield, CA: Nov. 18
Baton Rouge (South), LA: Dec. 12
Bentonville, AR: Dec. 20
Birmingham, AL: Nov. 1
Bloomington, IN: Nov. 8
Brooksville, FL: Dec. 6
Chandler, AZ: Dec. 10
Chino, CA: Nov. 29
Columbia, SC: Nov. 29
Dallas, TX: Dec. 10
Daytona Beach, FL: Nov. 19
Folsom, CA: Nov. 8
Ft. Walton Beach, FL: Dec. 10
Gilbert (East), AZ: Nov. 13
Hendersonville, TN: Dec. 20
Hilton Head, SC: Dec. 6
Houston, TX: Nov. 29
Houston (North), TX: Nov. 26 *during the Black Friday sale
Indianapolis, IN: Nov. 5
Jacksonville (West), FL: Nov. 15
Knoxville, TN: Nov. 15
Las Vegas (Silverado Ranch), NV: Dec. 6
Las Vegas (Elkhorn), NV: Dec. 3
Layton, UT: Nov. 1
Madison, MS: Dec. 20
McDonough, GA: Dec. 10
Mckinney, TX: Dec. 13
Melbourne, FL: Nov. 26 *during the Black Friday sale
Midwest City, OK: Nov. 5
Montgomery, AL: Nov. 5
Murfreesboro, TN: Dec. 17
Oklahoma City, OK: Dec. 17
Peoria, IL: Nov. 1
Pinellas Park, FL: Dec. 3
Plano, TX: Nov. 8
Rome, GA: Dec. 13
Sacramento (South), CA: Nov. 15
Saint Charles, MO: Nov. 1
Salt Lake City, UT: Nov. 4
San Antonio (North), TX: Nov. 19
San Antonio (South), TX: Dec. 3
San Marcos, TX: Dec. 6
Sanford, FL: Nov. 29
Santa Clarita, CA: Nov. 26 *during the Black Friday sale
Wake Forest, NC: Nov. 19
You can use the online location finder to get more details about hours and locations.
6. Space is limited, so you’ll need to register online before you go.
Each Merry Express event has a limited number of spaces available to ensure there are enough free gifts, food, and time with Santa for each group.
To reserve your spot, just register online. Remember — you don’t need to be a member to go. You’ll just need to provide your name, email address, and number of guests in your party. You can bring up to three guests (for a total group size of 4), and each group must have one legal adult.
Registering ahead of time is not strictly required, but you’ll only be able to walk in day-of if there are spaces left. So to take advantage of the free event, we highly recommend signing up in advance.
7. This is the first year Sam’s is hosting the Merry Express.
Sam’s Club hasn’t hosted the event before, so we don’t know what to expect in terms of the best times to go, or other ways to take advantage of the freebies. When you arrive, park anywhere in the parking lot that isn’t blocked off for the event. Head to the ticket booth to check in and receive a digital passport, which will direct you where to go for the rest of the event.
As you go through each area of the event, you’ll receive a stamp in your digital passport. When you’ve gone through all the stations, you’ll receive your free gift.
8. The free gift is a bluetooth speaker (worth $10).
Each person who attends the event will get a free gift. This year’s free gift is an SC Diamond Classic Bluetooth Speaker, which has an estimated retail value of $10.
You'll need to visit all stations at the event to receive stamps in your "digital passport" to qualify for the free gift.
9. Since you don’t have to be a member to go, Plus members don’t get early access.
Sam’s Plus members might be disappointed to learn that this event isn’t part of the Plus membership perks. But, the Sam’s Club Plus membership is definitely still worth it with all the other freebies and perks you’ll get for the additional $60 a year.
10. While you’re there, you can shop for current Sam’s Club deals.
Sam’s Club’s Instant Savings event is going on now Nov. 29 - Dec. 26, so if your Merry Express event happens to fall during that time period, you can take advantage of the Sam's Club monthly sale prices during your trip.
11. If you’re not a Sam’s Club member, now is the ideal time to join for just $20 (regularly $50).
If you’re not already a member, you can join Sam’s Club for just $20 right now!
While you don’t need to be a member to attend the Merry Express event, you do need to be a member to go inside the store (remember, there are more freebies and samples inside), and to shop all the upcoming holiday deals.