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5 Tips for Riding the North Pole Express

North Pole Express Tips

This year I had the chance to take my three-year-old daughter Olivia on the North Pole Express. I have heard a lot of great things about this magical experience aboard the Heber Creeper on the Heber Valley Railroad, and was excited to finally check it out for myself. Since it was our first time, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Thanks to some tips from our family and friends, we were able to be prepared for the adventure.

North Pole Express Train

North Pole Ticket

The North Pole Express is a 90 minute train ride to the North Pole aboard the Heber Creeper. This adventure mimics the classic tail of the Polar Express. Some kids dress even dress in their Christmas pajamas. Along the journey you can expect to meet Mrs. Clause, eat chocolate chip cookies and sing Christmas carols. Once you reach the Noth Pole, Santa Clause boards the train and meets with every little boy and girl. Olivia had so much fun meeting Santa Clause and singing along with everyone on the train. 

North Pole Train Entrance
We want you to have the same great experience, so below are 5 tips to keep in mind when riding the North Pole Express.

  1. Buy Tickets Early: As you might already know, tickets go fast and the North Pole Express will sale out. Tickets go on sale in the early fall, so make note on your calendar to check the website in October for the best dates and times for your family.
  2. Dress Warm: We were worried there wouldn’t be heat on the train, but it was pretty warm. You will however want to bundle up because you will be spending some time outside before and after the train ride. It’s pretty chilly up in Heber in the winter!
  3. Arrive Early: Our train was scheduled for 5:00 but we decided to get there 30 minutes early. This allowed us to check out the gift shop and get situated. We waited in line outside for about 15 minutes and were able to be one of the first ones on the train.
  4. Get the Best Seat: Make sure to sit on the right side of the train. This is the best spot because you will get to see the North Pole and Santa right out your window. If you are on the left side, you can still see, you just have to stand up and move over to the window.
  5. Bring Snacks: The train ride is 90 minutes, which can be a tad long for some kids. It’s hard to get my three-year-old to sit still for 5 minutes, so I brought lots of snacks to keep her occupied. The elf’s bring around cookies and hot chocolate, so you’ll have an added snack for the ride.

Overall we had a great experience on the North Pole Express and will make this a new Christmas tradition. We can’t wait to go again next year and make this a family tradition.

Sweet Tips

Best App for Black Friday Shopping

The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here…Black Friday! This year, I’m throwing out the printed ads and I’m preparing by having everything readily available on my phone. Who’s with me?

There are a variety of shopping apps but I’ve recently found one I love called Flipp.  Take a look at the details below and check it out for yourself. You have a few days left to download the app and give it a trial run before your big shopping mission!



Flipp App Logo

Flipp is an app that helps make weekly shopping simple. It removes the clutter of traditional ads and coupons and replaces them with digital versions from retailers. The best part is you can also add loyalty cards to match local deals with coupons. There are more than 800 stores on Flipp, including Target, Walgreens, Smiths and more. 

Flipp App Screen Shot

Top App Features:

  • Browse your favorite local weekly ads from over 800 retailers
  • Match coupons with weekly ads for additional savings
  • Plan ahead and discover deals for each item in your shopping list
  • Clip items to organize your list to make your shopping trip easy.
  • Receive reminders about expiring deals, new offers and updates from your favorite and nearby retailers 

Download from iTunes or Google Play

Available on iOS and Android

Sweet Tips

Save Money With Ibotta in 3 Easy Steps

Save Money Using Ibotta app

I don’t know about you, but couponing is not my thing. Don’t get me wrong, grocery shopping is one of my top expenses so saving money is a priority. I try my best to find deals and use my preferred customer cards for the extra discount whenever possible. I’ve tried couponing in the past, but every time I go to the store, I can’t find them or I forget to bring them with me. This happens to me Every. Single. Time. It’s so frustrating.

Last month, my friend told me about a free mobile app called Ibotta. (pronounced: i-bought-a) When she said I could get cash back by simply buying my groceries, I thought…sign me up! I was a little skeptical after she explained the process, because I don’t want to add a lot of extra time to my grocery trip.

I decided to give Ibotta a try and I downloaded the app. I found it super easy to use and after the first time, it’s become part of my grocery shopping routine. The only downside that I have found is I don’t buy a lot of items that are eligible for a rebate. I know some people will buy items just because they are listed, however, I’m not going to buy something I know I will never use. With that said, I do love that every time I go to unlock a rebate, I can find my usual staples like milk, bread, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables. I typically walk out of the store collecting anywhere from $1.00 – $3.00 per trip.

Now that you’ve read about my experience, check it out for yourself. Download the Ibotta app, sign up for an account and follow these three simple steps:

  1. Choose Your Rebates
    Open the Ibotta app, choose a category (grocery) and pick a retailer. Scroll through all the items and start unlocking rebates for the items you will purchase. When unlocking a rebate, you will be asked to take a poll, read information about the product or watch a quick video. This takes a little bit of time, so make sure to do this before you head to the store.
  1. Scan Your Groceries
    Once you buy your groceries and get home, scan the barcodes of your rebate items into the app. You will see a green check mark to verify your rebate.
  2. Upload Your Receipt
    You’re almost done! The last step is to take a picture and upload your receipt. Ibotta will take up to 24 hours to review your items. Once complete, you will receive an email and notification that you earned cash back from your rebates.

Couponing with Ibotta

The great thing about Ibotta is you aren’t limited to grocery rebates. You can get cash back savings on other retail categories including electronics, apparel, restaurants and even pet supplies.  So ditch the coupons and get real cash back by simply checking Ibotta before you go shopping.  

Now let me tell you about the best part! Once you collect $20 in rebates, you are eligible to collect cash from PayPal or Venmo. If you don’t want to sign-up for either of those accounts to collect cash, you can opt for a gift card, once you reach $25 in rebates, at various retailers, including Amazon. 

Inside Tip: If you know someone who uses the app, ask them to send you a referral code. You automatically get money added to your account when you sign up! If you don’t find anyone to send you a code, you can use mine. (jfmkmad)