Take a Ride on the North Pole Express

The North Pole Express with the Heber Valley Railroad offers all of the charm, magic, and excitement that it promises!

 Photo credit Enjoy Utah!

View a 2 minute video of the highlights at the end of this post.


Upon arriving at the historic train depot at 450 South 600 West in Heber City, UT, you receive your train car assignment, printed right on your ticket. Because there are no facilities on the train, make sure you, and especially the kids, use the restroom before boarding! The train ride from departure of the depot, up to the North Pole to see Santa, and then arrival back at the depot, is almost EXACTLY 90 minutes. Just perfect for a magical holiday adventure!

The train leaves right on schedule, so make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your departure time! You'll want to arrive early anyway and have plenty of time to check out all of the historic documents and photos they have on display in the train depot. They also have a great gift shop where you can do some Christmas shopping!

After boarding the train, find a seat and "settle in for a long winter's night." You will soon be served some of Santa's favorite foods: complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. You will also be presented with a song book and some jingle bells. The narrator of the train will no doubt tell some AWFUL......lly fun Christmas jokes, and give you the chance to tell some yourself! You will hear the magical story of "Twas The Night Before Christmas," and can even read along in your songbook. The "Santa's helpers" on the train are delightful and will even sing and dance right along with you! The conductor will come around and visit with his passengers, and may even pose for a picture or two.......IF you've been a good boy or girl this year!

One thing to watch for: don't get so wrapped up in what's going on inside the train that you forget to look outside the windows of the train! You will see signs guiding to the North Pole, houses festively decorated, and as you arrive at the North Pole, you will see Santa just waiting to greet you!

Upon arrival at the North Pole, the train slows and comes to a stop to allow Santa to get on and visit with each and every person. He will also present each child with a small special gift.

The ride back to the train depot is filled with more singing and dancing.

A few things to know:

  • Because the hot cocoa and cookies are included with your ticket, you don't need to worry about bringing a ton of cash. The only thing available to purchase on the actual train is the picture they take of you at the beginning, and you can purchase that for $12. It's optional and they do not pressure you into buying. We bought ours, and it comes in a cute keepsake frame.

  • Bundle up! Because it is a historic train, it is heated by a coal stove. The night we went had degrees in the 30s and 40s, and my kids ended up taking their coats off. The train keeps somewhat warm with all the bodies in there, but make sure to pay attention to the weather forecast to know how bundled up you will need to be. A child that is too cold will not have a very fun time.

  • The description on the Heber Valley Railroad's website said that children are encouraged to wear their pajamas. My kids wore their pajamas and loved it, but I noticed that not many other children were dressed in their jammies. Let your kids wear their jammies!.....it will add to their magical experience!

DISCOUNT TICKETS are now available for readers of Enjoy Utah!

$5 off coach tickets on December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16. Call the train directly at 435-654-5601 and ask for the "Utah Blogger" discount. You will also need to mention Enjoy Utah! to get this discount! Tickets are now on sale for this popular holiday train, which is a long-standing tradition for thousands of Utah families. First class service is available most weekends during the North Pole Express schedule.

Due to the high demand for tickets, the Heber Valley Railroad is offering two matinee excursions on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, 2010. The North Pole Express will depart every Monday through Saturday through December 24, 2010. CLICK HERE for complete schedule and prices.

View the video here:



Read more from Michelle Powell at www.enjoyutah.org.