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holiday traditions

elf on the shelf idea north pole breakfast for arrival with free printables

North Pole Breakfast 2017

elf on the shelf idea north pole breakfast for arrival with free printables

We kicked off the holiday season the first Saturday of December again this year with our North Pole Breakfast. This is our 4th year of this tradition and I just absolutely love it. A few components of the breakfast have become staples, such as the strawberry, banana santa hats topped with mini marshmallows and the powdered donuts north pole tower.

elf on the shelf idea north pole breakfast donuts and strawberry banana santa hats and free printable for sign

After they were a such a big hit last year, the chocolate reindeer donuts also made an appearance again this year.

To add something fun and new, this year I made Christmas tree pancakes. I just added green food coloring to our pancake mix, then used my biscuit cutters to make different size circles. I stacked the pancakes and added a gold glitter star to the top (taped to a cake pop stick). These were pretty easy to make and the boys loved them!

christmas tree pancake stack for north pole breakfast

I made a new North Pole sign and gift tags again this year. I really like that every year has its own sign and since I haven’t seen any new ones on Pinterest the last few years making my own has become part of the tradition.

elf on the shelf idea north pole breakfast for arrival with free printables

We re-read the our Elf on the Shelf book like we do every year and the boys opened their gifts from Jingle Bell (JB). Hudson got an awesome magnetic tic tac toe and checkers set, holiday window clings, bookmarks and an elf on the shelf activity pack. Luc got a magnetic North Pole activity set, holiday window clings, an elf on the shelf activity pack and a coloring book.

gifts from elf for north pole breakfast

north pole magnetic scene from target dollar spot gift from elf for north pole breakfast

window clings gift for north pole breakfast

Both boys thanked me for the fun breakfast and thanked JB for the gifts. They both told Jingle Bell how much they love him which was the cutest thing ever! We had such a fun morning!

elf on the shelf idea north pole breakfast for arrival with free printables

To get this year’s North Pole Breakfast printable, Click Here.

north pole breakfast free printable for elf on the shelf arrival

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do and places to eat

The Sugar Cane Train Holiday Express

If you are in Maui from November 24th – December 25th this is a must! As a kid we used to ride the Sugar Cane Train every time we went to Maui. I have fond memories of it, but my parents tell me it was so slow and boring. Even still, I always hoped I would be able to take my kids on it one day, but they closed it down a few years ago, so it didn’t happen. When they announced last year that they were re-opening the Sugar Cane Train for the holidays with a Christmasy twist I knew I wanted to take the kids on it. We absolutely loved it! A real train ride with Santa, lights, holiday music, cookies and snow!! It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

 

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

Last year, once Santa boarded the train he sat in one spot and elves brought the kids to him. This worked out awesome for us because we were the first ones there and ended up in the seats next to Santa. This year, Santa walked through the train and although we personally had less time with Santa, it worked much better overall. This year they also added a Premium ticket option that included extra time with Santa, a souvenir photo and an extra toy. A cookie, milk and a train whistle are already included in the general ticket and this event is already quite pricey so we decided to skip the Premium experience. Another big change from last year is that everyone was assigned a car. This made the loading process go quicker, but make sure if you are going with a large group to buy your tickets together so you will all be placed in the same car. Last year the train was decorated as Rudolph, but this year, they used a real vintage steam locomotive to pull the train, which was pretty cool. After our ride, they even let kids check out the engine.

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

My biggest tip is to line up for your car as soon as you get there and once you enter your car sit on the side furthest from the ocean (when facing the front of the train you want to be on the left side). All the action happens out the windows on the left side of the train. I don’t want to share too much because I love a little magic and surprise, but I will say to bring your camera and be ready for a fun and magical night.

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

sugar cane train - holiday express - west maui with kids - things to do

Click here to get all the details and purchase tickets. Mele Kalikimaka!