Canadian Pacific Holiday Train


It’s time to dig out the winter gear, the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is coming to town.  It will stop at the Union Depot in St. Paul tomorrow December 9th, for a musical performance.  There are other Minnesota stops this weekend as well.  Check the schedule here. A fun event for the whole family.  Be prepared for the cold weather, as this event is outside.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will stop at historic Union Depot on Friday evening, December 9, for a musical performance. Attendees are encouraged to bring healthy food donations to benefit Merrick Community Services Food Shelf. Canadian Pacific is committed to raising awareness about the need to fill community food shelves with heart-healthy foods.

This free event will start at 7:15 p.m. when the brightly lit train rolls in the station and Canadian Pacific representatives and Rafael Ortega, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, welcome visitors followed by a performance by Colin James and Kelly Prescott.

PLEASE NOTE: General Admission is FREE for this event and does NOT require a ticket. The General Admission viewing area is behind the VIP viewing area.

All viewing areas are Standing Room Only. Concert is outside so please dress for cold weather.


Walmart Online Grocery Pickup – Saving Time in the Twin Cities Area


Its here! Walmart Online Grocery Pickup is now available in multiple locations in the Twin Cities Metro. This holiday season, when we all can use some extra time in our busy schedules, you can cross spending time grocery shopping off the list!


Walmart Online Grocery Pickup is a new way to shop for groceries. You simply order your groceries online using your computer or smartphone, select a pickup time, arrive at the store, and a Walmart associate brings your groceries to your car and loads them up for you. And to top it off,  the service is completely FREE! There are no service fees or price mark-ups, so we get the same Every Day Low Prices we find in Walmart stores. Locally, you can pick up your Walmart Online Grocery order in Maple Grove, Elk River, Monticello, Cottage Grove, Shakopee, Oak Park Heights or Hastings.


Here’s exactly how Walmart Online Grocery Pickup works:

I used the Walmart Online Grocery Pickup service for the first time last week and it was so easy! I ordered my groceries from my desktop at Walmart Online Grocery, but you can also order right from your smartphone (more about that later). I was happy to see how easy it was to find everything I wanted. For most of my groceries I just entered a search term like “cream cheese” or “spinach” and all the related options came up for me to make my choices. I was also able to do some browsing. I knew I wanted to find some type of frozen meal because things have been super hectic here recently, so I clicked on “Shop by Department” to select “Frozen” and then “Frozen Meals”. I could then browse through everything available. I appreciated that I could click through on each item to get more details before making my choices. I also like that I can choose from departments throughout the store including dairy, produce, deli, meat, bakery and more.


Once I had all my groceries selected I just had to pay and select when and where I wanted to pick up my order. Pick-up times are available in one hour time slots starting the day after you’re placing your order.


Then I was all done until the next day but I decided I would download the Walmart Grocery app (available for iPhone and Android). Once downloading I realized we can also order our groceries right from the app itself.


The next day I received an email that my order was ready for pick-up at the Elk River store. When I was ready to go pick it up, I checked in via the app to let the store know I was on my way. The app told the store how far away I was, letting the pick-up associate know to have my order ready. (If you don’t want to use the app, you can call when you’re on the way for your pick-up.)


Once I got to the store it was easy to find the pick-up location by following the orange signs in the parking lot. I pulled into a waiting spot and waited a few minutes for an associate to come out with my order and load the whole thing into my car. I didn’t even have to step out into the cold, which is a BIG plus during a Minnesota December!


The associate who helped me, Sarah, was SO nice and even showed me the bananas she chose for me to make sure they were the ripeness I preferred. She got it perfectly with nice yellow bananas with just a bit of green at the stems. I was impressed at how much care she obviously puts into selecting the very best items.


From start to finish the Walmart Online Grocery Pickup experience was smooth sailing and a huge timesaver. While I like the service simply because it saves time I know others who like the service for other reasons. I have a friend who suffers from anxiety and grocery shopping causes her a lot of stress. With grocery pick-up she can avoid that entirely. For elderly or disabled shoppers, the pick-up option lets them get everything they need without having to make their way through the store. For mom’s with little ones they don’t have to wrangle their kids while trying to get the shopping done. I think I could go on and on!

Check out Walmart Online Grocery Pickup and let us know what you’ll be doing with YOUR extra time!


Drive Inside Movie: Holiday Double Feature


Friday is time for Drive Inside Movie: Holiday Double Feature at the Maplewood Mall.  The event begins at 5pm.  You can find more details here on the event page.

Bring the kids to the Maplewood Mall for a special drive-in treat.

We will be located on the upper level in between Sears and Dairy Queen.

Come early to be sure you have enough time to take a pit stop for some popcorn and beverages. The first 150 kids to arrive will recieve a coupon for a FREE kids size popcorn and juice box.

5pm-5:30pm = Holiday Activity Hour: cookies and ornament decorating {pre-registration required}

5:30pm = A Charlie Brown Christmas begins.

6:00pm = How the Grinch Stole Christmas begins

This movie event is FREE to the public however, the Holiday Activity hour does require a $2 donation to the Salvation Army: Maplewood Food Shelf.

If you are only planning on coming for the movie, please RSVP with the General Movie Admission ticket. If you purchase a Holiday Activity Hour ticket you DO NOT need to reserve a general admission ticket.

Please RSVP for all children who will be participating in the event.

Northfield’s Winter Walk


Walking in a winter wonderland, When it snows ain’t it thrilling, Walking in a winter wonderland… yes it’s Northfield’s 18th Annual Winter Walk.  Taking place Thursday evening from 5-9pm.  Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Carolers, Model Train Display, Santa, Frosty the Snowman and more.  Fun for all ages.  Check out the schedule here.

In the heart of the holiday season, an event takes place that draws crowds from near and far. Steaming cups of hot cocoa, the sounds of hooves clippity-clapping along the streets, and candles flickering in the breeze, creates a magically and can’t miss one-night festival.

Winter Walk is set to take place on the evening of December 8, in downtown Northfield. Visitors can wander through our unique shops and enjoy beautifully decorated storefront window displays. There will be horse-drawn carriages ready to take you for a short ride, carolers strolling through downtown along with thousands of twinkling lights to guide your path! Old and young alike enjoy viewing the model train display located at the Northfield Library – or watching the performance of the NAGCracker (Nutcracker) at the Northfield Arts Guild.

Santa Claus and his elves will be making an appearance as well as Frosty the Snowman and Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer! We hope you will join us, as we usher in the holiday season with this fun and festive event.

Winter Walk in Northfield


MOA Toddler Tuesdays: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Toddler Tuesday

Here comes Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, with his nose so bright!  That’s right, tomorrow for Toddler Tuesday at Mall of America you can enjoy a preview of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer The Musical. Toddler Tuesday is a free event at the Mall of America, taking place at 10am.

Rudolph and friends fly back onto Stages Theatre Company stage this Holiday Season for an encore production of this audience favorite. Come celebrate the spirit of the holidays with this timeless tale of misfits, elves, an abominable snow monster and a whole lot of Holly Jolly good fun. This enchanting musical, based on the classic television special features all the characters and songs you love, and will inspire you to sing along with glee! Preview performances begin at 10 + 11 a.m.


Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII


The Anoka County Historical Society is opening a new exhibit this coming week.  You can join in the opening events on Tuesday December 6th.  If you can’t make it on Tuesday be sure to check out the exhibit at a different time.

Join ACHS Tuesday, December 6 at 6 p.m. to hang the last ornament on the “Around the County” Christmas tree, then stay to enjoy refreshments and stories in a gallery open house until 8 p.m.
The Anoka County Historical Society is set to open a new exhibit at the History Center to remember those of the greatest generation who served both overseas and on the homefront as part of a day-long series of events December 6.
The exhibit, Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII, begins with a vignette of a 1941 living room, complete with newspaper and radio announcing the news of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Visitors can then follow the escalating involvement of the USA into the war, experience rationing and salvaging efforts, the Red Cross, and the popular Victory Gardens. The influx of women into the workforce, the conversion of local businesses like Federal Cartridge and Northern Pump to produce large quantities of munitions for the war, and other personal stories will round out the visitor experience.
In a gallery space reserved for nearly 15 years to honor those who served in the United States military, the opening of Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII will highlight the experiences of family and friends who served overseas during this, the 75th anniversary season of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Artifacts on display include knitted red socks and the book of approved patterns, a radio that delivered the news, a banner awarded for the determined war bond effort, and the massive story of munitions development.
Those left at home to harvest milkweed for kapok and naval life jackets, save rubber by not driving, and do without nylons rarely stopped thinking about their loved ones overseas. With three Medal of Honor recipients demonstrating ties to Anoka County, a pair of aviator goggles that witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and several military uniforms also on display, their sacrifices are certainly not forgotten in this exhibit.
It is from this vantage point that patrons can move into the Farms to Flamingos exhibit, which opened last summer to discuss the impact Suburbanization had on Anoka County. With the increase in housing, workforce, babies, and modern conveniences, the post-war era created an atmosphere of peaceable abundance for many. Come add your story to those already held at the History Center!
The History Center will be open its normal hours from 10-8 p.m. on Dec. 6 for visitors, although a special reception will occur from 6-8 p.m., during which time the last “Around the County” Christmas ornament will be hung on the tree to represent Columbus and additional “bonus artifacts” will be available to view of the WWII era.
Earlier in the day, a commemorative event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the construction of the historic post office will occur from 10-2 p.m. at the old post office in Anoka. This is one last chance to collect an exclusive cachet envelope with the special design created by ACHS for the construction anniversary of this National Register building. Bearing the now-familiar jack-o-lantern stamp, unveiled in Anoka this fall, the envelope will also have a one-of-a-kind cancellation postmark.


Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm


Although our ground isn’t quite white yet, tomorrow is still a great time to enjoy an Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm.  Located in Eagan, it’s a free event for the whole family.  It takes place tomorrow December 4th, from noon-3:30.

Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm Today

Celebrate the Christmas Holiday at this old fashioned, 1940’s era event at Holz Farm. There is no admission fee, all events are free. You’ll enjoy experiences such as hayrides, a bonfire, s’mores, carols, live reindeer and a visit by Santa. Also, enjoy holiday cookies as they were prepared on the farm with hot cider and a warm heart. Santa is anxious to hear from those that are naughty or nice, bring your camera! Most activities are held outdoors and in the barn.

Anoka Hometown Holiday Events December 3rd


It looks like Anoka is the place to be tomorrow (Dec 3rd).  With a variety of hometown holiday events to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.  There will be events happening throughout the day, head to Anoka and join in some of the holiday fun.

An authentic Hometown Holiday with hayrides, carolers, Santa, special events and the kind of friendly customer service that you won’t find anywhere else.

Anoka Tree Lighting Event from 3pm–7pm at Anoka City Hall Plaza (1st Ave N) Join in as we all c-o-u-n-t-d-o-w-n to light-up the City Christmas Tree and enjoy horse-drawn trolly rides, music, bonfires and even Santa! Food and merriment will abound to bring back memories of an old-fashioned Christmas


Photography by Melissa Peifer Photography.

Photography by Melissa Peifer Photography.


9 DESIGN: Hot Cider, Treats & In-Store Specials; Register to Win: Pick a Present Under the Tree

10K Brewing: Beer & Yoga 10:30am; Live Music: Kevin James 7pm

Amore Antiques: Enjoy Treats

Antiques on Main: Enjoy Hot Apple Cider & Cookies from 9-7

Chema Malu: Meet Local Author Richard Dahlberg from 11-2. Richard wrote I Love You More Than More PLUS Find the Elf & receive a FREE pair of Earrings with any purchase.

Emerald Isle Antiques: 20% off select items storewide, candy canes & Christmas stickers for kids; Hot Apple Cider & Cookies

It’s About Sleep: BOGO Pillow 1Ž2 off of lesser or equal value; Free pillow fittings

Jenson’s/I. Appeal: Kids Craft hour at Jenson’s Kids from 10-11; 20% off sweaters in all departments

Made You Look: Holiday Open House begins at 10; Decorate ginger cookies & ornaments; Apple cider, raffles & prizes too!

Minnesota Company: All T-shirts $5 off; Free wood slice ornament with $50 purchase

Monica’s Closet: Find the Elf & take 20% off one, regular-priced item

Peterson Shoes: Enjoy treats!

Pucci Pet Career Studios: 9am – Green Egg Breakfast w/ Santa Claus and Mrs. Paws; 11-4 Photos w/ Santa Paws; All day Howliday Stocking Bar, MakeRovers and Pawdicures; 10% off all treats, toys and Howliday Gear

Buy Visa Gift Cards at Hy-Vee and Get a Bonus! + Reader Giveaway

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Now that we have passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday we are definitely in the BIG holiday shopping season! Did you start tackling your holiday shopping lists already? Or are you more of a last minute holiday shopper? Do you spend Christmas Eve racing to the store to grab last minute gifts? I admit I have spent plenty of December 24ths shopping myself. At this point it has almost become a tradition for me and my sister to race about doing last minute shopping on that day. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year I vow to get things done early so I can enjoy the last days before Christmas celebrating rather than shopping.

By starting holiday shopping NOW we can also get a great deal buying gift cards Visa Gift Cards at our local Hy-Vee Stores. Not only will you get your holiday shopping done early, but you will get a bonus Hy-Vee gift card to use toward your groceries or for buying some yummy holiday treats.

When you purchase Visa gift cards at your local Hy-Vee store now through 12/14, you can take advantage of this special offer. Here’s how it works:

  • Buy $125 or more in Visa gift cards and receive a $10 Hy-Vee gift card to use toward any Hy-Vee purchase (or to give as a gift)!
  • You can try the new Five Back Visa Cards for even greater savings. (More details about that below)
  • The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back.

If you choose a Five Back Visa gift card, it can be used anywhere Visa debit is accepted. Then, when you shop at select stores, you get up to 5% of your purchase price added back to your card! That means more savings for you if you choose to use the card yourself or a bigger gift for your recipient if you chose to give the card as a gift!


Looking for some fun ideas as to how to present your Visa gift cards as a present under the tree this year? Try one of these ideas:

  • Place the card in a mason jar and fill the remaining space with wrapped candies.
  • Use a small Christmas stocking to hold the card and decorate with a candy cane sticking out of the top.
  • Tape the gift card to a square candy bar or to a pack of gum.
  • Place in a cardboard takeout container (you can get them at the craft store for under $1) and fill the remaining space with ribbon shreds.

However you choose to present your gift card it’s sure to be a hit. Plus, you’ll have the added gift for yourself of spending your bonus $10 Hy-Vee gift card.

Reader Giveaway: We have teamed up with some other great blogs to host this giveaway where one lucky reader will receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card! To enter, just fill out the form below by 11:59pm ET on 12/13/16. Good luck!

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Afton Village Holiday


It’s time to see the town of Afton, transformed into a beautiful village holiday.  There might not be snow for it to be a winter wonderland, but there’s bound to be holiday cheer.  Taking place tomorrow and Saturday (December 2-3) there will be:  holiday shopping, horse & wagon rides, strolling carolers and much more.

The charming St. Croix River town will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Candlelight night Friday: 5- 9pm: tree lighting ceremony, horse & wagon rides, strolling carolers, artist gift market, food specials, wine tasting & more. Family Day Saturday 9am – 4pm: join Santa for breakfast, visit the festive photo booth, children’s treats & crafts, holiday shopping specials, and more.