Have your kids written a letter to Santa this year? Time is running out to visit Santa Claus in person, but there are still lots of easy ways to connect with Santa online from the comfort of your own home. These 7 free, fun sites are perfect for kids (and parents!).
Let’s face it, this generation of Believers is the most tech savvy and tech exposed generation in the history of Santa Claus. Gone are the simpler times of simply leaving out a plate of cookies. Kids what to talk to Santa right now! Parents can make Christmas a little bit more magical by connecting youngsters to the big guy online.
Best Places to Visit Santa Online
1. NORAD Tracks Santa
NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs provides aerospace warning and defense for the United States and Canada. On Christmas Eve they also use their technology for a more cheerful reason: tracking Santa’s movements across the globe!
The NORAD tradition began 60 years ago in 1955. A newspaper error sent Santa’s telephone calls to the Air Defense Command instead of a local department store. The staff on duty that night gave children callers a current location for Santa and the rest is history. Today the site gets more than 20 million visitors and is staffed by thousands of volunteers.
The site opens December 1 with games and activities. On December 24, Christmas Eve, video updates show images of Santa Claus flying over famous landmarks in different time zones. It’s a great way to have some family fun while learning about geography and navigation.
The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese. You can also access Santa via NORAD Tracks Santa apps for all your app compatible devices.
2. Portable North Pole
This magical site allows parents to create a free Santa video customized for their child. The site has a free and a paid version. I have only used the free version, which is lovely! You enter your child’s first name, a few silly “Naughty or Nice’ facts, and a photo. The data is instantly turned into a free video from Santa for your child to view.
This site will definitely capture the magic of Santa for your kids without spending a penny. The video feature a jolly real-life video of Chris Kringle, no cartoons here! You also get a few glimpses of the North Pole Village with Santa’s elves hard at work.
Kids can visit Santa Claus at North Pole Village! This animated site is full games for kids including: the Nice-O-Meter (naughty or nice rating), the Toy Workshop with personal Elf Buddy and Toy Making Machine, or even Santa’s House featuring The Santa Show. Kids can play with the reindeer, go to elf school, and even email Santa Claus.
4. Santa’s Good List
Kids “chat” with their choice of six different cartoon elves using Santa’s online good list. They will answer a series of easy questions that place them on the naughty or nice list (there is a version for children under 6 and one for older kids).
Parents have to access a registration code via e-mail before children can use the site. Be aware, the site does ask kids for both their first and last name. This is a BIG no-no for internet use at our house, to be safe we simply use our kids’ initials.
Learn More About Santa Claus
5. St. Nicholas Center
This religious site explores the history of the actual Catholic St. Nicholas, patron saint of children and benefactor of the poor. The site explains both the origins of Santa Claus stories and provides Christian interpretations. (I am not Catholic, but I found the historical information interesting.)
Bonus Holiday Fun with Santa
6. 2015 Lego Minifigure Family
Lego lovers can make their own custom holiday cards to email to friends and family. Figures and pets can be added and customized on your choice of background. Look there I am dressed as Santa with my dog Gus!
7. Elf Yourself
Turn your friends and family into dancing elves with this free Office Max site and app. My kids can’t get enough of the crazy dances and the ability to add custom faces to the dancers, there have even been versions featuring our pets!
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