Santa is quite the busy man throughout the year, but he gets busier as it gets closer to the holiday season. After all, he is trying to get all those presents ready for all the girls and boys in the world! However, he is also spending time at some magical places, where children can visit with him and his reindeer. And, let’s face, a few of us grownups want to share our wishlists, too.
Here are the 7 best places to see Santa:
1 Santa’s Workshop
Santa’s Workshop can be found in North Pole, NY near Lake Placid. The attraction was built in 1949 when a little girl asked her father to take her to see Santa’s summer home. He built it for her and then opened it for everyone else to enjoy as well. It is a decidedly old-school but still magical place that is open during the summer and the weekends that lead up to the day of Christmas.
Every guest is greeted by Miranda Mouse, Chris Moose, Frosty the Snowman, and Rowdy “The Rascal” Reindeer as they enter the park. There are numerous shows held daily as well as a holiday parade. Browse the village shops and see the friendly farm animals in what boasts of being the world’s first petting zoo. The favorites at Santa’s Workshop include the reindeer and the talking Christmas tree. Be sure to touch the permanent pole of ice that marks the spot of Santa’s North Pole. This feature was a true feat of refrigeration technology and a big draw when the workshop was first built and remains a nostalgic highlight.
2 The Town of Santa Claus
The town of Santa Claus can be found in Indiana, and it was given its name way back in 1856. In the 1920’s, the little town caught national attention and its post office overflowed with letters to Santa. However, it was not until 1935 that someone realized how fabulous that name would be for the economy there. Santa’s Candy Castle opened in December 1935 as part of an entire Santa’s Town, and it is believed to have been the first themed attraction in the entire United States. The attraction closed during World War II but found new owners and a new lease on life in 2006. The re-opened Santa’s Candy Castle is fully restored and again offers a magical treat for children and their parents.
3 The Christmas Town of Bethlehem
This quaint little town is located within the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. It may not be the real Bethlehem that is referred to during the holiday season, but that does not stop thousands of people from going there. Everyone enjoys having their Christmas card envelopes postmarked from Bethlehem. While there is no bad time to visit this town during the holidays, many people choose to go when the Christmas Town Festival is held in the beginning of December. The fair offers a 5k run, crafts, music, a train ride and, of course, a chance to meet Santa Clause and take your picture with him
4 Victorian Holiday Wonderland
The Victorian Holiday Wonderland can be found in Breckenridge, Colorado, best known as a ski resort destination. All the shops on Main Street are decorated to look like a Victorian Christmas, as is the rest of the town. Visitors enjoy watching the town get lit up for the first time every year as Santa arrives via horse-drawn sleigh. The celebration goes on throughout December with German-style Christmas markets, snow sculpting competitions, pro snowsports events, and more. No one will want to miss the performance of A Christmas Carol while they are visiting.
5 The Polar Express
Throughout the United States, families and friends can gather to go on a magical Polar Express journey. Inspired by the movie and book, families are invited to don their pajamas and climb aboard the train to be taken to see Santa at the North Pole. At the North Pole, everyone can walk around and visit with elves, before stopping to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. Then it is time for some milk and cookies before the long trip home. During that trip back, every child is given a magical bell, that they can only hear if they believe. This event is offered all over the US; find the Polar Express location nearest you
6 Christmas Candylane
Christmas Candylane can be found within the Hershey Park theme park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The theme park transforms into a candy winter wonderland every year for the holiday season, with more than 4 million bright lights, seasonal music, ice skating, decorated rides, and a Christmas show. Meet Santa and and visit his reindeer (including Rudolph!) at the reindeer stables.
7 Christmas at Disney World
Everyone knows that Disney World is down in Orlando, Florida, but not everyone realizes that the parks put on an exciting Christmas celebration every year. The festivities begin in November, when more than fifteen hundred trees are brought in and decorated. While all the parks celebrate this merry season, the biggest event happens at the Magic Kingdom. Throughout the holidays at the Magic Kingdom, there is a Very Merry Christmas Party as well as Mickey’s Very Merry Parade.
The parade features wooden soldiers, dancing gingerbread men, everyone’s favorite Disney characters, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. The party itself includes Cinderella’s castle turning into an ice castle, a show full of holiday songs, special performances, and an amazing fireworks display that features Tinkerbell. No one will want to leave until they have experienced the snow fall on Main Street.
The magic of the Christmas season does not need to wait until a day or two before Christmas. Instead, people can enjoy the entire season by visiting any of these phenomenal destinations. They all bring the true meaning of the holiday season to life, where everyone spends time together laughing, and having fun.