6 Ways to Track Santa This Holiday Season
For little kids, Christmas Eve is an enchanting night full of anticipation. Parents, unfortunately, don't always feel the same excitement. Between sending holiday cards, shopping for gifts, and dealing with relatives, it can be draining to keep the Christmas magic alive.
We're giving you permission to stop stressing this year. By enlisting the help of these genius websites and apps, your children can track Santa's journey throughout the night skies. You'll never do Christmas without them again—especially after seeing the excitement on your little one's face!
NORAD Santa Tracker
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), based in Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base, defends North America with satellites, radar systems, and jet fighters. About 65 years ago, they also started tracking Santa's journey on Christmas Eve—and your kids can follow along with the NORAD Tracks Santa Claus app! Download the app on December 1 and begin a countdown to Santa's flight, then follow his progress—with a sleigh and cargo—on December 24. You can also get NORAD updates on Twitter (@NoradSanta) or by calling (877) HI-NORAD (877-446-6723).
Santa's Village from Google
Throughout the holiday season, your kids can visit Santa's Village—a free virtual Christmas platform with animated videos, games, puzzles, stories, "Santa selfies," and much more. Kids can also follow the big guy's journey with the Google Santa Tracker, which goes live on Christmas Eve and gives exclusive access to Santa's dashboard. (Did you know Santa's journey lasts 25 hours, and it starts in far eastern Russia?)
Your Google Assistant
Owners of a Google Assistant can track Santa with the device. Simply say something like "Hey Google, track Santa" or "Hey Google, where is Santa?" on December 24 to get real-time updates. Kids can also ask their Google Assistant to "Call Santa" to help him rehearse for a musical concert in an interactive game—he only knows one song and needs your help! What's more, they can ask for a "Santa joke" to hear Kris Kringle practice his comedy skills, or they can listen to the daily North Pole Newscast for the latest news from Santa's Workshop ("Hey google, what's new at the North Pole?").
Your Amazon Alexa
If your family has an Amazon Alexa device, say "Alexa, where's Santa?" on Christmas Ever to hear his whereabouts—courtesy of NORAD Tracks Santa! The feature uses time zone information to estimate when he'll arrive at your house—a perfect way to convince your children to finally get to sleep. Before December 24, Alexa will count down the days until Christmas, and it will call Santa's voicemail ("Alexa, call Santa") so your kids can share their wish lists.
This website claims it's the best Santa Tracker around because information comes straight from the North Pole. Starting December 23, your kids can listen to broadcasts on Santa's radio station, Kringle Radio. It gives 50 hours of live Santa tracking straight from the North Pole newsroom. Once the sleigh takes off, the "Santa Update'' website refreshes every 15 minutes with information on Santa's position, direction, flight conditions, reactions from children around the world, and more. (See an example here!) Finally, a live map, powered by the North Pole Flight Command, lets your children follow Santa's movements, and it also gives flight data about everything from the weather to the reindeer.
Speak to Santa
This handy app is run by Elf Engineers from the North Pole Science Department. Using Elfish satellite technology, it locates Santa "within an Elfish Micrometer" as he journeys around the world. Your kid will love getting insightful information, like the speed of the sleigh and what percent of presents have been delivered.
Before Christmas, use the app to talk to Santa over video call, voice call, or message (with the full version of the app, he'll know your child's name, age, favorite color, whether they've been naughty or nice, and more!). Your little one can also take Santa on test sleigh rides to prepare for the big day.