Santa Claus is coming! Not this exact moment, of course – there’s a lot of prep work and reindeer maintenance going on at the North Pole right now. But soon, Santa will take to the skies in his sled, making yet another incredible around the world trip.
Want to keep tabs on Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick? Here are several great options for locating Santa’s sleigh on a smartphone, tablet and PC.
Perhaps the most famous of all the Santa Claus trackers is the one from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Founded in the 1950s to track the threat of Soviet missiles, the joint U.S and Canadian agency has been keeping tabs on Santa’s movements for decades now via radar. It’s always been my family’s go-to source for up-to-date Santa info.
There are plenty of reasons to check out the NORAD Santa Tracker before Christmas Eve, too. It features a virtual Santa’s village where kids can explore games, various videos explaining how Santa is tracked and Christmas music tracks courtesy of the USA Air Force Academy Band.
You can check out the NORAD Santa Tracker on your computer by visiting noradsanta.org. Smartphone and tablet owners can download the NORAD Santa Tracker app via the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android). You can also call NORAD directly for Santa info at 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723).
General Motors’ OnStar security and navigation service is once again collaborating with NORAD to provide subscribers with Santa updates this Christmas Eve.
The OnStar Santa Tracking service will be available from 7 AM on December 24 to 5 AM on December 25. Accessing it is as simple as pressing your vehicle’s blue OnStar button and having your child request a "Santa Update." A live OnStar advisor will tell your kids what country Santa is currently visiting, along with a healthy serving of holiday cheer.
"The kids constantly want to push the button, so we call in a few times to give everyone in the family a chance to ask the advisor about Santa," explains OnStar subscriber Bethany Auth. "When my oldest son hears the update from the advisor, he goes right away to find the location on a map."
Since OnStar gets its data from the official NORAD command, you and your kids can rest assured that provided information is accurate. And don’t worry if all your kids want their own turn talking to the operator – the company keeps extra staff on hand during Christmas Eve to handle the increased call volume.
Google Santa Tracker
Many of us use Google Maps to help us find unfamiliar locations, avoid traffic snarls and help catch the next train. But on Christmas Eve, Google Maps will take on a far more important challenge: helping kids around the world find information on Santa Claus’s whereabouts.
In the run up to Christmas, kids who visit Google’s Santa Tracker page will be able to look around a cartoonish Santa’s Village, with new animations and games added every day. On Christmas Eve, the Santa Tracker shifts into full gear, allowing curious minds to not just find Santa on a map, but learn a little bit about each destination, too.
Your family can explore the Google Santa Tracker by visiting google.com/santatracker.
Want some more ways to help anxious kids pass the time while waiting for Santa? Check out these fun Christmas apps for your smartphone or tablet.