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 with your kids? Here are my two go-to resources to help locate Santa’s sleigh on your phone, tablet, and computer.
NORAD Santa tracker
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 also call NORAD directly for Santa info at 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723).
If you own an Alexa device, you can install the NORAD Tracks Santa skill. Open your Alexa app, tap the 'More' button in the lower right, select 'Skills & Games' and search for NORAD. Select 'NORAD Santa Tracker' from the list and then tap the 'Enable to use' button. Once enabled, you can ask some key questions:
- "Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa, where's Santa?"
- "Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa for a fact from the Santa Files."
- "Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa, when will Santa be at my house?"
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 also learn a little about each destination.
If you have a Google Assistant device, you can ask Google for Santa-related news. There aren't any specific prompts like there are for Alexa devices. Just ask any Santa-related question, and Google Assistant will answer.
On Christmas Eve, Google will start tracking Santa's journey across the globe. And if you have a Nest Hub smart display, you can view his progress.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
[Image credit: Screenshots via Techlicious]