It isn’t hard to find a place to meet Santa in December, but where can you meet him in June or September? In our travels, we’ve found a couple cute towns that are not only named after Christmas, but embrace it. They name their streets after reindeer and mistletoe, have shops that sell ornaments and other Christmas decorations, and provide a place for visitors to meet the Jolly Old Elf.
Our first visit to a Christmas-themed town was on a trip to Alaska a few years ago. The town of North Pole is located 13 miles from Fairbanks. Not only can you meet Santa, you can meet his reindeer too, at the Santa Claus House. You’ll also want to drive around the town to see the street lamps that look like candy canes and street names like Santa Claus Lane, Kris Kringle Drive, and Snowman Lane. Don’t miss the World’s Largest Santa, which stands 42 feet tall.
Recently we visited Santa Claus, Indiana. This town also has a Santa statue (but not nearly as tall) which stands outside of the Town Hall. You can shop for ornaments and decorations at the Santa Claus Christmas Store, where you can also meet Santa. After a short interview, Santa will let you know whether or not you can add your name to the Nice List. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Santa’s Candy Castle and explore recreational opportunities at Santa’s Stables and Frosty’s Fun Center. The big attraction in Santa Claus is Holiday World, the world’s first theme park. Originally called Santa Claus Land, it opened in 1946, nine years before Disneyland. Since then, it was renamed Holiday World and sections themed after other holidays were added to the park. The town has many Christmas-themed lodging options also. We stayed at Lake Rudolph where you can rent a cabin or RV if you don’t have an RV or tent.
An internet search turned up even more Christmas-themed towns. I wonder if all of these towns embrace Christmas like North Pole and Santa Claus.
Terri Weeks is a travel writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her husband are on a mission to take their children to all 50 states before they graduate from high school. She blogs about it at www.travel50stateswithkids.com. She is also one of the authors of Adventures Around Cincinnati: A Parent’s Guide to Unique and Memorable Places to Explore with your Kids. She is a member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association.