As Santa makes his rounds this Christmas, don’t leave your kids wondering when he will arrive. Instead, check out these Santa trackers, which have their satellites and radars ready to follow Santa’s sleigh across the night sky this Christmas Eve.
The tradition of tracking Santa started in 1955 when a young child trying to reach Santa dialed a misprinted number from an ad in the local newspaper and instead reached the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center in Colorado Springs. Since then, NORAD has kept tabs on Santa, and several companies have also picked up the tradition to get into the holiday spirit.
Google’s Santa Tracker website hosts a countdown to Christmas Eve and offers games to help pass the time. There are a slew of games and interactive activities in the Santa’s Village section, such as Snowball Storm, where players parachute into a winter wonderland and must dodge snowballs to collect presents. Check out the complete list of games and activities here.
You will also be able to stream it to your Roku, Fire TV, Google TV, and Apple TV through YouTube. Here is a direct link to the YouTube feed of Google’s Santa Tracker.
It also includes fun facts like Santa’s journey lasts 25 hours and starts at 10:00 p.m. in eastern Russia. Kids can learn about holiday traditions from around the world and the local seasonal lingo. Kids can also use Santa’s Canvas to paint, build a snow castle in the Snowbox, or take a selfie with Santa.
The Santa Tracker YouTube channel kicks off its programming on December 24. Kids can follow Santa and his reindeer as they deliver presents around the world.
In addition to tracking Santa, Google’s elves are ready to teach kids basic coding skills through games like Code Lab, where players help elves navigate through a forest to find dropped presents — or Code Boogie, a game that mixes coding and dancing skills.
Additionally, Verizon has again teamed up with the North American Aerospace Defense Command for the 21st consecutive year to offer a toll-free hotline so children can track Santa’s Christmas Eve route. Verizon is tapping into its network to support NORAD’s holiday operations to ensure no delays in reporting Santa’s whereabouts.
NORAD received more than 130,000 calls last year, overwhelming Santa’s little helpers. Verizon deployed the Interactive Voice Response System to provide extra support through the holiday season.
“Twenty-one years ago, the Verizon Consulting Services team played a big role in designing and implementing the NORAD Tracks Santa IVR System,” said Tara Sunderraj, vice president for Verizon’s consulting services. “Over the years, the IVR system has evolved, with our team incorporating smart tools that ensure every child has a chance to track Santa and hear from an elf.”
NORAD Tracks Santa’s hotline and operations center employs nearly 900 in-person and 200 virtual volunteer elves, ready to answer questions such as:
- Where is Santa?
- When will Santa come to my house?
- Where is Mrs. Claus during the journey?
- What are Santa’s favorite cookies?
- How many elves are helping Santa?
- Which reindeer is helping to lead the journey this year?
Kids can ask their parents to call a toll-free hotline that opens on December 24 at 6:00 a.m. ET. Parents who save the number in their Verizon phone can use voice commands to let their child call the NORAD Call Center at +1(877) HI-NORAD.
Also, on December 24, visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website to watch Santa via social media platforms, which will capture his flight through different spots worldwide. You can also track Santa via NORAD apps, which are available to download from Google Play and Apple Store. The apps host even more games, festive playlists, and other activities to entertain your child.