Information to visiting Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa and his elves aren’t the one ones who rejoice Christmas one year a yr. There is a small city in southwestern Indiana the place each season is the vacation season, and there is as a lot Christmas cheer in June as there may be in December. Welcome to Santa Claus, Indiana.

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At lower than 7 sq. miles and with a inhabitants of about 2,500 folks, Santa Claus manages to pack a whole lot of Christmas spirit right into a small space. There is a put up workplace the place you may write letters to Santa (and get a response from his elves), a holiday-inspired theme park, a large vacation decor store, and a sweet retailer with each goody and gumdrop possible.

What’s much more extraordinary than discovering a winter wonderland greater than 3,000 miles from the North Pole is that it by no means got down to be “America’s Christmas Hometown” within the first place.

A Christmas miracle

The unique Santa Claus Put up Workplace on the Santa Claus Museum & Village. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

Within the 1850s, when the city now generally known as Santa Claus was giant sufficient to use for its very personal put up workplace, residents settled on the identify Santa Payment. Sadly, the applying was rejected as a result of the identify was too much like an already established city in northern Indiana known as Santa Fe.

In response to native legend, whereas the townspeople had been discussing new names at church on Christmas Eve, the church doorways blew open and sleigh bells could possibly be heard ringing outdoors. The kids started yelling that Santa Claus have to be outdoors, and the city had its identify.

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After submitting a brand new software, the Santa Claus, Indiana, put up workplace was formally established on Might 21, 1856. The remaining, as they are saying, is historical past (nicely, historical past and a little bit of Christmas magic).

Placing Santa Claus on the map


Regardless of the fortuitous flip of occasions, Santa Claus did not instantly embrace its namesake. That did not occur till 1914 when the city’s then-postmaster, James Martin, started responding to letters addressed to Santa that discovered their technique to the city’s put up workplace, in line with the Indiana Historic Bureau’s “Indiana Historical past Weblog.”

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Martin’s antics caught the eye of Robert Ripley of “Ripley’s Consider It or Not” fame. He featured the city in certainly one of his newspaper cartoons in 1930. The legend — and quantity of letters — solely grew from there. Christmas-themed vacationer sights started popping up throughout city, lots of which you’ll nonetheless go to to today.

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Strolling in a winter wonderland all yr lengthy

At the moment, a colourful Santa statue atop a “Welcome to Santa Claus, Indiana” signal greets friends as they drive into city. It is certainly one of greater than 20 Santa statues that you’re going to discover round city as you discover the sights, surroundings and year-round festive enjoyable.

Listed here are a number of the hottest spots to take a look at in case you go to.

Santa Claus Museum & Village

The unique Santa Claus Put up Workplace constructing. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

The Santa Claus Museum & Village is the place you will discover a number of the city’s unique buildings, together with the 1856 put up workplace that began all of it. The constructing now not capabilities as a real put up workplace, although you step inside to put in writing and mail a letter to Santa. Each single letter is answered by a group of volunteer “elves.” If you cannot go to in individual, you can too mail your letter from dwelling.

Santa statue at Santa Claus Museum & Village. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

You too can be taught extra concerning the city’s historical past contained in the museum constructing, go to the unique 1880 Santa Claus Church and see the city’s tallest Santa statue, a 22-foot-tall granite Santa carved in 1935.

There is no such thing as a admission charge to go to the museum, however they do settle for donations.

Santa’s Sweet Fortress


After Ripley’s point out garnered some main publicity for Santa Claus, Santa’s Sweet Fortress opened in 1935 because the city’s first vacationer attraction. It is typically billed as the primary themed vacationer attraction within the nation.

The outside appears to be like as if it had been pulled straight from the pages of a fairytale. That is applicable as a result of the within holds each kid’s fantasy: a whole constructing of wall-to-wall sweet. You may discover nostalgic and present favorites, a room crammed with virtually each mannequin of Pez dispenser, and bizarre but great sweets like lollipops with worms inside and a number of the world’s spiciest candies.

When you are stocking up on sweets, decide up a few of Santa Sweet Fortress’s signature popcorn flavors and a frozen sizzling chocolate. (It is the right deal with to chill you down in case you go to through the sizzling summer season months.)

Vacation World


In the event you go to Vacation World right now, you will discover lands themed to fashionable U.S. holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Independence Day and, after all, Christmas. When it opened in 1946, nevertheless, it was devoted solely to Christmas and glided by the identify Santa Claus Land. Visitors may meet Santa, go to a toy store and go on kiddie-sized rides.

Santa Claus Land predates Disneyland by 9 years and is commonly lauded because the world’s first theme park. There are amusement parks that opened previous to Santa Claus Land, however none with a cohesive theme.

The Howler at Vacation World. HOLIDAY WORLD

The family-owned and -operated park continues to develop in each measurement and recognition. You may nonetheless discover loads of kiddie rides, however the park additionally has three award-winning picket coasters — The Raven, The Legend and The Voyage — the nation’s first launched wing coaster known as Thunderbird and a 40-acre water park. Parking, smooth drinks and sunscreen are free at this family-friendly park that frequently receives accolades for its friendliness and cleanliness.

The Voyage at Vacation World. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

For the 2024 season, Vacation World will open a brand new coaster within the Thanksgiving part of the park known as Good Gravy. Amongst different maneuvers, the gravy boat-shaped coaster automobiles will journey by means of an enormous can of cranberry jelly and sail previous an 18-foot-tall rolling pin alongside the practically 1,500 ft of monitor. The park can be including a play space for youths adjoining to the brand new journey, which is anticipated to open Might 4, 2024.

Vacation World tickets begin at $54.99 and embrace free admission to Splashin’ Safari Water Park (open seasonally). Preschoolers are eligible for a free season go.

Santa Claus Christmas Retailer

Santa Claus Christmas Retailer. TARAH CHIEFFI/THE POINTS GUY

You would be hard-pressed to seek out extra Christmas decor, toys, collectibles and ornaments than you will see on show contained in the Santa Claus Christmas Retailer. Along with purchasing for family and friends or bolstering your individual decor assortment, you should purchase fudge and different vacation treats.

The Santa Claus Christmas Retailer is open from Might 1 by means of Dec. 31. On choose days, you may meet Santa for a photograph and a fast rundown of your vacation want record. You may verify Santa’s availability on the shop’s Fb web page.

Santa’s Toys


If you’re purchasing for little ones, Santa’s Toys has every part you want after which some. This final toy store carries toys for youths of all ages, together with video games, puzzles, picket toys, stuffed animals and extra. There are even tiny procuring carts that your children can refill with their favorites as they navigate the aisles.

Locations to remain


When visiting Santa Claus, Indiana, you can keep in close by Louisville, Kentucky, or Evansville, Indiana — each of that are solely about an hour away. However if you wish to preserve the vacation enjoyable going after a day spent exploring, you may keep proper in the midst of all of it.

In the event you love tenting, Solar Outdoor Lake Rudolph is simply subsequent door to Vacation World; it presents tent and RV tenting, in addition to cozy cabins. In the event you choose a extra conventional lodge keep, Santa’s Lodge is just a couple of mile away and presents complimentary continental breakfast and enjoyable out of doors actions like fishing, swimming and a playground. For a home-away-from-home really feel, go for Santa’s Lakeside Cottages.

Backside line

It goes with out saying that Christmas is a fascinating time of yr to go to Santa Claus, Indiana, however you do not have to attend for the vacations to go to. You will get your fill of vacation magic in spring, summer season and fall as a result of this city by no means takes down its Christmas decorations.

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