NORAD – Tracking Santa’s Wondrous Journey Around The World

It’s Christmas Eve and the kids are asking, “Where’s Santa? Is he almost here? When will he be here?” All day long! Mine sure do. And I bet at times you wish you had some help answering these questions, some way to keep the excitement going, yet curtail the constant questioning, right?

And wouldn’t it be so cool if the kids could follow Santa as he travels the world. To know when he’s left the North Pole, his sleigh packed with special deliveries. To watch as he approaches his first destinations in Russia, following him as he makes his way right towards your very own neighborhood. Just think of the smiles on your kids’ faces!

Tracking Santa

Well, then, meet NORAD! Your answer to all those “where’s Santa now” questions!

What’s NORAD? And Where’s Santa?

NORAD is short for North American Aerospace Defense Command, a cooperative joint effort between the United States and Canadian military forces whose primary task is to detect and track aircraft and other space vehicles.

However, at Christmas time, NORAD takes on a very special role – tracking Santa and his reindeer as they magically fly around the world, his sleigh loaded with gifts.

How does NORAD do that? With a wee bit of Christmas magic! Oh, and it’s ultra-high tech SantaCams placed all over the world. These specially designed cameras capture images of Santa and his reindeer as they deliver happiness to children everywhere.

So how do you and the kids get on board with NORAD? It’s easy! Just go to the NORAD Santa website, where you can count down the minutes until Santa leaves the North Pole. Then, beginning at 3:00 am Mountain Standard Time (MST) on Christmas Eve, December 24th, NORADSanta goes live with up to the minute Santa sightings.

Watch as he leaves the North Pole enroute for Russia, follow him as he circles the globe, and ultimately, your neighborhood. Just think of the smiles on your kids’ faces, the excitement knowing that Santa is on his way!

Hello, Where Is Santa Claus?

Not able to access the NORAD website on Christmas Eve? Then call NORAD! Yes, you really can call NORAD. Starting at 3:00 am MST, real live people are standing by, ready with the latest, up-to-the-minute Santa status report. Call 1-877-Hi NORAD (1-877-446-6723) and let the kids ask where Santa is. How cool is that!

You can also email NORAD for Santa updates at And, don’t forget the mobile apps! They’re tracking Santa too.

Going Mobile With NORAD and Santa

And I don’t just mean with flying reindeer! ‘Cause they are kind of hard to come by, you know. But if you find yourself on-the-go Christmas Eve and a little short on magical flying reindeer, the free NORAD App can keep you posted on Santa’s whereabouts. Count down the hours until Santa and his sleigh leave the North Pole. Then once he’s taken to the air, keep track of where he is, all through the NORAD app.

Free Apps

No matter where you and the kids are on Christmas Eve, the app will keep you on top of Santa’s magical journey. And pass the time too! Don’t forget to enjoy a game of “Elf Toss” or “Thin Ice,” or help Santa’s elves deliver all those gifts.

The NORAD App is available for Apple, Android and Windows 8 devices.

Don’t Forget to Explore Santa’s Village!

Got the latest updates on Santa’s magical journey? Then head on over to Santa’s Village for more action and fun. NORADSanta has hidden a few extra special treats in the village buildings for all to enjoy some good, clean family fun while awaiting Santa’s arrival.

The North Pole

Who knows what fun you might just find in the Village!

A New Game Every Day At The Arcade

Kids anxious for Santa’s arrival? Need a quick and easy way to entertain them while they wait? Check out Santa’s Arcade! Challenge each other to a round of Elf Toss, Light up the Christmas Tree, and Santa Packages. Dress an elf in festive holiday attire, complete a puzzle and more.

Christmas 2013

So come on! Let’s head on into Santa’s Arcade for a jolly good time. Just click on the Village building that says The Arcade, or chose Arcade Games from the left side menu bar.

Sing Along At The Music Stage

Settling in for the night? Want to jazz it up a bit? Fire up the fireplace, a round of hot chocolate for everyone, and queue the holiday music. Listen to favorite holiday music by the US Air Force Academy Band, compliments of NORAD Santa.


Get the whole family singing along to Santa’s favorite holiday songs. Make your own music to welcome Santa and his reindeer.

Find Fun Facts in The Library

Share fun facts about Santa and his reindeer while preparing a plate of treats for Santa. Find out how Santa’s sleigh can fly all around the world in a single evening.

NORAD Finds Santa

Learn about holiday traditions around the world. Hear how children in Germany, Italy, Japan, and more, celebrate Christmas. Compare them to how your family celebrates. See, we aren’t all that different, are we!

Do You Know Where Santa is on Christmas Eve?

You will if you track him with NORAD! So heat up some hot chocolate, gather around the fireplace, and sit back with the kids to watch Santa’s approach this Christmas Eve. Just remind them to go to sleep before he arrives!

Kids big and little, young and old, will enjoying following Santa at NORAD Santa. Have you and your kids used NORADSanta to keep on top of where Santa is on Christmas Eve? Let us know in the Comments section below.

All images from NORAD Santa.


  1. says

    Hi Carol,

    Oh yes….I’d last heard of NORAD also at Carolyn’s blog, and I think it was last year’s post, along with the other Santa apps she always shares :)

    I think the kids are just in awe to think there could be a real Santa and he would be travelling all the way and land up for Christmas – just the thought itself is exciting enough. My kids would have loved it too, had they been that young. Lovely to go through all the other apps here too.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely trip as well. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How to Take a Break from BloggingMy Profile

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Harleena, yes, Carolyn always has a great Holiday apps round-up, doesn’t she!

      My oldest would have loved this app as well, but like your kids, I wasn’t aware of NORAD when he was of the “believing ages.” My little guy has enjoyed watching Santa’s travels with NORAD, though sadly, I think this might have been our last year in tracking the “real Santa.” Now we will have to pass down the tradition to the younger cousins in the family.

      Wishing you a great New Year!

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Tanya. Wow – your parents were smart! I hadn’t heard of NORAD until just a few years ago. Wished I’d known of it when my oldest was younger! Was tough at times to get him to sleep.
      Hope you had a great Christmas, and wishing you a Happy New Year!

  2. says

    I can’t wait for my grandson to learn about Santa and the true meaning of Christmas. I love how this app gets the kiddos all excited about the holiday.

    Too bad my kids are grown now…and they didn’t have this when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Hope all is well. Have a great weekend!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..I’m Every Woman Weekly Issue #17My Profile

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Corina, I bet you will have loads of fun when your grandson is old enough! This was probably our last year with our youngest as a “Santa believer.” He really liked this NORAD app, as well as the Elf and so many other Santa Claus traditions. Kind of sad realizing that it’s over … too many questions this year about Santa and gifts. :)

      But that’s ok … we will just have to share all the fun with everyone else! Hope you had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  3. says

    This is so cute! We always told the kids that Santa would not visit until they were all asleep. I’d say that if they wanted Christmas morning to come faster all they had to do was close their eyes and sleep. Then when they open their eyes it will be morning! Fortunately that worked for us. I do remember staying up most of the night wrapping gifts. Oh I was not in good shape by morning! haha

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Maggie, been there with you on those late nights wrapping!

      I used NORAD to help with my youngest, because he’s always had a hard time falling asleep. I also used to say that if they snuck out of their bedrooms and “busted” Santa, that Santa might have to leave before he can drop off the gifts. That was enough to keep them sequestered in their rooms!
      Hope Santa was nice to you and yours. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Sue, yes, I too wished we known about NORAD. It’s actually been around since the 60’s, but not well known. I only “discovered” it a few years ago when we were traveling with our then toddler and I was looking for ways to “bring” Santa with us.

      Hope Santa was good to you and yours, and wishing you a festive and happy New Year.

    • carolbiederman says

      Hi Arelis, yes, this app has helped convince my youngest to get to bed and stay there until morning! So has my telling them that if they get up in the middle of the night and “bust” Santa, he might leave before dropping off their gifts! Ever since I started that, they’ve stayed locked up tight in their rooms until Christmas morning!

      Hope you had a great Christmas, and wishing you a Happy New Year.

  4. says

    I love it! :-) While I didn’t specifically intend to follow Santa’s progress on Christmas Eve, I ended up hearing enough news, in passing, that I was well-advised. I felt like a little kid, and your post made me feel that way, too. I love that. :-)

    Happy New Year to you, Carol! :-)
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