Believe it or not, there is a town called Santa Claus and if you don’t spend at least one Christmas visiting this destination, you may be missing out. Read on to find out more about its history and what you can do when you spend the holidays there.
Santa Claus History
Santa Claus is a town located in Spencer County, Indiana in the southwestern part of the state. It was established in 1854 as Santa Fe, Indiana. However, when the post office was being set up, they refused the Santa Fe name based on the fact that there was already a Santa Fe, Indiana established with the Post Office Department.
After several meetings, the town decided to go with the name Santa Claus instead.
Because the town is named Santa Claus, the post office receives thousands of Dear Santa letters from children all over the world each year. They call in a group of volunteer elves to make sure each letter gets answered.
They also use a pictorial postmark that is chosen from submissions from students that go to nearby high schools.
In keeping with the name, the town is appropriately holiday themed. Many residents live in the gated community of Christmas Lake Village which is developed around three lakes; Christmas Lake, Lake Holly and Lake Noel. The street names are also holiday appropriate.
Other residents live in Holiday Village, a neighborhood on the north side of town.
What To Do in Santa Claus, IN at Christmastime
There are several holiday themed attractions in town as well. Here are a few you won’t want to miss.
Santa’s Lakeside Cottages
If you’re looking for a quaint and quiet place to stay, Santa’s Lakeside Cottages are a great choice. The cottages are situated around five different lakes that are full of fish that make for exciting catch and release fishing.
The cottages are fully furnished and one and two bedroom accommodations are available.
Amenities include a grill, two playgrounds, a reindeer express train, tether ball, a zip line, a basketball court and more.
You can bet that Santa Claus has plenty of destinations where you can get holiday goods and souvenirs. The Evergreen Boutique and Christmas Shop is a great place to visit for clothing, accessories, holiday items and home décor.
Santa’s Candy Castle
If you have a sweet tooth, Santa’s Candy Castle is the place to be. The historic castle was dedicated in 1935 and is infused with old-world charm. Step inside and you will feast your eyes on a treasure trove of treats including hard to find candies, hand made confections, over 30 flavors of cocoa, frozen hot chocolate and more.
You can also log into the North Pole Network to chat with Santa’s Elves for the opportunity to earn a ‘Good List’ certificate.
Special events are held throughout the year. Look them up to see what’s going on during your visit.
Frosty’s Fun Center
Frosty’s Fun Center is a great place for a family outing, or you can leave the kids there for a day of hanging out. It’s a restaurant and arcade that serves fresh baked pizza, snacks and sandwiches. Leave room for dessert as they have a great ice cream selection including something called the Dirty Sundae.
Santa Claus just wouldn’t be a Christmas destination without a great toy shop.
Santa’s Toys is a location where young and old can shop for the toys they always wished they could own. There are over 2800 specialty toys available including STEM products that encourage learning. Guests are encouraged to play as they browse making the experience even more entertaining.
Christmas Lake Golf Course
While visiting Santa Claus, make sure to spend a relaxing day on the golf course. Named one of the “Top 75 Public Golf courses in America” it hosts several facilities to accommodate your needs. They specialize in golf outings of all kinds including groups of 100.
They also host several tournaments each year. Check out their web site to find out about up and coming events.
A visit to Santa Claus is not complete without a trip to the Santa Claus Museum. The museum offers historical documents, photos and artifacts that show how the town progressed from Sant Fe to Santa Claus. You can also page through the many letters children have written to the post office over the years while listening to narration by Jim Yellig as the voice of Santa.
While at the museum, you can also stop in at the original Santa Claus Post Office where you can write your own letter to Santa. The elf volunteers are on site to make sure you get an answer.
Other attractions include toy displays and Santas of every shape and size. You can also visit the 1880 Santa Claus church. Be sure to take a picture in from of this historic structure that features most of its original furnishings and a 22-foot Santa Claus statue from 1935.
No, you can’t ride a reindeer at Santa’s Stables, but you can do some pleasant horseback riding in the shady woodlands of southern Indiana. Pony rides, short rides and long rides are available and there is also a gift shop on site.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are not open during the holidays, but this two in one park is one of the town’s major attractions.
Splashin’ Safari is ranked as one of the nation’s Top 3 Water Parks and includes two of the longest water coasters in the world as well as family water slides, wave pools and water activities for children. It is open from May to the beginning of September.
Holiday World is a thrill ride park and home to The Thunderbird, a steel roller coaster that loops, rolls and goes from zero to sixty in seconds. It is open from May to the end of October.
If you are looking to spend your Christmas anywhere, Santa Claus is the place to do it. What will you be putting on your must-see list when you visit?