KAST battle of the santa trackers

Tracking Santa around the world on Christmas Eve has become part of many family’s Holiday tradition. But, before you bookmark, anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas into your hemisphere, let’s see which Santa Tracker is best!

It’s Christmas Eve and, among the various traditions, one of the most popular and fun for kids and parents alike is tracking Santa’s course around the world throughout the day.

But, with a choice of trackers online, which one will give you the most accuracy following St. Nick? And the most fun! Because it’s no longer just about passively locating Father Christmas on a map, it’s about the interactivity, the games, the experience.

So, which site should you bookmark today? In addition to longtime services NORAD and Google Santa trackers, Plane Finder – online along with its iOS and Android apps –  has added Santa’s route to the thousands of airplanes they typically follow on December 24th.

Given that NORAD and Google are the long-established names in the game, tracking Santa’s worldwide Christmas travels for years, let’s see which of the two brings not only the best tracking system to the fore but the best opportunities for Christmas Eve fun as well.

NORAD Tracks Santa!

NORAD Santa Tracker

NORAD’s tracking system might literally be your grandmother’s Santa tracker! Thanks to a happy accident, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has been tracking Santa for 63 years.

In 1955, Colorado-based Sears Roebuck & Co. misprinted a telephone number in an advertisement for kids wishing to talk to Santa. This typo sent dozens of kids calling the Continental Air Defense Command center instead.

Colonel Harry Shoup, rather than getting annoyed with the mistake, embraced the Christmas spirit, and joined in! He and his staff spent the night answering the children’s calls providing updates as to Santa’s whereabouts during the evening. Thus began the tradition. In 1958, shortly after NORAD was created, they continued with the Christmas Eve fun and have kept it going for over six decades.
NORAD is able to continue the tradition thanks to the hundreds of volunteers that stop by the Santa Tracker command center to take children’s calls. Even the Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, volunteered to answer endless Santa questions for over six years. Yes, even the Trumps joined in during the first Christmas of their tenure in the Whitehouse, in 2017.

Visit the NORAD website to follow Father Christmas as he delivers presents around the world. When you arrive be sure to spend some time in Santa’s Village to learn about different holiday traditions. On the map, not only can you see exactly where he is, but you can also even keep count in realtime how many gifts he’s delivered! You can also see where Santa was last seen and where he’s heading to next.

You get the choice of 3D or 2D views to accommodate your connectivity or your map viewing preference. And while NORAD’s website may appear rather dated, not as bright,  vibrant or modern as Google’s, the animations are cute and you can enjoy the music player located at the bottom and the Santa Cam of videos from his travels around the world.

The NORAD tracker is a sentimental favourite, for sure!

Google Santa Tracker!

Google Santa Tracker

Not nearly as long or storied, Google’s tracker has been around since 2004.  Like NORAD, it’s not simply a tracker of the Big Man, it doubles as a hub of activities. Of course, Google also provides Santa’s Village where your children can visit to play games and learn about holiday traditions around the world.

With updates over recent years, it’s quite easy to navigate – more than previous iterations and more than NORAD. There’s a clear timeline for each day in December, leading you along a path to Christmas Eve. You can also click the menu button in the top left of the page to see what content is new today. Not surprisingly, Google offers great content and the games are fun and there’s even the opportunity to learn code which makes it even that much cooler!

You can watch Santa prepare for takeoff on Christmas Eve. Be sure to check out the Santa Selfie activity, which lets you shave Santa’s beard and blow dry it – so fun!  You can even change its colour to yellow or pink or whatever to help Santa get ready for the big night.

On Christmas Eve, both the website and app show a countdown.

Whichever tracker you choose as you anticipate Santa’s arrival will bring you and your kids a ton of fun, so simply enjoy the imaginative and creative combination of technology and tradition.

We wish you happy Santa tracking and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!