Track Santa, Visit The North Pole And Get In The Holiday Spirit With NORAD

norad app

U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez

No matter your age, the Christmas spirit still centers around the idea of Santa Claus coming to town. If you’re not already in the holiday mood, then grab your phone and download the NORAD app. It’s full of fun Christmas activities at the North Pole, information about Santa and his sleigh, music and more.

We’re ready to get our Christmas on, so with a cup of hot cocoa in hand, we tested out the NORAD app. Here’s everything you need to know.

Before you download NORAD, know the basics.

  • It’s free to download for both iOS and Android users.
  • NORAD stands for North American Aerospace Defense Command.
  • It’s an app for your phone, as well as a website that lets you enjoy all of its features.
  • The NORAD Santa Tracker includes a countdown clock to Christmas Eve.
  • In the app and on the website, you can play games, listen to Christmas music, watch videos, read books and informational pamphlets, and more.

NORAD’s been tracking Santa for 60 years.

norad santa tracker countown

Swirled/Hilarey Wojtowicz

NORAD was created in 1958 as a bi-national air defense command between the United States and Canada. Before NORAD started tracking Santa, children could call and get updates about Santa’s whereabouts from the Continental Air Defense Command commander-in-chief’s operations “hotline.” According to NORAD, Santa’s “phone number” was misprinted in an ad for Sears and children began calling for updates. The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, and his staff decided to take on the task of updating the children who called in. The tradition stuck and eventually evolved into the NORAD Santa tracker.

Play a holiday game on the train instead.

Skip Candy Crush and opt for a NORAD holiday game on your way to work. Games include “Happy Animals,” “Ornament Chain,” “Snowball World,” “Santa Hop,” “Ski Rush” and more. All of them are free and, trust us, they’re pretty challenging (we still haven’t gotten past two chimneys in “Santa Hop”). Even better — a new game unlocks every day leading up to Christmas in December, so you’ll never get bored on your daily commute.

Listen to classic Christmas music.

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Jingle Bells” and other songs play 24/7 on the NORAD website. All of the songs are played by U.S. military bands, too, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Band, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band, U.S. Air Force Academy Band and more. The music sets the perfect tone while you bake, work or wrap presents this holiday season.

Watch short movies and read about Santa.

norad santa tracker

Swirled/Hilarey Wojtowicz

The NORAD Santa Tracker has short films that fill you in on Santa’s annual trip. Many are under three minutes long, too, so they’re just enough to keep you on your toes. If you’d rather read about the man in red, head to the NORAD library, which includes information on Santa, his sleigh, traditions around the world and more. You can also learn about Operation Goodwill, complete with links to other websites that support people in need and military families.

Don’t miss Santa on Christmas Eve night.

When it comes down to it, NORAD is the go-to destination for tracking Santa on Christmas Eve. On the homepage of the app and website, you’ll see a large planet Earth. Come Christmas Eve, you’ll be able to see Santa’s sleigh circling the planet and know exactly which city and location he’s currently in, plus how much time you have until he arrives in your hometown.

Don’t miss out on tracking Santa, plus all of the holiday fun leading up to Christmas Eve. NORAD is a must during this time of year. Download it now to get into the spirit and spread some holiday cheer.


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