NORAD Tracks Santa Claus on Christmas Eve!

NORAD Santa Tracker--an exciting new Christmas tradition for the 21st century.
NORAD Santa Tracker--an exciting new Christmas tradition for the 21st century.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the lands, the people tracked Santa on NORAD’s webcams … “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with a 21st-century spin. There’s a new Christmas Eve tradition in my family that has proven to delight young and old alike—tracking Santa Claus on his flight. With help from our friends at NORAD, you and your family too can track Santa Claus as he journeys around the world on Christmas Eve!

Since 1955, our friends at the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD have been tracking Santa Claus on his biggest night of the year! From the North Pole to the Far East and due west to Hawaii, Santa covers every corner of our world all in one day. And with the help of Google Earth, we get a “Santa’s-eye” view of the world with video vignettes and audio tales of cultures and traditions as he visits world-renowned cities and landmarks. Along the way, you’ll see the mysterious lands of the Orient, pyramids of Egypt, ancient ruins in Rome and Greece, enchanting European villages not to mention the capital cities of London, Paris and Rome. Plus, a visit to the Big Apple and Rio de Janeiro too. And so much more!

It all started during the 1955 Christmas season when an advertisement for a Colorado Springs-based Sears, Roebuck and Co. printed the wrong telephone number to call Santa. Instead of reaching the North Pole, the phone rang into the office of the Commander-in-Chief’s hotline at CONAD, NORAD’s predecessor. Imagine his surprise! What makes this story so special and full of the spirit of Christmas is that instead of disappointing the children with his replies of “wrong number,” the Director of Operations at that time, Colonel Harry Shoup, instructed his staff to “check the radar and report out on Santa’s flight from the North Pole.” From that first magical night, the NORAD Santa Tracker tradition was born.

I first discovered NORAD Santa Tracker about six years ago and fell under its enchantment immediately. When I first saw the videos of Santa flying through the night with Rudolph’s red glow leading the way, I found it fascinating and could only imagine how thrilling it would be for our little believers. Personally, I like sharing the NORAD Santa Tracker with my now, six-year-old nephew whose face is as bright as Rudolph’s nose as he watches Santa fly through the night eventually making his way to our little corner of the world. I think I have more fun than he does and your kids will too! It’s a perfect combination of education and holiday fun as you and your kids discover the world’s sights and listen to the local Christmas customs and traditions. And, don’t worry if you’ve missed one of Santa’s stops along the way, just click on the little video icon on the map and relive his visit and listen to his tale.

Visit now and you’ll find a lot of Christmas themed content and information about NORAD. And if you want to watch and learn as Santa visits wonderful places and fascinating cities from around the world, tune in on

Come back here on Christmas Eve and you can track Santa too. The map below will display his wondrous journey around the world once he begins his Christmas flight. If you’re like me and can’t wait until December 24, then see the video below highlighting Santa’s 2010 journey around the world:

NORAD Santa Tracker

More European Christmas Enchantment:

Christmas Market River Cruise

Buon Natale! Christmastime in Italy

German Christmas Market Tour

Christmas in Alsace, France

Silver White Winters Aglow with Christmas Light in Bavaria, Germany

European Christmas Legends and Traditions


  1. How sweet! Now Santa can't hide away from us kids (at heart) anymore! Ho-Ho-Ho! Merry Christmas

  2. Hi Marlys and Merry Christmas!!!

    Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts...I just love NORAD and look forward to it every year!!! Can't wait to see my nephew again tonight!!

  3. We love the Norad Santa Tracker. Last year as we were reading the Night Before Christmas we checked in periodically to see where he was. At one point, my son looked at the image, exclaimed "he's almost here" and quickly scampered off to bed.

    1. Hi there Janina!

      What a cute story! I can just imagine his face lit up with excitement as he exclaimed Santa was almost there! Thank you so very much for stopping by and sharing your story. I really love it!


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