Christmas is just hours away and children who are wondering, “Where is Santa Claus right now?” will soon be able to get an instant answer with the NORAD Santa Tracker. Starting on Christmas Eve, anxious kiddos around the world will be able to locate Santa online, on a mobile phone, tablet, in OnStar-equipped cars, and even the old-fashioned way — by making a phone call.
There are five different ways to keep tabs on the Jolly Old Elf and his eight tiny reindeer this year. NORAD will be firing up their official tracker promptly at 12:01 a.m. MST on Thursday, December 24, so get prepared with the list of tracking options below.
Online: Follow Santa’s journey online by heading over to NoradSanta.org. There’s a clock that will countdown the minutes until the tracker goes live, but the site has plenty for children to do while they wait for Santa to start his trip around the world. From holiday games to movies and festive music, parents should bookmark the site now because kids will undoubtedly ask to check it often.
Mobile Apps: On the go on Christmas Eve? Download the official NORAD Santa Tracker app for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android smartphones and tablets. Find the app in the Apple store or, for Android devices, search for the app in Google Play.
In The Car: Locate Santa while you’re on the road if you have an On Star-equipped car. Just press the blue OnStar button in your vehicle and request an update.
Social Media: Keep up with the latest information on Santa’s travels on NORAD’s various social media accounts. Follow NORAD on Facebook and Twitter (@NoradSanta) for instant updates, and check out the videos on their official YouTube page.
Telephone: While tracking online gives kids a great visual as to where Santa Claus is, a phone call to NORAD headquarters can be just as exciting. In the U.S., call 877-HI-NORAD (877 446-6723) on Christmas Eve and a staff member will give you Santa’s exact location.
— Philip Clarke (@pgc_3) December 14, 2015
An estimated 125,000 children from around the world are expected to call in to check on Santa’s whereabouts. According to the Gazette, hundreds of volunteers will man the telephone lines at Peterson Air Force in Colorado on December 24.
Volunteers include Department of Defense employees, NORAD service members, and civilians — and this year First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to take a few calls that will be forwarded to her at the White House.
Where does Santa start his journey? According to NORAD, he takes off from the North Pole and heads straight to the South Pacific. From there, he travels west to New Zealand and Australia. Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer crew then leads Santa’s sleigh to Japan, mainland Asia, and Africa.
The one-night gift dropping trip around the world then heads to Western Europe, Canada, the United States, and Mexico. St. Nick drops the last of his gifts in Central and South America and heads back to the North Pole for some well-deserved sleep.
— Sandi Layne (@sandyquill) December 22, 2015
While children wait for the NORAD Santa Tracker to go live at 12:01 a.m. MST on December 24, they can check out the live ReindeerCam site that allows kids to see a live feed of the reindeer. Santa will be out to feed them at 11 a.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Before he takes off in his sleigh on Thursday, he will give them two last feedings at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
[Image via NORAD.com]