NORAD, which has been helping eager kids track Santa Claus at Christmastime since the 1950s, is once again letting kids use the Internet to follow Santa’s sleigh ride.

NORAD Santa Tracker

Starting at  7 a.m. on Christmas Eve, children and children at heart can go to the NORAD website or use mobile apps to track Santa. The website, which is available in eight different languages, has games, music, movies and more.

“Users can see where Santa stops along different locations in the world,” said Stacey Knott, the NORAD track Santa spokesperson. “Of course, we can’t show every single one of Santa’s stops but we do show a lot of those around the world and every single country.”

Santa’s route is from east to west, as he rides his sleigh from New Zealand and Australia, through Asia and Africa, on to Europe, and finally to North America, Central America and South America.


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“Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable,” the NORAD website warns. “It appears he only arrives when children are asleep.”

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa since 1956, one year after a lucky accident saw kids calling the Continental Air Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., thinking they were calling Santa Claus because of a Sears ad.

“Only a four-star general at the Pentagon and my dad had the number,” recalled Col. Harry Shoup’s daughter Pam Farrell in an interview with NPR last year.  “And then there was a small voice that just asked, ‘Is this Santa Claus?’ ”

“Dad realized that it wasn’t a joke,” added Shoup’s other daughter Terri Van Keuren. “So he talked to him, ho-ho-ho’d and asked if he had been a good boy and, ‘May I talk to your mother?’ And the mother got on and said, ‘You haven’t seen the paper yet? ‘There’s a phone number to call Santa. It’s in the Sears ad.’ Dad looked it up, and there it was, his red phone number. And they had children calling one after another, so he put a couple of airmen on the phones to act like Santa Claus.”

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