Last week I took TJ to our local mall to see Santa. The entire ordeal was ordinary, and it got me thinking about whether there is a better location for kids to visit Santa. There is - Santa Claus, Indiana. Named Santa Claus over 150 years ago by German immigrants, this town in southern Indiana thrives at Christmas time and would be a great road trip for anyone in the general area. On December 8-9 you can check out the Christmas in Santa Claus Festival which entails an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with Mr. Claus, a parade at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and a Christmas craft show that runs both days for the adults to pick up stocking stuffers. Later in the evening, from 5-9 p.m., check out the 15-mile Festival of Lights in Christmas Lake Village. Homeowners design huge holiday light displays and decorations that the kids will love - plus, admission is free! For more information on the lights display, call (812) 544-2234.
While in Santa Claus, you absolutely must stop by the Santa Claus Post Office (812-937-4469) on Highway 162. This post office is the only place in the world with the famous Santa Claus postmark for your holiday cards. Each holiday season, the office receives more than 500,000 pieces of mail, including hundreds of letters addressed to the big man himself. Thankfully, Santa's elves make sure each child receives a reply. We'll have to mail TJ's request to Santa Claus for a "soccer ball!!!"
Santa Claus lives out in the boonies a bit (driving-wise, he is approximately six hours from Chicago, three hours from Cincinnati, three hours from Indianapolis, and one hour from Louisville, Kentucky ), so if you need a place to crash while visiting, try Santa's Lodge. Look for special holiday packages in December that include bedtime stories with Santa and breakfast the next morning with the Jolly Ol' Elf.