How to Track Santa's Sleigh on Christmas Eve 2018 Online for Free
Santa Claus is coming to town — and thanks to technology, you can know exactly what time he'll arrive.
Google, NORAD and other websites have set up free Santa trackers for kids to give you some insight into Saint Nick's schedule on Christmas Eve 2018. Grab a parent, go online and watch the jolly old elf and his reindeer circle the Earth delivering toys. And, most importantly, make sure you get to bed before he gets to your house.
Here's how to follow Santa online on Christmas Eve.
Try the NORAD Santa Tracker
Your first option is the most classic: the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Nicknamed NORAD, the organization was formed decades ago to monitor man-made objects in space and protect the U.S. and Canada from attack. But these days, it's more famous for its Santa-tracking abilities.
Legend has it that the tradition dates back to the '50s, when a misprinted newspaper ad for a Santa hotline accidentally gave out NORAD's phone number. Fast-forward a few decades, and now volunteers staff phone lines to every Christmas Eve to keep people from over 200 countries updated about Santa's location. In 2014 alone, the NORAD Santa Tracker saw nearly 20 million visits, according to The Atlantic.
On Dec. 24, check out the NORAD Santa site here (you can also explore a virtual North Pole, check out Santa's secret files, learn holiday traditions from around the world and play games). Follow along on Twitter here, or enable NORAD Tracks Santa on your Alexa here.
Looking to speak with a live person? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-446-6723 for information on where Santa is now.
Track Santa on Google Maps
As an alternative, tech giant Google hosts Santa's Village, which is in its 15th year of providing coding-themed games and map quizzes for kids to complete while waiting for Santa. On Christmas Eve, head here to watch the big guy fly around the world on Google Maps.
"One of the hardest parts about being married to Santa is that he always forgets to let me know where he is," Mrs. Claus said in a blog post. "This year, I’ve enlisted our elite team of cartographelves to let everyone know where he is as soon as he takes off from the North Pole."
You don't even have to be seated in front of a computer to check in on Saint Nick. In a 2018 twist, Pixel and Google Home devices will offer location updates whenever asked "Where is Santa?" There's also an Android app that works on a smartwatch and a mobile-optimized site.
Watch Other Santa Live Streams
If NORAD and Google aren't on your "nice" list, you have other options.
Nintendo Switch offers a Santa Tracker game for $2.99, and emailSanta.com has a Santa Snooper complete with a webcam that will show you Santa's flight live. You can check in on the reindeer with this ReindeerCam or view various Santa sightings at I Spot Santa here.
Just don't stay up too late!