How to Track Santa's Flight Path

Three Methods:Using Google's Santa TrackerUsing the NORAD WebsiteUsing a Telephone

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than following Santa's journey on Christmas Eve? Young or old, it doesn't matter, you can check out his "flight path" during the night of December 24th to December 25th.


  1. Image titled Track Santa's Flight Path Step 1
    Wait for Christmas Eve to approach. Depending on your location, the flight may start very early on in the day (Eastern Time) on Christmas Eve, or go into the morning/mid-afternoon hours on Christmas Day. If you are dying to see his full flight path, be prepared to stay awake from about 2:00AM Eastern Standard Time till Christmas day.

Method 1
Using Google's Santa Tracker

  1. 1
    Visit the Google Santa Tracker website. You can find it at This will open Santa's Village, where you can watch the elves get ready.
    • If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can also download the Santa Tracker app from the Google Play Store.
  2. 2
    Check the countdown clock. If you're visiting the site before Santa takes off, you'll see a countdown clock letting you know exactly when he's scheduled to leave.
  3. 3
    Click the Pin in the center of the Village to start the daily activity or movie. Every day in December, you'll be able to find a new movie or game to play in the Santa Tracker Village. Click the Pin to see the day's treat.
  4. 4
    Hover over the arrows to scroll through the Village. Want to play one of the games from a few days ago? Hold your mouse over the left arrow to move back and see the Pins from previous days.
  5. 5
    Try clicking on things in the Village! There are a lot of fun little secrets to be found by clicking different objects around the Village. See what you can find!
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    Track Santa's trip. On the big day, you'll be able to see Santa's exact location in the world. You'll even be able to see where he's going to stop next!
  7. Image titled Track Santa's Flight Path Method 2 Step 7.png
    Recognize what time his journey is over and how the Google Santa Tracker displays this information. From his last "real" stop on Hilo (Hawaii), he takes a 7 minute stroll to the North Pole and it concludes with a brief paragraph telling you that his journey is over.

Method 2
Using the NORAD Website

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    Turn on your computer.
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    Open your web browser to visit the NORAD Tracks Santa official website.
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    Click on the button "The Wait is Officially Over, Start Tracking Santa Now".
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    Watch in your browser, as his pre-track updates are also shown. Read the Last seen line below the huge icon in your browser.
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    Watch in your browser. You'll see his flight path appear and move in real-time. The location of Santa is shown by the location of the Santa face icon.
    • 2013 featured two forms of watching: 2D and 3D mode which can be changed in the upper right corner of the screen. If you don't see this face icon, you are probably in 3D mode.

    • The background the NORAD site uses is courtesy of Bing Maps. However, it doesn't have as much functionality as that of the normal Bing Maps website.

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    Zoom in on the map. Use the zoom-in and zoom-out buttons in the top-right corner of the map.
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    Drag the map with your mouse, to move the map, to better track his flight path, or click the arrow point in the top right corner of the map (in the direction you'd like to move to indicate where you'd like his path to go.
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    Understand the time it takes for Santa to fly from one big city to another. It takes him anywhere from 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes (depending on his flight path) to travel between cities (big and small). If you scroll the whole browser down a bit, you can see this estimated time show.
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    Look down at the bottom of the screen. You'll see the number of gifts he's brought change drastically.
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    Understand what the presence of a camera icon means on the map. This icon is noted when Santa has made his presence known in these cities. Most of the big cities will have icons for them.
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    Understand the presence of a video play button icon. This icon means that NORAD has released an animated video short that can be played from your browser by clicking the button, (and you'll see the "Watch Video" button to the right of the map change to view this new video).
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    Learn that Santa's last places to visit are Alaska, and followed closely by Hawaii and Johnston Atoll.

Method 3
Using a Telephone

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    Contact the NORAD Team via the phone and listen to the message. Call 1 (877) HI NORAD. It is available starting at 4AM Mountain Standard Time on Christmas Eve.
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    Ask the operator where Santa is. The NORAD team should take a moment, but they'll gladly tell you his last known whereabouts, as what their job is specially designed to do.


  • Keep the belief that Santa exists, in your heart. And dream your dreams tonight, with this knowledge in mind. You'll never regret you didn't know his flight path, but it really does still exist.
  • The Santa Tracker tool needs Java to run. If you don't have the program/applet, you'll need it, and you'll be forced to download it, before even clicking the Track Santa button. Most Windows PC's already have the applet installed, however, Macs might need to download the tool. JavaScript isn't the same.
  • Although most people care to watch Santa move in American-English, the NORAD site is also set up to transmit in several other different languages too.
  • In the one corner, you'll also see a projection of where his next stop will be. The browser will never refresh, but you'll see this change instantaneously.
  • Watch the live feed of NORAD Tracks Santa videos as they are released on the NORAD Tracks Santa website (via YouTube]).
  • Click the Camera icon in the upper left corner of the screen, to have the map automatically move, zoom and center in on Santa's flight path.
  • Realize that in the bottom left corner of the screen before you even have to click the Track Santa button, they also have connect-to links which you can click, to follow the leads of the whereabouts of Santa for users of these services: Facebook and Twitter along with the NoradSanta channel on YouTube and Google+.
  • Santa even makes a few stops on Greenland, although Greenland is mostly ice-covered.
  • If you are an OnStar subscriber, you can also call OnStar via the phone, or through the blue OnStar button (from your car's activated rearview mirror).[1]
  • The time Santa visits will never be at the crack of midnight according to the map. However, he will visit you during course of the night. [2]
  • If your only option is to watch his path on an iOS device, NORAD also has their own system set up in an app available at this location. They also have viable ones on an Android device, along with a separate app for the Windows 8 operating system.
    • However, there is no app that is currently available for the Kindle Fire devices. [3]


  • There are some sites that say they are the official website of tracking Santa. However, most sites aren't. The only official tracking tool of the Santa tracker is the one outlined above at

Article Info

Categories: Christmas Spirit