Nestled just inside the snow-capped Rocky Mountains of Colorado, sits the magical place known to children around the world as The North Pole – Santa’s Workshop. While many believe its coordinates are somewhere in Antarctica, Mr. Claus prefers to gaze upon the wonder of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain from home base in Cascade, CO, just outside Colorado Springs. Whether tinkering away on toys, riding a scenic train or visiting with the animals of America’s only mountain zoo, there are places to spot the jolly spirit of the big guy in and around this majestic mountain region. For a full list of holiday happenings and lodging packages, go to www.visitcos.com/christmas.
Visit Santa – at the North Pole
Through December 24, 2013
Visitors can make a trip to Santa’s Workshop, also known as The North Pole. This Christmas-themed family amusement park has something for the entire family. Meet Santa and his elves. Ride on more than two dozen unique, kid-friendly rides and don’t forget to touch the real iced North Pole. www.santas-colo.com
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway Santa Claus Train
November – December 24, 2013
This two-hour round trip on the highest cog in the world will go halfway up Pikes Peak. Of course, Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will be along for the ride. The train will have an hour layover so children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. For a schedule of departures or to purchase tickets call 719.685.5401 or visit www.cograilway.com.
The Royal Gorge Route Railroad Santa Express Train
Through January 4, 2014
The Santa Express is a winter wonderland decorated in holiday style. Children are encouraged to wear cozy pajamas while they sip cocoa and listen to holiday stories read by Santa’s elves. Large glass windows allow passengers to enjoy the beauty of the Royal Gorge on the way to the North Pole, fittingly decorated like a true Christmas town. Children under two ride free. Call 888.724.5748 or visit www.royalgorgeroute.com.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari
December 2013 – January 1, 2014
‘Tis the season for lights, animals and holiday cheer at America’s only mountain zoo. Take in the nearly one million sparkling lights illuminating the night, then stop in and see Santa (through December 23). Select animal exhibits are open during the event. It’s a family tradition not to be missed. Children two and under are free. www.cmzoo.org
Track Santa with NORAD
Having trouble finding Mr. Claus? Enlist the help of North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, to track Santa’s travels. Buried deep inside Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD spends its off time from aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America, following Santa and his sleigh. The countdown to the big night has already begun.