Santa flying in his sleigh across the moon
Getty Images

7 best ways to track Santa and celebrate the holidays in 2018

Bring some magic to the night before Christmas for children young and old, from home or while you're on the road, and even get a chance to put in a quick last minute request.

Like GearBrain on Facebook

It's the big day, Santa has taken to the air to deliver all the children of the world presents in stocking, under trees and in their home. For those who can't imagine the day without keeping track of Santa's flight with his reindeer, there are several ways to stay updated where you're at home on your computer, or traveling in your car. Whether you're looking for games, Advent calendars, or even Santa's own blog posts, you don't have to miss a moment of the night before the big day.

Google Santa Tracker

Google Santa TrackerGoogle Santa Tracker 2018Google

Google takes Santa quite seriously, and by the time you read this has already started tracking the jolly man on his biggest ride of the night. But the Google Santa Tracker is more than just a way to keep track of Santa. As this is Google, there are also some helpful tips — done really adorably — on how to set a password. One short video shows Mrs. Claus schooling Santa on creating a robust password so the penguins don't sneak into his secret space.

Tower of Treasure is a short video game that encourages you to race and pick up messages and emails and get them to a protected tower before the hackers attack and steal them. Santa's Village is a virtual Advent calendar —although you can play them all at once — stocked with games and videos that can keep little ones (yes, even you) entertained while you wait for Santa to arrive.

Finally, you can track Santa through the Google Home devices too. For those with a Google Home Hub or Lenovo Smart Display, you can actually watch where Santa is on his big night, just by asking "Hey Google, bring up the Santa Tracker."


NORAD Santa TrackerNORAD Santa Tracker 2018NORAD

The one that started it all, NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) tracks Santa throughout his entire ride online, and is one of the best ways to watch where he is through short video of his current location. NORAD Santa has tracked Papa Christmas for the past 60 years — continuing to do so despite the partial Government shutdown — and the service gets better and better. Now there are games, music you can stream ("Santa is Coming to Town," is of course required), and even digital books packed with Santa facts such as the weight of Santa as he lands on roof tops (1,260 pounds NORAD claims.)


OnStar Santa TrackerOnStar Santa Tracker 2018OnStar

GM car owners can tap into Norad's tracker too, just by asking OnStar where Santa is on his big day, if you're in the car with young ones. They'll be giving updates synced with the time of day, just by speaking aloud OnStar as you drive, so you won't miss a moment, nor worry that you might miss your own delivery from him.

Nintendo's Santa Tracker

Nintendo Santa TrackerNintendo Santa Tracker 2018Nintendo

The only one in the bunch that isn't free, the $1.99 Santa Tracker lets you track Santa on the Nintendo Switch and just launched in December 2018. There's Santa's blog available to read, (including a post updating everyone on Rudolph getting the flu), an Advent calendar, and updated images during the day showing where he is at that point during his flight.

Santa Tracker with Alexa

Santa Tracker with AlexaYou can track Santa with AlexaGetty Images

Of course Alexa has a way to track Santa — actually multiple ways, with Alexa Skills. The free Santa Tracker lets you ask Alexa where Santa is at any moment, and NORAD's built a Santa Tracker too for Alexa (where you can actually ask exactly when Santa will arrive at your home.) If you're a bit of a gambler, there's even an Alexa Skill called Santa Claus that will tell you if you're on Santa's naughty or nice list. (We don't recommend playing this one with the littlest ones of the bunch.)

Santa's Sleigh Ride

Santa's Sleigh RideCoca-Cola has a Santa Sleigh Ride for 2018Getty Images

Sneak about his magic sleigh in this short virtual reality experience. It's free, probably because Santa's Sleigh Ride is sponsored by Coca-Cola, and it's short clocking in at just under three minutes. Without an Oculus Rift headset, which this is designed to work with, you can view the content on your computer and it's still pretty. Santa does take flight, with you along for the ride, and it's a sweet little festive experience, although there is quite a bit of advertising tossed in, so do note that.

Chat with Santa through Google Assistant

Google HomeYou can track Santa through Google AssistantGoogle

Look, Santa's going to be busy today but if you really need to get a last minute note to him, you can place a call through a Google Assistant device. First, you'll get one of Santa's elves of the phone (you didn't think the big man picked up the phone on his own did you?) And then finally Santa himself will get on the line. Just ask by saying, "Hey Google, call Santa." If there's a hiccup, just remember, he's out delivering a bag of seriously important toys. But he is Santa — so if there's a way for him to work his magic, believe us, he will.

Like GearBrain on Facebook
The Conversation (0)

GearBrain Compatibility Find Engine

A pioneering recommendation platform where you can research, discover, buy, and learn how to connect and optimize smart devices.

Join our community! Ask and answer questions about smart devices and save yours in My Gear.

Top Stories

Weekly Deals