Santa Claus, Indiana
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Is the North Pole in Southern Indiana?

In southern Indiana, there’s a town that keeps the spirit of Christmas all year long: Santa Claus. (Yup, there’s really a town called Santa Claus, Indiana!)

Nestled near the Kentucky border, this small Midwest town is a haven for Christmas enthusiasts and believers in the magic of the season. Named after the legendary Man in Red himself – Santa Claus – the town embodies the joy and warmth of Christmas.

From its renowned landmarks like the Santa Claus Museum and Village and Santa’s Candy Castle to the town’s famous post office and opportunities to shop, every day is a holiday here and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone who can’t get enough of Christmas.

Santa Claus Post Office-Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus Post Office | photo via racheldoesntlivehereanymore

The Christmas Wonders of Santa Claus Indiana

Established as Santa Fe, Indiana, in 1849, Santa Claus later gained its famous name after a post office dispute. The origins of the Santa Claus name have been lost to history, but it was accepted by the Post Office Department in 1856.

For more than three decades, the town’s name was changed to Santaclaus as part of name standardization but was changed back to Santa Claus in the late 1920s and the Post Office Department established that the Santa Claus Post Office (located at 45 Kringle Place) would be the only such post office in the United States. 

Today, Santa Claus has just 2,500 permanent residents, but it gets more than a million tourists each year for visitors who want to experience a little bit of Christmas magic.

Santa Claus was featured in the Believe It or Not comic strip, highlighting its potential as a tourist town. In subsequent decades, Santa Claus became a must-see Midwest gem as Santa Claus-themed attractions were built and opened to turn this tiny Indiana town into a Christmas wonderland.

Santa's Candy Castle-Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa’s Candy Castle | photo via adina_nicholas

Santa’s Candy Castle

Prepare to satisfy your sweet tooth at arguably the biggest attraction in Santa Claus. Dedicated in 1935, this building has all the makings of a castle from its red-brick exterior and turret to its rotunda and crenellated tower.

If that weren’t enough, the inside of the castle holds enough sweet treasure to make even the most casual candy eater smile big. Visitors of all ages will be kids again as they peruse a selection of old-fashioned and hard-to-find candy, handmade goodies, frozen hot chocolate, 35 different flavors of cocoa, and more.

Holiday World-Santa Claus, Indiana
Holiday World | photo via stantondave1

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

Every day is a holiday here at a place that offers two different world-class parks.

Splashin’ Safari has been ranked one of the nation’s top water parks and features two of the longest coasters in the world, the Cheetah Chase — the world’s first water-launched coaster, wave pools, and more.

Holiday World is a paradise for roller coaster enthusiasts. Coasters here include the Thunderbird, which goes from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. There’s also the wooden coaster, The Voyage, and Good Gravy, a family coaster opening in 2024.

Santa Claus Post Office

The Santa Claus is the only post office in the world with the Santa Claus name. Its uniqueness means that each Christmas season, thousands of letters pour in from kids writing to Santa and from people who want the Santa Claus postmark.

The post office reached peak interest in the 1910s when the town postmaster personally answered kids’ letters to Santa. Today, Santa’s Elves Inc., a non-profit organization, and the Santa Claus Museum organize volunteers to answer thousands of letters each year.

Santa Claus Christmas Store-Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus Christmas Store | photo via racheldoesntlivehereanymore

Santa Claus Christmas Store

A trip to Santa Claus feels incomplete without a trip to the Santa Claus Christmas Store. Visitors of all ages can delight in seeing gifts, trees, decorations, collectibles, and thousands of ornaments. It’s easy to spend an hour or two looking at everything and stock up for the holiday season.

DID YOU KNOW: The world’s largest Christmas store is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth Michigan.

Santa Claus Museum and Village-Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus Museum and Village | photo via kevintucker

Santa Claus Museum and Village

The Santa Claus Museum & Village offers a chance to learn about the town’s fascinating history — and how could a town called Santa Claus not have a fascinating history? 

Visitors can explore a collection of historic buildings dating back to 1856 — when the town was officially christened with its name. The group includes a Santa Claus church from 1880, a towering 22-foot Santa statue from 1935, and the town’s first post office where visitors can write letters to Santa.

Santa’s Toys

It’s not quite the North Pole, but visitors young and old can let their imaginations run wild in a place with nearly 3,000 specialty toys.

The selection includes STEM products, putties and slimes, novelty items, games and puzzles, and more. Customers are encouraged to play while browsing, so let your inner child have some fun.

Evergreen Boutique and Christmas Shop

After stocking up on toys and Christmas decor, head to this boutique and peruse a fine selection of sophisticated and classy clothing. It’s a fun place to discover one-of-a-kind finds, accessories, and even Santa Claus Indiana souvenirs.

Holiday World-Santa Claus, Indiana
Holiday World | photo via hiddenunderthesun

Celebrate Christmas All Year Long in Santa Claus Indiana

With its cheerful atmosphere, delightful festivities, and a name that evokes the spirit of giving, Santa Claus Indiana, is a place where Christmas magic comes to life, making it a truly special destination for all who believe in the joy of the season.

Come and experience the magic of Santa Claus for yourself. Write a letter to Santa. Sink your teeth into countless sweet treats at Santa’s Candy Castle. Spend an hour (or two) browsing the Santa Claus Christmas Store or let your inner child bask in the fun of Santa’s Toys.

However you choose to spend your time in Santa Claus, there’s no doubt you’ll leave happier and filled with the spirit of Christmas in your heart.