It’s Christmas year-round at the family theme park near Colorado Springs dedicated to Kris Kringle. May 21 through December 24, visitors to the North Pole are greeted with nostalgic Christmas tunes as they wander through Santa’s Workshop, a magical village consisting of nine quaint shops and restaurants stocked with holiday gifts and classic American food, including hand-dipped ice cream and specialty funnel cakes. In the midst of it all is an ice-covered pole that never melts. Children adore the Post Office, where park-goers can send mail that”ll be stamped “North Pole, Colorado.”
The highlight, of course, is visiting Santa’s home, located in the village. Children are invited to greet the jolly old elf and share their Christmas wishes as Santa’s helpers snap a photo that’s available for purchase. “We let people take their own photos, too,” says Tom Haggard, the park’s president. Santa is on-site daily, though he does break for lunch around 12:30 p.m.
On either side of the village are dozens of rides for children and families, including the up-down-and-around Christmas Tree Ride, a Candy Cane Coaster, the Peppermint Slide and an exhilarating zip line. Classic amusement park rides are also available: pony carts, an antique carousel and spinning cups, among others.
A tram flies visitors through the sky, while Santa’s train chugs over the outskirts of the property on a seven-minute ride. Throughout the ride, parents and kids learn a little history about the park, Pikes Peak and Colorado’s historic Ute Pass.
Don’t forget to stop by Santa’s Show House for a magic show, and check out the glassblowers as they work on ornaments. Try to catch an Elmer the Elf Show — a 20-minute country-style serenade that happens in the village — between the Boys” Shop and the Christmas Shop. In the Enchanted Forest you”ll find an arcade with skee-ball, knockdowns and clown roll downs.
Local guests are invited to bring their own food to enjoy at the covered picnic pavilion, located near the front of the park. Season and family passes are available, along with special Twilight Passes that give late arrivals free admission on another day.
Check it Out: Located at 5050 Pikes Peak Hwy., Cascade
Need to Know: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in July
Admission: $22 per person; free for seniors and kids under 2
Newest Attraction: This summer, The North Pole adds a Christmas-themed funhouse and maze, complete with goofy carnival mirrors, quirky characters, LED lighting effects and special graphics that”ll make it seem like you’re actually walking through the North Pole.