Holiday Package at Christmas-Themed Inn
It feels like Christmastime at Santa’s Lodge no matter what the calendar says. Inside the lobby, a 37-foot-high vaulted ceiling—hand-hewn from the timbers of a 19th-century barn that once stood on the property—soars over festive decorations, including Christmas trees, Santa Claus statues, and a horse-drawn sleigh. A stay at Santa’s Lodge is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
You can mingle with Kris Kringle himself during a Santa meet-and-greet, which includes milk, cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas crafts for four. You’ll also get an access card to the North Pole Network at Santa’s Candy Castle to find out whether you’re on the naughty or nice list this year. Finally, you’ll receive admission for one car to the Land of Lights, a holiday light show hosted at a campground less than a mile away. Along a 1.2-mile stretch of road, twinkling lights and animated displays tell the classic Christmas tale of Rudolph.
At St. Nick’s Restaurant, you can dine on traditional yuletide fare while seated beneath antique lanterns and decorative fir boughs. The Christmas dinner spread includes all the fixings—turkey, homemade dressing, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, candied yams, and assorted pies. After dinner, retreat to your comfy guest room or go for a dip in the indoor pool or whirlpool.
Santa Claus, Indiana: Year-Round Festive Cheer in Historical Town
According to local legend, the early settlers of present-day Santa Claus had a problem: every time they agreed upon a name for the town, they’d discover it was already taken. In fact, the small community was known as the “nameless town” until Christmas Eve of 1852. On that wintry night, the villagers were debating names in a log-cabin church, when a gust of wind blew open the door.
The unmistakable sound of sleigh bells could be heard over the falling snow. The children cried out, “Santa Claus!” and the town finally had a name. Each December, the Santa Claus Post Office is flooded with hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to ol’ St. Nick. Each letter received by December 21 receives a reply.
Naturally, the town—which is Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s hometown—is a magnet for all things Christmas. Built in the mid-1930s as part of a now-defunct holiday theme park, Santa’s Candy Castle remains a local landmark. Here you can buy gourmet candy canes, hot chocolate, and other handmade confections. Pop into the Santa Claus Museum to learn more about the history of the town through documents, photos, and artifacts.