How to track Santa – best free apps from Norad and Google with bonus games too


SANTA is stocking his sleigh with goodies and gadgets for his yearly gift-giving journey – and you can follow him live.

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to spot Kris Kringle overhead, but you can still chart his Christmas trip through the power of technology.


Norad is getting ready to track Santa as he delivers presents around the worldCredit: NORAD

In fact, there are several ways to monitor the movements of Old Saint Nick to see how he’s getting on this year.

Of course, you should be fast asleep by the time Father Christmas pays a visit to your own home.

But Santa and his reindeer move at a lightning pace, so you’ll be able to catch plenty of action before you nod off.

According to Norad, Santa kicks off his journey at the International Date Line, which is halfway around the world from London.

So if you’re in London, Santa starts delivering presents far away at noon on Christmas Eve. And for New Yorkers, he starts at 10 am.

Santa then makes his way to South Pacific islands, then on to New Zealand and Australia, into Japan and across Asia, through Africa and then onto Western Europe – before heading to the Americas.

And by noon on Christmas Day in London, he should have traveled all the way around the world.

Here are two of the best ways to track Santa.


Probably the most famous way to track Father Christmas is using the Norad Santa Tracker.

It goes live on December 24 here, so you’ll need to wait until then before you can start following Santa.

You can also download the Norad Santa Tracker on iPhone and Android.

The tracker is operated by Norad, the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

Norad has been tracking Santa since 1955.

It’s said that it all started when a child accidentally called after seeing an ad in a newspaper telling children to ring Santa.

The boss at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, is said to have answered the phone and told staff to check the radar for signs of Santa making his way south from the North Pole.


Google also runs its own Santa Tracker.

The tracker itself isn’t live yet and won’t be until Christmas Eve.

But you can follow along with the countdown and enjoy some Christmas games on the website ahead of time here.

Some of the Christmas games and experiences include:

  • Out Like A Light
  • Yule Log
  • Penguin Proof
  • Santa Selfie
  • Elf Maker
  • Code Lab
  • Railroad Ride
  • Gumball Tilt
  • Ollie Under The Sea
  • Present Bounce
  • Snowball Storm
  • Build & Bolt
  • Holiday Traditions
  • Present Drop
  • Translations
  • Quick Draw
  • Santa’s Canvas
  • Snowbox
  • Santa Search
  • Elf Jetpack
  • Penguin Dash
  • Elf Ski
  • Rudolph Racer
  • Season of Giving
  • Code Boogie
  • Wrap Battle
  • Elf Jamband
  • Map Quiz
  • Reindeer Runner
  • Elf Glider

These games are available “all December long” according to Google.

Google has its own Santa Tracker that is totally free to access


Google has its own Santa Tracker that is totally free to accessCredit: Google