Although the pandemic has sought to affect as many aspects of our lives as possible, we’ve also gotten pretty good at finding virtual workarounds for all the things we are missing out on—including, now, visits with Santa.
The last thing we want is for Santa or his helpers to be traveling the world with the purpose of allowing millions of children to sit on his lap and have close, face-to-face conversations. That doesn’t seem like something the CDC would approve of. But there are plenty of options for taking the annual chat online this year. Here are some to get you started.
The Portable North Pole
I’m starting here because this is a site I first used several years ago, and the options have gotten better and more extensive each year since then. The Portable North Pole makes personalized videos and phone calls in which Santa addresses your child directly by name and mentions a couple of details, which you provide, about their life.
There is a basic free video message option, or you can upgrade to longer, more detailed videos. $5.99 will get you one premium video (there are various options and themes) that will include additional personalization. Premium phone calls are $4.99 each. Or you could go all out and spend $14.99 on a “magic pass” that will open up unlimited access to all video and call options for as many kids as you’ve got.
Virtual meet-up with Black Santa Houston
I found this event—coming up at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 12—via the Find Black Santa app, which is available on iOS and Android. The cost is $20 per family for an hourlong event in which Santa answers some of kids’ most pressing questions.
More details about the event:
This is not a personalized visit with Santa. You will share your time with Santa and all other families registered for the event! He will be able to see you if your camera is on. However, to keep within time constraints of event, microphones will be muted for majority of event. At the end, we’ll be sure to turn your microphones on for a quick goodbye to Santa before sending him off to the North Pole!
Santa: The Experience
This option is more expensive, but kids get one-on-one face time with the man himself. “The Experience” is described as an “elf-guided journey to the North Pole” that lasts about 10-12, including a five-minute chat with Santa.
Appointments start at $34.95 and go as high as $79.95, depending on the time and date you choose (the evening of Christmas Eve will set you back the most by far). Click the calendar under “book now” to see what’s available.
Here’s the trailer for the experience:
Santa’s Club offers a few options, too. Spend $34.99 for a personalized video message, $49.99 for a live video conversation with Santa, or $69.99 for all the extras, including a mailed invitation from the North Pole and a magic wristband. The live videos include the option to book your conversation with a Black Santa, as well.
Watch the trailer here:
T-Mobile’s free live video chats
T-Mobile is offering a limited number of free live video chats with Santa, after which they’ll also send you a copy of the video to save. You don’t have to be a T-Mobile customer, but slots are first come, first serve. Each day from Dec. 10-23, time slots will open for the day starting at 9 a.m. PT. You can book your appointment here, and you’ll have a chance to request a particular Santa who best suits your family.
Or just text him
This has been a year of virtual everything, so if you’re all Zoomed out but you still want to connect with the big guy, you can send him a text message. Zipwhip (a text messaging service for businesses) is helping families connect directly with the North Pole this year. Simply send your message to (844) YO-SANTA (844-967-2682) and you’ll get a prompt response. The responses can be a bit disjointed; here’s the quick conversation I had with him:
But it’s probably because the man is spread so thin this time of year, so we’re going to cut him a little slack.