X

5 fun ways to use Google's Santa Tracker this Christmas and beyond

Following Santa's path around the globe is just the beginning.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Content strategy | Team leadership | Audience engagement | Tips and FAQs | iPhone | Samsung | Android | iOS
Eli Blumenthal
Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
screen-shot-2020-12-24-at-1-11-31-pm.png

Google's Santa Tracker is here. 

Google

As Christmas arrives around the world, Google has turned on its Santa tracker for following jolly Saint Nick as he delivers gifts across the globe. 

The Santa tracker site has a real-time visual representation of Santa's path. Google also has a running counter for the number of gifts delivered and an update as to the next stop on Santa's journey. In a nod to a more sober reality, Kris Kringle is wearing a purple face mask to keep himself and others safe from COVID-19 (though he apparently already got a dose of vaccine).

The site is similar to NORAD's Santa tracker, the long-running annual project of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Google's tracker doubles as a cute way to entertain kids with a handful of mini-games including one called Elf Glider where, on a computer, you use a keyboard to serve as one of Santa's elves on a hang glider, pressing the space bar to drop presents into chimneys while avoiding obstacles.

5 fun ways to use Google's Santa Tracker on Christmas Day

1. Enter Santatracker.google.com on your mobile or desktop browser. Mobile users can tap to add Santa to their home screen.

2020-12-24-10-57-51

There, now Santa's photo-ready.

Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

2. You can passively see Santa's current location and explore the globe. If you get too far, tap the icon of the Santa hat to immediately snap back to the jolly one on his sleigh.

3. Click or tap the "hamburger" menu of three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen to interact with Santa and his friends in different ways. For example, you can make Santa presentable for a selfie and get in a snowball fight.

4. Keep the sound on to hear festive music and elf laughter as Santa cuts his path around the globe, or click or tap the mute button if you prefer to enjoy Father Christmas in silence.

5. Keep scrolling down to play winter and Christmas-related games with animated elves. Google's website says the site will remain live through December.