One city in Alaska celebrates Christmas all year round. Situated 13 miles southeast of Fairbanks, North Pole is an easy, must-see side trip for families visiting Fairbanks. The city’s motto is “Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year Round.” The streets of North Pole have appropriate names, including Santa Claus Lane, Saint Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane, Kris Kringle Drive, Mistletoe Drive, North Star Drive, Blitzen Drive, and Donner Drive. The darling street lamps all look like candy canes.
The big attraction in North Pole is the Santa Claus House, an oh-so-cute shop filled with everything Christmas.
Inside, you can meet the Jolly Old Elf in person, year-round.
And, of course, you have to take a picture of your kids on Santa’s lap. We used this as our Christmas Card photo last year.
Even if you can’t visit North Pole yourself, you can arrange to have a letter sent from Santa. Santa also receives lots of letters from children. We enjoyed reading the letters that were on display.
The store carries all sorts of Christmas decorations including ornaments. Christmas ornaments are our favorite souvenir, so of course we needed to buy one from the North Pole! The store has all kinds of fun props for photos.
Outside, you can meet some of Santa’s reindeer.
You can’t miss the giant Santa figures outside. This Santa is 40 feet tall. Hop in the sleigh and pose for a picture.
This fiberglass figure is a couple of feet taller, standing at 42 feet, which makes it the World’s Largest Santa.
North Pole is situated on the Richardson Highway. The drive from there toward Valdez in southern Alaska has some breathtaking views. Be sure to take note of the scenery in North Pole. Painter Bob Ross (from the Joy of Painting show on PBS) lived there for ten years. The trees in the area just might be the “happy little trees” that inspired those in his paintings.
Ready to visit?