Santa is back. Located in Skyforest off Highway 18 just south of Lake Arrowhead, SkyPark at Santa’s Village once again brings the North Pole to Southern California. This outdoor adventure park first opened in 1955 – predating Disneyland. The original park closed in 1998, but just a year ago, a new, exciting version of SkyPark at Santa’s Village emerged under new ownership just in time for the Ho-Ho-Holidays.
Year-round holiday attractions, shops, and restaurants positioned in a log cabin village become even more festive this season, as the park becomes a vibrant winter wonderland.
Santa’s Village features some of the original park’s delightfully kitschy attractions, including a giant candy cane, and of course, Santa’s house. New, nature-themed attractions are now part of the mix including the 30-foot-tall simulated ice-climbing experience, the Frozen Falls Climbing Tower, and two adventure ziplines – a 600-foot-long ride, and a more diminutive version for younger children. There’s also an extensive bike park featuring professionally designed bike trails, bike schools, and of course, bike rentals. Jump from Blitzen’s Bungee, a thrilling hybrid bungee-trampoline; or take a delightful ride through the Land of Sweets on the four-car Polar Express, which tours the park. Another highlight: the Fantasy Forest evening walk, during which solar panels glow from the top of each tree.
Through January 7, guests can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and touch the icy North Pole. Look for storytelling, live music, tree lightings, and activities with Santa’s elves offering cookie decorating and crafting workshops. Mrs. Claus hosts a special tea party inside the park’s Sky Trading Company and Santa hosts breakfast. There’s ice skating at Silver Bells arena, too. Perhaps best of all, visitors can check out Santa’s Workshop & Post Office and create their own holiday ornaments or toys, and write and mail a letter to Santa. And at Santa’s Village Mining Company, guests can mine their own rock candy.
According to marketing manager Brad Lofland, the park, which just re-opened after a 20-year closure last December, is expecting a big turn-out this holiday season as more attractions open. “There will be all the Santa’s Village characters for a really nostalgic experience,” he notes.
There will also be plenty of holiday treats at two main restaurants, a bakery, and coffee shop.
“At St. Nick’s, we have American-style cuisine, and we serve everything from Wagyu beef burgers to club sandwiches. Our other main restaurant, Gatherings, is a BBQ-style spot. You select your meat, which we smoke in our own smoker daily, and pick two sides and a dessert, all of which are freshly made here.”
A pub, a candy shop, creamery, the Gingerbread House bakery, and Kringle’s Coffee Shop round out the food offerings. With the scent of freshly made gingerbread cookies wafting like a siren’s song over the park, these baked goods are a favorite.
This article is a part of the Jan 17 - Dec 18 issue of Whole Life Times.