Want to track Santa on Christmas Eve? There's an app for that

Your kids can track Santa's progress on Christmas Eve with the NORAD app.
Your kids can track Santa's progress on Christmas Eve with the NORAD app. Photo: Image/Facebook NORAD

With only four sleeps to go until Santa arrives, the countdown is well and truly on.


​If you have a household full of excited kids, we've found the perfect way to track Santa's travels from the North Pole on Christmas Eve, using your smartphone.

The free NORAD Santa Tracker app -  available on iTunes - provides up-to-the minute information about Santa's journey. There are also fun facts, games, and updates about everything from Santa's reindeers to his exercise regime, in preparation for the big day.

The family friendly program hails from the North American Aerospace Defense Command and first began in 1955. That's right - 2016 marks their 61st year tracking Father Christmas - using military sensors and technology - on December 24. 

According to their website, NORAD began tracking Santa, six decades ago, when the Department store Sears printed the wrong number in an advertisement, which invited children to call Santa direct on a special "hotline". 

"Instead of reaching Santa," the site reads, "the phone number put kids through to the CONAD (NORAD's predecessor) Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born."

How it all began. Image: NORAD.

The excitement begins on Christmas Eve when kids can watch Santa preparing for his trip. NORAD's "Santa Cams" will then stream videos as Saint Nick makes his way over various locations.

You can follow along on Facebook too:

And watch a video about the program here:

Let the countdown begin!