We had the opportunity recently to check out SKYPARK AT SANTA’S VILLAGE (See: 7 things you need to know about the newly reopened SKYPARK AT SANTA’S VILLAGE!) in Skyforest, CA (near Lake Arrowhead) and were thrilled to find a surprisingly stunning park. Reborn from a kitschy roadside amusement, the park has been transformed into a beautiful, rustic, forest home of Santa Claus and his friends.
Now, we’re happy to take you on an extended pictorial tour! ENJOY!
SKYPARK AT SANTA’S VILLAGE is open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas Day, of course!) and offers more than just a Winter Wonderland for the holidays. In 2017, the park will be expanded with more outdoor adventures including zip-lines, archery, hiking trails, biking courses, fishing, and more. Although the park isn’t completely ready to go, there are still a number of things ready to enjoy…
A familiar sight to anyone who might have visited the park prior to its closure in 1998, is the Welcome House that leads you into the park. It’s noticeable from the highway thanks in part to the giant Candy Cane out front that hints of the holiday cheer to be found within.
In the Welcome House, you process your online ticket and gain admission into the park. Don’t forget: To visit SKYPARK AT SANTA’S VILLAGE you MUST buy your tickets ahead of time, online. For now, tickets are NOT sold at the park.
Once you pass through the Welcome House, you are INSIDE Santa’s Village!
Characters and more
Several of Santa’s friends can be seen all around the park including Princess Sugar Plum and Santa’s loyal dog Arrow.
Captain Tall Tale and CJ Kufflebug are two friends that you might also find roaming the park with adventures to share.
You never know what merriment and fun will be in store all around the park!
The Sky Pavilion is the source of a lot of different entertainment throughout the day. It’s also the home of a cute little Christmas village circled by a train. Some of the entertainment you can expect to find here and around the park include:
- Captain Tall Tale’s Dance Party
- Christopher Barnes, Magician
- Storytelling with CJ Kuffelbug
The center of Santa’s Village is anchored by Santa’s House. It’s in this beautiful little restored cabin (one of 18 original log structures restored on property) that you’ll be able to meet with Santa, deliver him your Christmas letter (you can give it to him in person or drop it in his mailbox), and also see the frosty North Pole!
Hop aboard the Polar Express for a tour around Santa’s Village.
After meeting with Santa, it makes sense to take a stroll over to his workshop. It’s there that you can write him a letter or partake in some crafty fun Santa’s Elves!
Although there’s not really anymore flat rides and spinners, there’s still a number of adventures that are included in the cost of your admission to Santa’s Village.
Arrow’s Adventure puts you behind a pedal powered vehicle to journey on a small course.
Silver Bell’s Ice Skating
Included with your admission into the park is ice skating all the live long day, no extra charge!
Frozen Falls Climbing Tower
Magic Tree Bouldering Room
Strider Balance Bike Trail and Santa’s Dumptruck
When it isn’t snowed over, young ones can learn the basics of bike riding on Strider balance bikes (with no pedals.) They can move across a gentle course to understand the basics of balance required for riding real bikes. You can also find Santa’s Dumptruck which itself is a little playground that can be explored.
Santa’s Mining Co.
Similar in concept to panning for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm, you can head on over to Santa’s Mining Co. and try your hand at panning for gemstones and other minerals.
Head inside to pick up your supplies.
Then head out and get to work!
Learn more about the treasures you’ve panned.
Find a host of other gem and crystal related gifts inside.
St. Nick’s Patio & Grill
Grab a quick bite to eat in this warm and woodsy retreat nestled towards the front of the park. Enjoy a burger or some hot cider inside the cabin or outside at one of the fire pits.
The menu offers a selection of eats including appetizers, salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and drinks.
We had St. Nick’s Famous Kobe Cheeseburger with fries and it was quite a tasty burger with choice of cheese. We also enjoyed some hot apple cider on the chilly day.
A warm and cozy environment.
The Gingerbread House
Sometimes you just need a sweet treat… this bake shop has you covered.
If there’s anything you have to try at Santa’s Village it’s the housemade Sticky Biscuit! If you get one when they’re fresh out of the oven, it’s pure magic!
Gingerdoodles are another magical treat that marries a Snickerdoodle with a Ginger Snap. Delicious!
A bunch of other treats, all made on property.
K’s Kandy Shoppe
If all the baked goods at The Gingerbread House weren’t enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can head to this magical cabin for a selection of hand-made treats including ice cream, candies, and more.
Fancy an Avalanche?
Or a selection of fresh made treats…
There’s also a variety of pre-packaged holiday favorites.
Chandeliers are a big deal in all the cabins. Don’t forget to look up!
Christmas trees everywhere decorated in different styles.
Kringle’s Coffee & Gifts
If you’re looking for something hot to wash down all those sweets, you can get a cup a joe or other hot beverages.
Again, cool lighting!
Coffee specials! On our visit it was Gingerbread Coffee.
A look at the menu. You can also find a slew of branded merchandise.
If you prefer your drinks with a decidedly more… spirited… kick, you can head to the Pedal Pub for locally crafted brews and more.
Take a slower pace at this sit down restaurant offering prix fixe Brunch and Dinner menus.
More beautiful lighting and decorations.
Gatherings Brunch Menu and Dinner Menu.
Even the restrooms are beautifully appointed!
Outdoor seating available when weather permits.
Sky Trading Company
The main shopping emporium for Santa’s Village, you’ll find an assortment of quality souvenirs including books, cards, gifts, decorations, and much much more. There’s A LOT to explore in this great shop!
As you can expect, there’s A LOT of Christmas trees, decorations and paraphernalia available here.
Branded merch is also available here in many forms from tees and sweatshirts to ornaments and magnets.
Find the perfect compliment for your Christmas Village.
A whole bunch of goodies available!
For now, the Adventure is just a shop selling athletic and outdoor gear but it will eventually be your home base for all of the park’s outdoor activities including bike rentals, hiking gear, and more.
A slew of sporting and outdoor goods available.
More branded merch!
Gloves that still let you text in the frosty air… assuming you have data service!
More to Explore
Near Santa’s House at the center of the park, you can find the giant Christmas Tree ready for photos. You might also find some of Santa’s friends here throughout the day including Princess Sugar Plum and Arrow.
Chapel of the Little Sheppard
Find a cute little manger inside this tiny cabin, restored from the original park.
Pedalcar Monorail (coming soon)
Although the famous Bumblebee Monorail is not returning, the monorail track will still be utilized for a new Pedalcar Monorail giving guests the option to burn off all those Sticky Biscuits from The Gignerbread House bakery. The pedal car monorail is expected to open in 2017.
Around the Park
What else is missing?
SkyPark at Santa’s Village is not fully operational yet. There’s still a lot more planned for the park including:
- Fantasy Forest Trail (with magical extras on the way)
- Zip Line
- Blitzen’s Bungee
- Archery Range
- Bike Trails
- Playscape playground
- Henck Meadowlands Conversation Trail
- SkyPark Mountain Bike Park
- Fly Fishing
Where to Stay
If you’re spending the day at SkyPark at Santa’s Village and need a place to rest your head, we found great comfort with the folks at Arrowhead Retreats. We were invited to check out one of their properties–the Creekside Lodge–and found ourselves the kings and queens of our own charming forest cabin.
The Creekside Lodge, located about 5 minutes from SkyPark at Santa’s Village, made a great home base for us after our day in the park. With a fireplace for toasty comfort, a full kitchen, a downstairs rec-room with pool table, and FIVE total bedrooms, it was a really awesome way to make a mini staycation weekend.
One of the best features at the Creekside Lodge were the completely remodeled bathrooms; one with a stand-up shower and one with a tub/shower combo; they were both quite lovely. There was also a smaller half-bath downstairs. On a warmer weekend, we could have also taken advantage of one of the two grills on the outside deck or explored the woodsy backyard and creek.
Unlike peer-to-peer homestay networks like AirBnb, you can rest assured that your rental is fully yours for the enjoyment. No worrying about bothering the owners, dealing with their pets, or wondering if anyone is going through your things while you’re out!
The staff with Arrowhead Retreats were super friendly and helpful with us during our stay. We had an issue with one of the cabin’s heaters and were able to quickly get on a call to walk through the operation of the device. They offer a great number of different properties ranging from small and modest to grand and ornate so there’s something for every party size and price point.
Here’s a few pictures from the official site!
Visit the official site for info about Creekside Lodge or other properties from Arrowhead Rentals.
See it all for yourself!
NO TICKETS ARE SOLD AT THE DOORS!
If you plan on visiting SkyPark at Santa’s Village, you’ll HAVE to plan ahead and purchase your tickets online. Since the park is not fully officially opened yet–and due to permit issues–they are only allowed to use half of their available parking and so to help control this they are only allowing ticket sales online.
- Adults (Age 13-59): $59
- Age 4-12 (and 60-79): $49
- Under 3 (and over 80): FREE
Group rates are also available.
Winter 2016 Deal
A Park Still in Transition. One important thing to know about the park is that it’s not technically finished yet. It’s winter debut is more of a preview at a park that is still a work in progress to its new identity as a year-round adventure park… that happens to also be the home of St. Nick!
In recognition that the current ticket prices do not allow access to all the park will eventually have to offer, your ticket purchased for the 2016 Winter Season will come with a credit to return to the park again at 50% off so that you can come back next year to enjoy the park when more of its upcoming features are ready.
Visit skyparksantasvillage.com for tickets and more info!