Santa Claus makes plenty of appearances this time of year around the Golden State, but in the Inland Empire, he’s making the most of the mountain air and scenery and taking to a zipline. This week, the Man in Red is helping to launch the holiday season at SkyPark at Santa’s Village, an adventure and amusement park near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino National Forest. Santa’s Village will be open for the holiday season from Nov. 15 through Jan. 6.
It’s a nice way to check out this reborn attraction: The original Santa’s Village amusement park first opened in 1955 (a month before Disneyland), dotted with log cabins, kiddie rides, a toy shop, bakery, and a bobsled attraction. The park closed in 1998 and flirted with ghost-town status along the Rim of the World Scenic Byway until it expanded and reopened in 2016 under new owners. Now, the 230-acre SkyPark at Santa’s Village has big adventure park appeal, with seasonal mountain biking trails, hiking trails, fly fishing, archery, ziplines, an ice/roller skating rink, and rock climbing. Or, participate in guided conservation hikes along the Henck Meadowlands Conservation Trail.
The Santa’s Village lineup for this year offers the chance to take part in one of the Breakfasts with Santa or Teas with Mrs. Claus, or to peruse the Santa’s Workshop and get a wish-list letter mailed on site. Take a ride on the Northwoods Express mini train ride, which was part of the original amusement park; this time of year also means ice skating, story times, and a Christmas Puppet Show. The Santa’s Village season lasts well into Kris Kringle’s PTO, too, running until January 6.