Santa’s Home Base: Top Things to do in North Pole Alaska

Published: October 16, 2019

Christmas in Alaska might only arrive in late December, but the holiday season and spirit are celebrated year-round in the quaint and whimsical town of North Pole, Alaska. No, this isn’t the North Pole set deep in the icy Arctic at the top of the world. Whether you’re seeking a winter wonderland experience or a summer retreat, there are plenty of things to do in North Pole, Alaska to enchant every traveler. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Where is the North Pole in Alaska?

North Pole is a welcoming commuter community about a 15-minute sleigh ride (or an even shorter drive) from Fairbanks and close to Ft. Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base in the heart of Alaska’s Interior region. It is a whimsical destination that captures the essence of the holiday season and offers a unique blend of winter wonderland charm and year-round allure.

Santa Claus House in North Pole Alaska near Fairbanks.

Things to Do in North Pole Alaska: A Festive Adventure Awaits

We always get asked from customers “what to do in north pole alaska” or “is there anything at the north pole”. The truth is, Alaska’s North Pole is home to a unique blend of festive attractions, serene natural beauty, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. While it may not be as busy as Anchorage or other big Alaskan cities, your Alaska winter tour will be incomplete without a trip to the North Pole. Below we have captured some of the best things to see and do during your trip to this cute yet magical destination.


Visit the Santa Claus House in North Pole Alaska

No visit to the North Pole would be complete without a visit to the iconic Santa Claus House, a true embodiment of Christmas spirit. Inside the Santa Claus House, visitors can meet the man himself, Santa (and sometimes Mrs. Claus, too), for a chat and a photo, as well as shop for holiday gifts, ornaments and memorabilia, and even purchase personalized letters from Santa for the well-behaved children in their lives.

You’ll actually see Santa’s presence long before you pull into the Santa Claus House parking lot at Santa Claus House with arguably the world’s largest Santa statue, complete with an abbreviated Naughty/Nice list looming over the property. Stand at his feet for a perfect pose – #SantaSelfie! It’s almost comical for summer visitors to take this image, sweating under the Interior’s very warm and very bright Midnight Sun, as the symbol of white Christmases and winter cheer stands over their shoulder. Nearby there’s even a pen of reindeer, who are clearly enjoying a relaxing life of carb-loading before their long night of flight on December 24.

Inside the Santa Claus House, visitors can meet the man himself, Santa (and sometimes Mrs. Claus, too), for a chat and a photo, as well as shop for holiday gifts, ornaments and memorabilia, and even purchase personalized letters from Santa for the well-behaved children in their lives.

Unleash Your Inner Child at Santa’s Workshop

Step into the world of imagination at Santa’s Workshop, where elves are busy crafting toys and preparing for Christmas. Let your inner child run wild as you explore the workshop and create your own Christmas-themed souvenir. Speaking of Christmas letters, hundreds of thousands of messages either addressed to Santa from children or requesting a North Pole postmark on cards from families and individuals arrive from around the world at the North Pole’s post office each year. Santa’s little helpers (community volunteers) do their jolly best to make sure every message gets a reply and/or the polar postmark.

Explore the Quirky Streets

Upon arriving, it doesn’t take long to realize this isn’t “Anytown”, U.S.A. North Pole’s quirky-name roadways including Santa Claus Lane, Mistletoe Lane, St. Nicholas Drive, Snowman Lane and Kris Kringle Drive have jumbo candy canes dangling along them, while some businesses and residences are also adorned with their festive finest. What else would you expect from a town that at one time ambitiously hoped to be a toy factory headquarters

Witness the Spectacle of North Pole’s Holiday Festival

Winter is when the North Pole truly lives up to its name. This town has a big holiday festival around Christmas time, complete with a tree lighting ceremony, mesmerising fireworks, and festive performances. That event certainly feels more like what you’d expect from a town called North Pole, as temps hover around zero.

Unwind at the Chena River and Chena Lakes

In the summer, the North Pole is warm and welcoming – an excellent destination for Alaska travelers who are looking for an easy-going place to pitch a tent or park an RV along the Chena River or at the nearby Chena Lakes, which are tranquil and excellent for recreational swimming, kayaking and fishing.

Admire the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Witness the Majestic Wildlife

While Santa is North Pole’s unrivaled star resident, another icon passes through North Pole: the engineering marvel Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Consider booking a north pole tour from Fairbanks, which features a guided trip to the Museum of the North, Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and the north pole Santa Claus house.

For a glimpse into the Alaskan wildlife, embark on a wildlife viewing tour or simply venture into the surrounding forests, where moose, bears, and other creatures may make an appearance. The reindeer, however, are perfectly content to stay put at the Santa Claus House.

Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline view.

North Pole, Alaska : A Year-Round Gem

From the twinkling lights and festive cheer of Christmas to the serene beauty of summer retreats, North Pole, Alaska, is a destination that enchants visitors throughout the year. Whether you’re seeking a magical holiday experience or a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace, North Pole offers a unique blend of attractions and activities that will leave you with lasting memories of a truly extraordinary destination.

Experience a Magical North Pole Alaska Christmas

As you plan your Alaska Christmas vacation, consider the North Pole, a town where the spirit of Christmas lives on all year round. There are plenty of things to do in North Pole Alaska and its surrounding areas that can elevate your tour experience to another level. Embark on a dog sledding expedition in Fairbanks, or experience the rustic comfort of Alaska’s Arctic Circle in winter in a lodge-based winter adventure – perfect for viewing the Northern Lights

Alaska Tours offers a variety of winter packages and excursions to suit every traveler’s preference, ensuring an memorable experience in the heart of Alaska’s winter magic.  Contact us to learn more about our North Pole tours, and book your unforgettable Alaskan adventure today