Different adventures with Santa

People dressed up as santas participate in charity event Stockholm Santa Run in Sweden

Even if he has quite the belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly, Santa still enjoys being active around the holidays. From hitting the slopes to paddling a river, Santa can be found all around the U.S. enjoying the great outdoors. Share your wish list for that new tent, fishing pole or climbing rope by joining Santa on one of these adventures. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures_208877002_trendobjects-1024x684.jpg
Photo: Trend Objects/Shutterstock

Ski With Santa

Visitors can go downhill at various ski resorts around the country or hit the moguls with a skiing Santa. At Winter Park, Colo., Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and reindeer swoosh down the mountain in the Torchlight Parade amid fireworks on Christmas Eve. Hit the slopes in Stowe, Vt., and then attend the Spruce Peak Lights Festival in this charming town to watch skaters grace the ice, get a photo with Santa and more. The Heavenly Holidays Family Festival in Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Crystal Mountain in Michigan also offer chances to see Santa on the slopes. Check out the events page at your favorite resort to see when Santa will get his powder on. You will more than likely see several “Santas” skiing down the slopes leading up to the holiday. Maybe just one can tell you if you are on the nice list or the naughty list. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures__-5-1024x768.jpg

Climb With Santa

Tackle the rock wall and see Santa on a portaledge. Whether it be a top rope route or just bouldering, before you head down from the climb you can let him know what you would like to find under the tree this year. Climbing gyms, including G1 Climbing + Fitness in Broomfield, Colo., and Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Colo., have Santa climbs yearly. At the Chapel Hill Community Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., little climbers can join the North Pole Crew. At SkyPark at Santa’s Village in Skyforest, Calif., you can climb, zip line, skate and more while visiting Santa’s Village. This year, Santa can be found climbing the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park in North Carolina on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. You can get in some climbing (and hiking, too) and visit the “man with the bag.” Check with your local outdoor shop, if it features a climbing wall, or your local indoor gym to see if it will host a climbing with Santa event near you. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures_347948816_Kobby-Dagan-1024x576.jpg
Participants at the Las Vegas Great Santa Run on December 5th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the largest gatherings of Santa runners in the world. Photo: Lobby Dagan

Run With Santa

From beachside in San Diego, Calif., to the suburbs of Chicago, Santa runs are a popular event leading into the holidays across the country. From 5Ks to 10Ks and kid races, wish-list hopefuls don their very best Santa, Mrs. Claus and elf costumes to dash along the streets, spreading cheer. Run through the lights at an evening 5K while visiting Santa in Caledonia, Wis., or join the Santa Hustle 5K held in nine locations around the country from Chicago to Tennessee (or virtually). The Great Santa Run in Las Vegas is one of the largest runs in the world. So, don your best ugly sweater, grab your Santa beard and don’t forget the jingle bells for a jolly good workout. No local run near you? Consider a virtual Santa run with your family and friends to create a festive event encouraging outdoor recreation. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures_-4-1024x768.jpg

Cut Down A Tree With Santa 

Head to a national forest to cut down the perfect Christmas symbol while also visiting with Santa. On weekends in various national forests, you can grab a tree, visit with Smokey Bear and tell the big man just what is on your list this year. Check out this guide on how to cut down a tree in a national forest near you. Not all locations host Santa, but hopefully, you can find one near you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures_539144140_GJones-Creative-1024x683.jpg
Photo: G Jones Creative

Paddle With Santa

Just as witches gather to paddle together for Halloween, paddling experiences with Santa are becoming more popular. Popping up on Vancouver Island and on the Willamette River in Oregon, Santa Paddles have been collection points for toy donations. In Texas at Martin Creek Lake State Park, you can go for a paddle and snap some pics with the man with the white beard. In Ventura Harbor in Ventura, Calif., they offer California-style boat sleigh rides and a Santa Paddle through Venture Boat Rentals. Lake Erie has been home to a Holiday Paddle for the past five or so years through Nalu Standup Paddle and Surf. Don’t let the cooler weather stop you from creating your own festive paddle meetup. A local SUP or kayak shop is a great place to start creating your own festive event. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GO_E_1191_SantaAdventures__-768x1024.jpg

Hike With Santa

Take a hike to find Santa in Scottsdale, Ariz., or join the Jingle Bell Hike or hit the trail to find 10 of Santa’s elves in Buckeye, Ariz. The Bear Creek Nature Center in El Paso County, Colo., features a Santa Nature Hike, while in Ohio kids and adults can join Ho Ho Ho Hiking with Santa and Buddy the Elf in December at the West Woods in the Russell and Newbury townships. Neighborhoods around the country offer wonderful light displays to walk through where you just might get to visit with Santa, like Candy Cane Lane in Elgin, Ill. Check your local nature preserve, botanical garden or other venue to see if it will host a lights walk with Santa sightings.