Header Image

Christmas in my family as a child was a really big deal. My mother was a kindergarten teacher and she had a special way of making holidays unique and full of magic. We had pixies that came down from the North Pole each year on December 1. These little elves were there to watch us five children and report back to Santa about our behavior. They are very similar to the "Elf on the Shelf," but these are from generations ago. They still come to my house now to watch my children and my siblings' houses to watch their kids. The pixies pack up and head back to the North Pole on December 23 to give Santa and his elves enough time to decide on the presents.

The North Pole

As a child, I could never imagine going there. Where is this mountain top village where the elves work and Mrs. Claus sips cocoa by the fire? Where is this place of gingerbread style homes lit up with beautiful colors and talking Christmas trees? The place where reindeer eat crackers and rest before their long journey around the globe? Well, guess what? I have now been there. I even fed the reindeer and that talking tree. I almost dropped my warm cider when I was walking by and a tiny voice said "Merry Christmas." I looked around and sure enough the tree responded with, "I am right here, before your very eyes. How are you?" Wow, it is real, and it is right in Wilmington, New York. the North Pole is near the top of Whiteface Memorial Highway and the village can be visited all summer long, and on special nights and weekends throughout the year. Yuletide Weekends are one of these special times. To be able to visit when Santa is busy getting ready for the season is very exciting. 

Yuletide Weekends

Since 1949, Santa's Village has welcomed families for this magical time of year right before Christmas. The snow is falling in the beautiful mountain town, restaurants, inns, and shops throughout the town are decorated with trees, wreaths, and other decorations full of holiday history. Bring your family to enjoy the holiday spirit! Santa's Workshop Family Yuletide Weekends begin Nov. 16 and happen every weekend through Dec. 16.

Check in

The mountain town of Wilmington is lined with authentic holiday decorations during the holiday season. Santa lives close by so showing their holiday spirit is very important as the season approaches. The shop owners and hoteliers know that if they are in the spirit of things, Santa will be happy and the energy of the holidays will rub off. There are candles in the windows, trees decorated throughout town, and wreaths adorn almost every door. Once you check into your Christmas Yuletide Weekend lodging, you will find your children's gifts picked out just for them by Santa himself. In the course of the weekend Santa makes a visit to each of the host lodges. These facilities were specially selected for their warm and intimate atmospheres, where small groups or families can share themed holiday moments.  A welcome package loaded with treats awaits and the looks on the faces of the children will always be cherished. 

Two days at the workshop

The Yuletide Weekend includes a two-day pass to Santa's Workshop. The days in the village are full of excitement. The steam train will drive through the back areas that are literally over the mountain and through the woods. When you are back in the woods you can see the little elves' homes in the tree stumps. Enjoy the children's expressions as they watch for each decorated door in hopes of seeing who lives there. The river has little bridges that cross from stump to stump beautifully painted in Christmas colors, looking up you can see ornaments hanging from the snow covered pine trees. The spirit of the season if pure magic back in the woods of the village. 

Two evenings of Christmas joy

Can you imagine eating dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their own home? The Clause's welcome you in, have a hearty family style meal, and talk about all things Christmas. The elves even help the children make ornaments for their tree at home. It's a special memory each year when the kids bring out that ornament they made at the North Pole in Santa's home. The stories will bring back memories for a lifetime. There is also a magic show, caroling, a puppet show, and storytelling that will keep everyone warm on a cold winter's night. 

Shop and mail a letter

The gift shop at Santa's Workshop has many unique items. There is a toy shop for the kids full of wooden trains, today's popular gifts for kids, and special toys you won't find anywhere else. Santa's helpers will help you keep your shopping a secret, if that is your goal, or you can sneak away while the rest of your family is riding the reindeer carousel or having warm chocolate chip cookies and milk in Mother Hubbard's kitchen. There is a candle making shop, and a Christmas Shop full of ornaments, holiday decorations, and beautiful pillows and blankets. Something for everyone on the nice list can be found right here at the workshop. During all of your holiday exicitment don't forget to visit The North Pole Post Office. Here you can send a postcard to all of your friends back home, or a hello to your child's class. The magic is the postage stamp letting everyone know that you are sending warm thoughts from The REAL North Pole. 

There is so much to enjoy around Wilmington and the Whiteface region during the North Pole's special Yuletide Weekend. Make sure to Ski at Whiteface Mountain, eat at one of the area's restaurants and visit the natural beauty of the High Falls Gorge. This is a time your family will hold close to their hearts and the memories created will bring joy to them for every Christmas to come. 

This week in ADK news:

Family fun skiing

Brew-tiful Lake Placid

Ski Oak Mountain

Come play with us

Gifts, laundry, and donuts

Groomed (or ungroomed) to perfection

Last call for cider donuts




You have successfully entered this contest. Be sure to check your inbox for your customized travel inspiration.

Success! Message Sent.

Thanks for being awesome. We have received your message and look forward to talking with you soon.

Thank you!

Thanks for being awesome. You can now download the guide.