May 21, 2013

Santa's Village - Skyforest

There were two Santa's Villages in California - today they are both closed. One was near Los Angeles, at Skyforest, near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains. There was another Santa's Village near San Francisco, at 6348 Santa Cruz Highway, Santa Cruz, California.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Santa's Village was a winter-themed amusement park in the Skyforest section of Lake Arrowhead, California. Opened in 1955, it was the first franchised amusement park, one of three built by developer Glenn Holland. The other franchises, also defunct, were in Scotts Valley, California and East Dundee, Illinois. The East Dundee park re-opened in 2011 under new ownership as Santa's Village AZoosment Park (see Santa's Village (Illinois))
Opening more than a month before Disneyland, the 220-acre (0.89 km2) park was one of Southern California's biggest tourist attractions. It boasted kiddie rides, including a bobsled, monorail, and Ferris wheel; a petting zoo; live reindeer; and shops that included a bakery, candy kitchen, and toy shop.
Reduced attendance and revenue shortfalls caused Santa’s Village to close on 1 March 1998.[1] The property sold three years later for $5.6 million, and now serves as a staging area for local logging operations.[2] The faded candy cane signpost and dilapidated buildings of the park have become a ghost town along the Rim of the World Highway.[3]'s_Village_(Lake_Arrowhead)

Opened: 1955
Closed and Abandoned: March 1, 1998
Today: Abandoned

Google Earth Images


Early 2003


December 2003

January 2006



Abandoned Ruins Photos
Modern Day Ruins Contributors Josh Stephens and Lovely Kuppio captured some amazing photos (2013) of the ruins.  Here are just a few of them (follow the link below the web album to view them all):

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

Beehive when the park was open

Thank you Josh and Lovely Kuppio!


Historical photos of Santa's Village

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Article - A Lake Arrowhead "Icon" Passes Away
Mr. Putman "Putty" Henck.   His family was responsible for building and managing Santa's Village in Sky Forest.


  1. I went there right after it first opened and a couple of other times. I'm going to have to dig for some old family photos from there.


    While driving to the silver boom ghost town of Chloride Arizona, we stumbled upon a town (or what was supposed to become a town) named Santa Claus. If you have the time and/or inclination...

  3. Are we still able to visit or is the site restricted?

  4. It is site restricted.

  5. I used to work there. Haven't been by there in many years.

  6. I was there the day President Kennedy was assassinated.

  7. hobbittown usa along highway 101 or 1 i forget in CA in the redwoods was a neat hike through the forest where you could see hobbits and laketown and the dragon smaug

  8. Local rumor has it the property is being purchased and an adventure park going in...