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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.

Plans to reopen SkyPark at Santa's Village as of May 2014 - check out these videos!


  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...

  9. SkyPark at Santa's Village

    Coming Spring 2015

  10. Looks like the plans for Santa's Village are true!

  11. Park Plans Evolving
    By Glenn Barr, Reporter | Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2014
    When the venerable Santa’s Village reopens with a new
    face next spring, it will feature more than rides and its
    historic North Pole charm.
    Those who remember the restaurant, candy kitchen,
    bakery and other commercial enterprises on the grounds
    of the Skyforest theme park will be glad to know those
    facilities will reopen, albeit with their product line updated
    to meet contemporary tastes, said Bill Johnson, the project
    manager for the park’s redevelopment.

  12. Santa’s Village Plans Coming Into Focus
    Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:00 am
    By Glenn Barr, Reporter |
    Though its buyers refuse to be identified and its purchase price is being kept confidential, additional details surfaced this week about plans for the future of Santa’s Village, the iconic theme park in Skyforest, on whose sale escrow closed about 10 days ago.

  13. It is currently under review for a temporary permit to reopen in its original state for winter of 2016, then after expansions are completed resume full operations in a permanent basis


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