There’s only a few sleeps to go until Santa will be on the way to deliver presents to all the boys and girls across the world in time for Christmas Day on 25 December.
Children who are wondering where Father Christmas is as he makes his journey from the North Pole to every town, village and city worldwide can follow him using a special Santa tracker.
So, here’s how you can show the little ones where Santa and his reindeer are come Christmas Eve on Saturday 24 December, and how you can find out when you can see him for yourself in your area.
Here’s what you need to know about seeing Santa as he goes about his mission to deliver Christmas and gifts to every child across the land.
Has Santa left the North Pole yet?
As we all know, Santa does not leave the North Pole until Christmas Eve. That means that this year he will be leaving his home with his reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen and Rudolph, on Saturday 24 December.
When will you be able to see Santa in the UK?
Santa has got a very busy day on Christmas Eve as he does need to visit all the homes across the world in just one day.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that Santa’s sleigh lights will be visible from very early on Christmas Eve morning, from around 4.50am for about five minutes. The lights will be visible by the naked eye and will be able to be spotted across the UK.
For parents and carers wondering how that is possible, the sleigh of Father Christmas is actually the International Space Station (ISS) passing overhead as it circles the earth.
NASA has outlined some dates and times where the ISS is visible and each sighting lasts for a few minutes at a time.
NASA has said, however, that the ISS may be travelling too fast for people to see it. If the weather is clear, Santa will be appearing from the west and heading east, which can be determined using a compass app which you can download on your phone. People must also be patient if they wish to see the ISS (or the sleigh to youngsters).
NASA states that the ISS “looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and travelling thousands of miles an hour faster. It is the third brightest object in the sky and easy to spot if you know when to look up.”
To get the best experience, there are a few apps you can download to track the ISS.
How can I track Santa’s sleigh?
There are a few ways you can track the ISS with your little ones this festive season.
NASA has a dedicated website that allows you to sign up for email alerts or text messages to be notified of when the ISS is flying overhead in the area you live in. That means you can be prepared - but also don’t have to sit and wait for hours.
There are also some apps available for phones that can help with tracking the sleigh too.
The ISS Spotter works on iPads and iPhones 4s or better and needs IO7+ to function. It has received 4.5 stars from 130 reviews and has been named as the most downloaded choice to follow the ISS. Another popular app choice is ISS Live Now which provides a 24/7 video livestream from the International Space Station. It allows you to track the live movements of the ISS as it orbits the earth which means it is an ideal way to track the sleigh.