If you grew up here in SoCal, you probably remember going to Santa’s Village.
Santa’s Village was a winter themed amusement park in the Skyforest area of Lake Arrowhead. Opened in 1955, more than a month before Disneyland, it was the first franchised amusement park. The park covered 220 acres and was one of SoCal’s biggest tourist attractions. It had rides including a bobsled, monorail, and spinning Christmas Tree ride, and also included a petting zoo, live reindeer, and shops that included a bakery, candy kitchen, and toy shop. And don’t forget Santa himself, which everyone could visit in his home!
Alas, reduced attendance and revenue shortfalls caused Santa’s Village to close in 1998. The property sold three years later for $5.6 million and served as a staging area for local logging operations. If you have ever driven by on the Rim of the World Highway, you have probably seen the park’s faded candy cane signpost and dilapidated buildings. But the story does not end there.
On May 15, 2014, there was a pending sale of the property to an unidentified Lake Arrowhead resident who was stated to have “big plans for the property”. Later, those big plans were revealed to bring Santa’s Village back with other recreational/action sports attractions in Spring 2015! It will be called SkyPark at Santa’s Village.
So if you were a Santa’s Village fan, consider this a Christmas present for you!
Merry Christmas everyone and a happy New Year! -mike