Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Get your jolly ol’ self to Santa Claus, Indiana, for a taste of the holiday season all year long.
The city is about an hour west of Louisville, Kentucky in the middle of Spencer County.
While researching Santa Claus, I watched a YouTube video of a woman giving a tour of the town and it was quite funny to see all the holiday decorations while she was sweating in the summer humidity.
I guess even Santa Claus can’t bring nice weather throughout the year, but he did make sure this town bearing his name has a summer waterpark called Holiday World Splashin’ Safari.
This is a small town of 2,400 elves people.
While a large chunk of the population sits in a gated community, all of the fun places to visit are fully accessible to tourists.
Even the one grocery store here is called “Holiday Foods.”
There is just one traditional hotel in town, but there are cottages, cabins, RV parks, and camping available here.
The surrounding small towns also have hotels.
It’s best to look at the Santa Claus, Indiana tourism website to find the places that are backed up by the approval of Santa’s top elves.
This is definitely a place where you can’t be a Scrooge because you’ll quickly tire of the things named Frosty, Rudolph, and the like.
Or maybe a trip to Santa’s Candy Castle is just what you need!
If you can’t make it to Santa Claus, Indiana, but want to get a postmark for your holiday cards, here’s how:
- Pull all of your cards that are addressed and stamped into a strong envelope or box with a note inside that you’d like the postmark.
- Mail the package to Postmaster, P.O. Box 9998, Santa Claus, IN 47579-9998. Your cards will be sent with a unique postmark from Santa Claus, Indiana on them.
Warnings & Dangers in Santa Claus
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low overall risk here. Crime rates are lower than state and national averages, and there is plenty of surveillance and security at the top destinations.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
There isn't public transportation in Santa Claus, and there aren't many sidewalks in the area either. Ideally, you have your own car. Some of the cottage locations offer shuttle services. You can call a taxi or rideshare, but with one million people visiting each summer, it might be a longer wait than you'd like.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM
As with any big tourist area, you should keep a close eye on your belongings. We're going to give this a medium risk just because it's easy to lose focus on your stuff when you're surrounded by a winter wonderland, even in summer. Only bring the bare essentials with you when going to the various locations, and Holiday World has roller coasters, so you don't want to risk a purse flying off the ride anyway.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
There's a medium risk because even Santa can't stop severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash flooding, and winter storms. I guess he's lucky when he has flying reindeer to get around. For you, study up on emergency preparedness for all the severe weather events that can happen here.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk of getting mugged here. There are generally too many people around for a robber to be able to get away.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Generally, any tourist area is going to be a hard target, but this isn't considered a big risk. It's nowhere near as big of a place as Disney World. You can rest assured there's a low risk.
SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM
Since you don't have the big corporate brands of hotels here, it's important to vet any place you are making a reservation with to make sure it's legit. You can check the Better Business Bureau ratings or read online reviews. Always make sure a landlord has a rental permit and never wire money to secure a room or cabin. There's a medium risk for the sole reason of making you very attentive to the reservations you make.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Mrs. Claus makes sure this is a safe place for women to visit. As with any tourist city, you should avoid walking around at night alone and never leave your purse unattended, even just to take a dip in the pool.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The tap water meets or exceeds all requirements, according to the Patoka Lake Regional Water & Sewer District. You can feel safe that there's a low risk of using tap water.
Safest Places to Visit in Santa Claus
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is one park with plenty of things to do.
It is open from May to October, with June and July being the only months it’s open seven days a week.
There are roller coasters, water slides, and a rare water coaster.
There are also rides on the ground for people scared of heights (like me), and plenty of entertainment shows, including a sing-along with Holidog and Kitty Claws.
The park also has menus that are gluten-free, allergen-friendly, and healthy.
The Santa Claus Museum & Village is a great spot to see Santa himself.
You can learn about the town’s history and read letters to Santa from generations gone by.
Instagram alert: Take a photo with a 22-foot tall Santa statue.
Santa’s Stables offer rides up to 45 minutes long.
However, the reindeer aren’t here (they are at the North Pole, duh) but you can ride horses.
Foxy the pony is available for the littlest visitors.
Santa’s Candy Castle is the sweet treat you’ve been waiting for with cocoa and candy galore.
There are nearly three dozen varieties of hot cocoa to choose from.
There’s even a room with computers that take you directly to the North Pole to chat with an elf or see if you’ve made the good list.
Had enough of Santa?
How about some President Abraham Lincoln sites?
There’s the Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum, Lincoln State Park, and Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial in this region.
Places to Avoid in Santa Claus
There aren’t any neighborhoods or parts of town too dangerous to visit, but it’s advised to stick to the tourist areas.
Don’t try to sneak into the gated community to get near the lake.
Even if you could sneak past the gates, the residents would call the police on you anyway.
Don’t go onto private property to access the lake either.
What’s most interesting about Santa Claus, Indiana, is the number of places that aren’t open during the actual holiday season.
There are still stores and Christmas lights to see, but the theme parks are closed.
Some businesses will close up for the holiday starting around December 20, so plan accordingly.
There are live reindeer during the holiday season, so that’s a bonus.
You’ll be too busy watching holiday parades to realize the theme park is a no-go.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Santa Claus
- Book early. There aren’t a lot of hotels and places to stay here, and if you don’t do your research several months in advance, you might end up having to stay in another city. If you don’t know the safety concerns in that city, it might catch you off guard.
- If you’re visiting in winter and a winter storm or ice storm is forecast, either get to your hotel early or delay your trip. There are a lot of two-lane roads in this area and traveling on ice is treacherous. It’s not worth risking your safety just to get to Santa Claus. It has been here for more than a century and will be here for years to come.
- Bookmark 511in.org for all the highway information in the state. You get live updates about construction, road closures, accidents, and can view live cameras along the way.
- Follow the Santa Claus Police Department on Facebook to get updates on crimes in the area. Their website isn’t very detailed, but Facebook is updated throughout the year. Recent crimes listed there include a child molester arrest and a suspect on the loose after a police pursuit. Just because it’s Santa Claus, doesn’t mean it’s going to all be candy and reindeer. There are real concerns here.
- When you park on any of the lots here, be sure to lock the doors, roll-up windows, and leave no personal belongings in the vehicle. If you go shopping and then to the theme park, drop off your purchases at the hotel so they can be safely stored away. Car thieves know to look in the trunk for valuables.
- July and August are the busiest months at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. You’ll get lower ticket prices if you visit in May, June, September, or October. Children under three get in free, but all other ticket prices are the same for adults or children. All tickets get you access to all areas of both parks.
- You can rent a locker at the theme park for the day, which is a great way to store personal valuables with you. The highest price is $25 per day for a large locker and the lowest price is $15 for a small locker. The lockers don’t have keys and are controlled by wristbands.
- There are free drinks and sunscreen available at the theme parks. They are located at various locations around the park. You’ll need sunscreen here, even though it’s not a tropical location. The sun can still be pretty intense in the summer.
- You can use an inner tube on the water for free, but you’ll need to bring your own beach towel or purchase one on the property. I like to buy towels from Goodwill or thrift stores, so if they get lost or stolen, I’m not losing a lot of money or missing my favorite Golden Retriever beach towel. It’s also less to pack.
- If severe weather happens during your visit to the theme park, and the rides close down for 90 minutes or longer, you can get a free ticket for another day. Be sure to take a picture of your ticket before risking it getting wet or damaged.
So... How Safe Is Santa Claus Really?
The Santa Claus Police Department doesn’t really report a lot of crime in the area.
The biggest case recently was a man who was sending graphic sexual photos to underage people online.
The SCPD also has assisted some other agencies with crime hunts for suspects.
If you have any questions about crime safety, your best bet is to call the police department at (812)937-2340.
They can give you direct information about crime trends closer to your time of visit.
You can also email the police chief directly at James.Faulkenburg@TownofSantaClaus.com.
Santa Claus is going to have the same basic concerns for a tourist as any tourism hot spot; car break-ins, stolen bags, identity theft from discarded receipts, and burglary from inside or outside cottages/camping areas.
If you take proactive basic personal safety steps, you’ll have a fun visit to Santa Claus, Indiana.
How Does Santa Claus Compare?
|Santiago de Chile (Chile)
|Hong Kong (China)
The Visa process takes about four months to complete, and there are several steps where you have to give information in written form and do a personal interview. You will need your visa when you travel, but you won't need it to enjoy the amenities once you get to Santa Claus.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. Credit cards and payments through mobile apps are widely accepted. Personal checks are not accepted at most locations here. Try to purchase what you can ahead of time so you'll be pulling out your wallet less.
Summer is going to be hot and this is a casual city, so dress comfortably. Don't try to wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater because it will be scorching from June through August. Winter is going to be cold and you'll need plenty of warm layers.
The Lousiville International Airport is the closest airport and the best option. It's a little more than an hour by car.
It's okay for Santa to travel without insurance, magical sleigh and all, but you should invest in the peace of mind travel insurance brings.
Santa Claus Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Indiana - Safety by City