There is a charming, magical place for children tucked away at the base of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks that should go on everyone's bucket list.  Especially if you have small children.

Santa's Workshop at the North Pole, near Lake Placid, has been a snow globe of sentimental holiday cheer for over 70 years.

Considered by many to be the first theme park in America (even before Walt Disney came sniffing around to see what all the excitement was up in the mountains of Upstate New York) this merry Santa-land experience is a cherished memory for millions of children over the decades.

The idea for the Santa theme park came from three men:  Julian Reiss, a Lake Placid businessman, Arto Monaco, a famous artist who designed the park, and Harold Fortune, who built it.

The park is located at the base of Whiteface Mountain and is open from June to December each year.  Everything at the park is geared to the smallest of family members.  The rides, attractions, refreshment stands, gift shops, and entertainment are pitch-perfect for those from the age of, say, 3 to 13.  Of course the adults love it too!

I first visited here in the 1950s.  The last time I came here was three years ago.  Little has changed, the colors at the park are still bright, the reindeer are still waiting for a handout, the music is still joyful, the ice pole (North Pole) is still, well, frozen solid, and, of course, Santa Claus is still the rock star who lords over the park with gentleness, kindness, and a hearty "ho ho ho."

The park has welcomed over a million people over the decades, and the crowds still come year after year.

So, did you visit Santa's Workshop at the North Pole when you were a kid?  Have you taken your kids or grandkids there?

Here is a gallery of pictures to bring back some of those wonderful memories.   And yes, you will see a photo of this writer as an adult standing next to the frozen North Pole from 2019.  It is the same smile on my face I had when I first touched this pole in 1959.


(In this gallery you will also find information to use when planning your visit.)

Is This The Most Magical Place in Upstate New York? We Think So!

Santa's Workshop at the North Pole, in the Adirondacks, has been charming kids and adults for more than 70 years. This historic park (many believe it to be the fist theme-park in America) is still a delightful magnet for children, and the park amenities (all Christmas-themed) have grown over the years!

Read More: 15 Page Turners: Are These Upstate's Best Independent Bookstores?