Santa’s Land Fun Park & Zoo is a 25-acre amusement park located southeast of Cherokee, North Carolina at 571 Wolfetown Rd / Hwy 19N Soco Road, just east of Macedonia Rd/BIA Hwy 449. The park is near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Cherokee Indian Reservation.
Described by one visitor as a “Clark-Griswald’s-Walley-World-meets-the-State-Fair-in-an-enchanted-forest-in-the-70’s kind of place,” this Christmas-themed park is designed for children 10 years of age and under.
The main attraction is the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus who greets visitors in his Santa House where kids get a Good Conduct Certificate and a treat. The children and guests can also have their pictures taken with Santa (for a nominal fee).
In addition to Santa, the park offers a number of family-oriented rides including, the Kiddie Kar race cars, the Ferris Wheel, the Helicopter Ride, the Old Fashioned Carousel, the world-famous Rudicoaster, a roller coaster with antlers and a red nose, and Santa’s Express Train. The train has two depots and goes completely around the park as it travels through Zooland, Funland, and Santa’s Village.
There are also paddleboats at Whitebeard’s Lake – available at no extra charge. As you paddle the boats, Japanese Koi fish, ducks and geese approach your boat looking for a treat. The two islands in the lake house Capuchin Monkeys who are also anxious to be fed.
When you want to buy a souvenir or get something to drink, visitors can purchase a gift at Frosty’s T-shirt Shop (staff dress like elves) or enjoy food, drinks and ice cream at Santa’s Snack Bar, like Lil Elfs meals, and Santa or Rudi Burgers.
And, if that is not enough, check out Mrs. Claus’ Candy Kitchen, the Magic Show at the Jingle Bell Theater or on-site craftsmen, like a blacksmith at work. Families can relax in the nice shady park and enjoy the beautiful stream that runs through Santa’s Land.
The Zoo at the park showcases a variety of exotic and domestic wildlife to pet and feed, and at Santa’s Deer Barn you can feed friendly deer with bits of corn purchased from corn feeder machines.
Santa’s Land opened their doors in 1967. It operates from early May through October (when Santa must start getting ready for Christmas).
During weekends in October, Santa’s Land Family Theme Park & Zoo hosts a popular Harvest Festival with mountain crafts, live music, clogging and more.
Fun Park & Zoo
571 Wolfetown Rd
on Hwy 19N Soco Road
Cherokee, NC 28719