NORTH POLE (WFLA) – Santa and his elves are making final preparations before he leaves the North Pole to embark on his yearly trip around the world.

Mr. Claus will depart from the North Pole on the morning of Christmas Eve. His first stop will be in New Zealand before he drops off presents in Australia, Asia and Africa. He’s scheduled to arrive in the United States between 9:00 p.m. and midnight.

To allow children to follow his journey in real-time, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) activated its official Santa Tracker on Thursday morning.

For over 60 years, the agency has been tracking Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve with satellites and radar.

“The same assets we use in our aerospace warning and aerospace control missions 24/7/365 are used on Dec. 24 to track and escort [Santa],” the agency tweeted.

NORAD is streaming “Santa Cams” on its website, so children can watch him and his elves prepare for his flight and see a 3D visual depiction of his journey.

Live phone operators will be available to take calls at 6 a.m. ET to answer children’s questions. But fewer operators will be available this year due to safety concerns with the pandemic. If you’re unable to reach an operator, you’ll get a message with information regarding Santa’s whereabouts.

FILE – In this Dec. 23, 2019, file photo a playbook sits next to a telephone set up in the NORAD Tracks Santa center at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo. The North American Aerospace Defense Command has announced that NORAD will track Santa on December 24, just as it has done for 65 years. But there will be some changes: Not every child will be able to get through to a volunteer at NORAD’s call center to check on Santa’s whereabouts, as they have in years before. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Amazon Alexa users also can ask for Santa’s location just by saying “Alexa, where’s Santa?” OnStar subscribers can track Santa by pressing the OnStar button in their vehicles.

You can reach NORAD by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723).

For more information, visit NORAD’s website ( or social media channels.