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Video calling Santa’s virtual grotto

Kids can’t meet Santa in 2020, so we found the best places and services to virtually call Santa from at the North Pole.

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2020 was a year like no other, and this year’s holiday traditions will certainly be no exception. But the coronavirus pandemic won’t stop Santa Claus from coming to town.

Parents all over the world are skipping the annual tradition of bringing their kids to meet Santa in his grotto for Christmas pictures or sit on his lap and share their Christmas wish list—instead, they’ll be scheduling yet another Zoom call so that their kids can still meet Santa (in a socially-distanced way!) and experience the magic of Christmas. 

While we’ve heard that the internet at the North Pole is pretty fast (thanks to a few of the elves who work in IT in the off-season), not every state has the same speedy broadband. money.co.uk experts ranked the US states with the fastest and slowest internet speeds to see which states are best for virtual calls to Santa’s grotto. 

Best and worst states for video calls with Santa

Top 10 states to book video calls in with Santa, according to internet speeds

Updated 20 April 2023
StateInternet speed (Mbp)Number of children under 5Number of children under 18
Dist. of Columbia6845,617127,494
Rhode Island6554,413205,213
North Dakota6254,695178,698
New York601,140,4424,068,102
New Jersey59518,6281,953,643
USA Average50

Dozens of new, virtual services were introduced this year to give parents several options for their little ones to meet Santa, so the internet experts at money.co.uk put together a roundup of the most common kinds of services available.

Video calling the North Pole

Video calls to the North Pole service stats

We also analyzed and ranked the best US states to book face-time with Santa - according to internet speeds by state - as well as how many kids are in each state, to figure out where the best places to virtually meet Santa are and how much demand there might be. 

Video Calls to the North Pole — Average Statistics on Service Available

  • On average, Santa video calls cost $27 in 2020 (on average, parents spend $23-50 in the US each year on photos with Santa, often taken at the mall, so this is a more affordable option and one that can be done while wearing Christmas pajamas at home!).

  • Virtual Santa calls on most services last an average of 10 minutes, plenty of time for kids to share their wish list, find out if they’re on the naughty or nice list, and ask Santa what the reindeers like to eat.

  • The most common services available throughout the US include: live video calls with Santa tuning in from the North Pole; pre-recorded and personalized messages for your child from Santa himself; storytime with either Santa or Mrs. Claus; and a virtual tour of Santa’s home and his workshop.

Remember, even though we can’t all visit Santa this year, he’s still able to safely visit our homes to put presents under the tree. Santa might have some fatigue this year, so let’s leave out some extra cookies and milk for him.

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About Max Beckett

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