Tag Archives: Santa’s Village

Santa’s Village in California Opening Date Set for December 2, 2016

sv4It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino National Forest finally has an opening date – December 2, 2016.

When it was first announced that the beloved old theme park in Skyforest had been bought by businessman/realtor Bill Johnson in 2014, fans everywhere became very excited; rightfully so. After closing its gates in 1998, the defunct Christmas-themed park sat abandoned and neglected for years, its wonderful old rides and whimsical buildings falling into a sad state of disrepair and ruin. Vandals left their mark on the closed park, as did the harsh seasons on the mountain just miles from Lake Arrowhead. Over the years, occasional interest was sparked by news of a potential buyer – but nothing ever came of it. When the property was purchased by Johnson, that was a huge step in the right direction, giving us all hope that the little theme park might be restored and returned to operation with a lot of love and a truckload of investment money. The price tag in 2014 for Santa’s Village was reported to be in the neighborhood of $5-6 million. When the 154-acre property was purchased, we cautioned strongly beginning with our May 15, 2014 story about the park possibly re-opening that it would require a lot more than that to get the property back up to modern codes, rebuild its infrastructure, add new attractions, and hire a year-round team, along with seasonal employees.

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Santa’s Village Opening Delayed Until at Least Summer 2015

sv4In May when we posted a story regarding the purchase and planned re-opening of Santa’s Village in the Lake Arrowhead area of the San Bernardino Mountains, we never in a million years would have guessed that it would immediately attract hundreds of thousands of readers to the site, let alone go on to become our single most popular story ever since Theme Park Adventure has been online. It did, however, demonstrating the love and enthusiastic nostalgia people everywhere have for the long-closed little theme park here in Southern California.

To review, in spring of 2014, it was announced that 154 acres of land in Skyforest had been purchased for upward of $6 million by local businessman/realtor Bill Johnson; either in a solo effort, or with silent partners, Mr. Johnson had bought Santa’s Village, a shuttered theme park that had operated near Lake Arrowhead from 1955 to 1998. Soon after the purchase went through, Mr. Johnson went public with news that the theme park would be re-designed and re-opened by Mother’s Day 2015 – a highly-ambitious timeline, given the current state of the property and the fact that Santa’s Village was no longer zoned as an operating attraction. Yet, enthusiasm drowned out doubt for the time being, and TPA just like everyone else, was really excited to see an icon from our childhood come back to life – something that doesn’t happen very often in the theme park world.

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Santa’s Village in Skyforest to Reopen?

sv32In 1955, a theme park opened in Southern California where families could go and spend a fun-filled day together riding unique attractions, eating delicious baked goods and food, and loading up on whimsical souvenirs including a photo with the big guy himself! We’re not talking Disneyland however – we’re talking about Santa’s Village, in Skyforest, California!

For decades, so many SoCal residents grew up visiting that magical place in the San Bernardino National Forest – and since the park’s closure in 1998, so many of us have looked back on Santa’s Village with utmost fondness and growing nostalgia.

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