Skip to Main Content

Cherokee, North Carolina: Santa's Land Theme Park

Monkeys, bears, black-light elves, a choir of mannequins, a towering frightening rabbit with a carrot -- and Santa. Team Field Report

Soco Rd, Cherokee, NC
Southeast of Cherokee, US Hwy 19 on north side, just east of Macedonia Rd/BIA Hwy 449.
Opens in May. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights
Giant Rabbit, Carrot and Lettuce

Scary rabbit statue at Santa's land, part of our "Salad of the Gods" round-up of giant fruits and veggies. Report...

Visitor Tips and News About Santa's Land Theme Park

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Easter Bunny.

Santa's Land Theme Park

Visiting in 2020: Santa's Land requires masks in all indoor areas, have sanitizer stations, and have signs reminding people to stay 6 ft. apart. Not a problem, as we went on a rainy Thursday and there was only one other family there.

Very retro; we loved that it was basically a time capsule.

[Kelly S., 10/01/2020]
Santa's Land Theme Park

Santa's Land Theme Park & Zoo is a small, kind of retro Christmas-themed amusement park. It features giant cartoon statues, a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, an arcade, a zoo, a few playgrounds, a train, paddle boats, etc. The animals (particularly the zebra) are kept in cages that barely simulate their natual habitats.

The roller coaster ("Rudicoaster") is supposed to be for all ages. It's not big but it's fast and I don't recommend it for small children.

There are other kiddie rides available. All of the rides are free of charge and the lines were short. For the most part, it was affordable and entertaining, but the zebra made us sad. I would recommend it to families and/or people who like retro attractions.

[Amber Dawn, 08/06/2010]
Santa's Land Theme Park

I have been taking three of my grandchildren to Santa Land for the past three years. The girls talk about it all year and when we start to plan our vacation they always want to go to Santa's Land. The Rudy Coaster is a blast. Even I enjoy it at my age. We love it and hope it never changes. If you have children 10 years old or younger, don't miss this treat. You'll feel like a kid again yourself.

[Linnie, 06/26/2008]

Santa delights another child.

Santa's Land Theme Park

I visited Santa's Land for the first time late last year with my family and had the time of my life! It has everything you could want in a roadside attraction. There are giant fiberglass statues of rabbits, a snowman, and a kangroo that surely appear in millions of family photo albums.

One of the most surreal things at Santa's Land is the paddle boats, where you paddle through a swamp filled with giant koi that violently shake your boat and splash you with brown water as you attempt to chuck handfuls of monkey food to "Monkey Island," where sad little monkeys sit on floating playground equipment surrounded by electric fences.

Faith Chapel mannequin choir.If that's not enough to upset animal right activists, there are also bears behind chain link fences that rattle as you pass by. You can slide them food via a tube.

There are also funky blacklight displays of Elves and reindeers. And don't forget to end your day with a visit to Faith Chapel to hear the mannequin choir sing a garbled version of "Joy to the World" as strings move their hands slightly.

Santa's Land has been open for forty years and there is nothing to indicate that it has changed one bit. It is a step back in time. They just don't make stuff like this anymore.

[Jacob Krejci, 03/06/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Tiny Elvis MuseumTiny Elvis Museum, Cherokee, NC - 2 mi.
Cherokee Bear ZooCherokee Bear Zoo, Cherokee, NC - 3 mi.
Mac's Indian Village CabinsMac's Indian Village Cabins, Cherokee, NC - 3 mi.
In the region:
Alcatraz East, Pigeon Forge, TN - 29 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

North Carolina Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Great American Alligator Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 13-19, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings