The North Pole in Cascade, Colorado

Residents of Colorado Springs don’t need to wait until December to start celebrating Christmas. Just outside of town lies the North Pole, a Christmas-themed amusement park that’s open all summer.

The park first opened in 1956, and it’s still owned and operated by the same family. When it first opened, the park was simpler—a village designed to look like Santa’s Workshop, inspired by a similar project in the Adirondacks. The first rides came to the park in 1958, The first rides opened in 1958. According to a local news outlet, those rides included “a mine ride where a donkey pulled a cart along tracks, an authentic fire engine, and a stagecoach.”

Over the years the park expanded and changed, but it retains an authentically saccharine mid-century kitsch more than a half-century later. The North Pole “village” has a post office, several shops selling candy, toys, and Christmas-themed trinkets, and of course, the Claus family dwellings and workshop. 

The amusement park boasts the highest-altitude Ferris wheel in North America, among other attractions like a small roller coaster and a tilt-a-whirl.

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