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Santa Claus is coming to town: Get ready with these fun apps

The holidays are upon us, and whether you’re going to be donning a Christmas jumper and singing carols or just playing up the Santa visit for your kids, we’ve got a bunch of Christmas apps to get you in the right spirit.

Related: Pour another eggnog and relax with our 25 favorite streaming Christmas movies

Christmas Elf Adventure Full

Elf Adventure
Here’s an app that will keep your kids amused and get them excited as the big day approaches. It’s a supercharged advent calendar that challenges you to help the elves save Christmas. There’s a new game every day with puzzles and riddles to solve and you’ll also be rewarded with a comedy Elven Advent poem and a funny animation when you complete each one. It’ll cost you $1.

Available on:

Google Play

iTunes

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch stole christmas
Dr. Seuss’ famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been made into an interactive book for kids. If you need something to keep them occupied while waiting to open their presents, this $1 app lets them follow the Grinch as he attempts to keep Christmas from coming. Tap on pictures to show new words, enjoy the narration, and watch out for the custom sound effects.

Available on:

Google Play

iTunes

Instant Santa

Instant Santa

The holidays mean family photos, and Instant Santa can help spice them up. It’s a free photo app that adds Christmas effects to your photos, adding more holiday cheer. Just tap the Santa hat and you’ll find yourself wearing a santa hat, antlers, and more. Tap the screen to change what props you want to wear. The app also has eight different frames and filters to choose from, and lets you save the photo to your camera roll, or share it to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. This one is only for iOS devices.

Available on:

iTunes

Christmas Photo Frames

Christmas Photo frames
If you want to liven up your photos with holiday cheer and you’re on Android, there’s a great alternative called Christmas Photo Frames. The app has a large collection of Christmas-themed photo frames and effects. You can also use templates to design and send Christmas cards. The app lets you set the image as a contact, wallpaper, save it to your phone, or you can share it. It’s pretty straightforward and easy to use, and best of all it’s free.

Available on:

Google Play

Christmas

christmas
This app will get you in the holiday spirit, as it beautifies your wallpaper with pretty Christmas-themed images. This live wallpaper shows snow falling and offers new backgrounds everyday. You can set the speed and density of the snowflakes, and the app even supports landscape mode, so you can also use it on a tablet if you want. It’s free, but only available on Android. There’s a similar wallpaper app available on iOS, which offers a number of festive HD wallpapers.

Available on:

Google Play

iTunes

Google Santa Tracker

santa tracker
Google’s Santa Tracker app is the ultimate Christmas app that lets you play games with elves in jetpacks, sleighs powered by rockets, and more. The app also has support for Android Wear and has a neat website where you can lose a few hours browsing. Of course, it tracks Santa and you can follow his journey on your phone, your smartwatch, and an Android TV if you have one. You can also explore the world in virtual reality if you have a Google Cardboard headset.

Available on:

Google Play

NORAD Tracks Santa

Norad santa
As per tradition, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is continuing its annual Santa tracking service, which it began in 1955. The interactive app lets you explore the North Pole, play games, and watch Santa’s journey when he takes off. There’s also a beautiful website that lets you do the same things. NORAD teamed up with Microsoft for the app this year, which also offers festive music, movies about Santa and NORAD, and more stories about Christmas around the world.

Available on:

Google Play

iTunes

Microsoft Store

Christmas Santa Run

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Need a game to pass the time during the holidays? How about a Christmas-themed one? The Android app is free sidescroller puts you in Santa’s busy shoes as he collects gifts for the kids. Just tap to make Santa run, and don’t forget to collect all the presents. The iOS version is similar, but instead of collecting presents, you just have to help Santa avoid obstacles that pop up in his path, as he makes his way around the world delivering presents.

Available on:

Google Play

iTunes

Article originally published on December, 2012. Updated on 12-23-2015 by Julian Chokkattu with all-new apps.