This holiday season you can visit Santa on his home turf or head down to the heart of Kentucky to enjoy all Christmas has to offer.

Santa's "Other" Home
     When not at the North Pole, St. Nick reportedly spends a great deal of time in Santa Claus, Ind., less than three hours northwest of Cincinnati. To celebrate their favorite citizen, the town hosts a holiday celebration with light displays, a parade, a holiday play and plenty of shopping the first three weekends of December.
     The Santa Claus Christmas Store has gifts, indoor and outdoor lights, ornaments, holiday yard art, collectibles and a café with hot chocolate and fudge. Santa is available for photos with the children.
    "It's the kind of store you can go in any day of the year and you feel like it's Christmas," says Melissa Wilkinson, executive director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau.
    Nearby, the Santa Claus Candy Castle is better than a dream of sugarplums, offering every confection and sweet imaginable. Real chestnuts roast over an open fire.
    The post office receives about 12,000 letters each year, which are answered by volunteers.
 
Holiday Celebration
    Lebanon, Ky., is home to the Heart of Kentucky Holiday Festival, recently ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 holiday events in 12 states.
    "There is no better time to visit the true Heart of Kentucky than the holidays," says Carla Wagner, of the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission. "Whether it's good food, family events, unusual sights or great shopping for homemade gifts," visitors will find it, she says. Held the first weekend of December, the festival features mutton busting (sheep riding) for the kids, Maker's Mark Distillery candlelight tours, Ruley's Santa Claus Land with more than three acres of lights and holiday displays, as well as live music.