Santa’s Village opened on Memorial Day weekend in 1955, just six weeks before Disneyland.

The original idea came from a Saturday Evening Post article that was written about a project called “North Pole” in New York. Crestline resident Glenn Holland proposed the idea to investors and broke ground, with Putnam “Putty” Henck as the general contractor, in 1954. They worked closely with local artisans and craftsman to create the whimsical Village.

The park was built on 15 of the total 230 acres, which were leased to Santa’s Village by the Henck family. The park operated for approximately 23 years in this capacity.

Glenn Holland went on to build two more parks (one in Scott’s Valley, California and one in Dundee, Illinois) making Santa’s Village the first franchised theme park in the country.


When the Santa’s Village franchise went bankrupt in the late 1970’s, the Henck family was able to purchase Santa’s Village because it was situated on their land.

Pamela and Putty Henck operated and expanded the park to include more rides, horseback riding, and nature trails which they called “Fantasy Forest at Santa’s Village.” They briefly made the business successful, but eventually had to close in 1998. The Henck family then decided to auction the rides and fixtures. Many of these items can be seen around our local communities.


After the closing of Fantasy Forest at Santa’s Village, a new owner attempted to reopen park. He brought in a local contractor, John Radleigh and began restoration of many of the structures. We are grateful to the Plott family and the efforts of John Radleigh. Because of their efforts in restoring the roofs and windows of most of the buildings, they prevented further degradation of the historic structures and most likely saved the buildings from the fire that would ensue a few years later. Unfortunately, the new owner passed away before the project could be completed, and the property was then leased to a logging company.

In 2003, one of the worst wildfires in state history, dubbed the “Old Fire”, ravaged much of the property. If not for the extraordinary efforts of local fire agencies, the Village would have been destroyed. The fire was exacerbated by a bark beetle infestation (caused by the storage of infested logs) that weakened the already drought-stricken trees. The abuse of the land is still evident in many areas.


In 2014, Santa’s Village was acquired by new owners who renamed it “SkyPark at Santa’s Village”, and began the daunting task of restoring the property to its former glory. The new owners worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a forest management plan, and partnered with Mountain Wildfire Releaf and Cal Fire to plant 900 new trees. In 2016, the park was re-opened as an outdoor adventure park, complete with hiking trails, mountain biking, and enough attractions to encourage guests to visit year-round.

Today, we are proud to continue the legacy of Santa’s Village and are committed to providing guest experiences that combine the nostalgia of yesterday with the promise of tomorrow.

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We’ve spent our lives in the mountain communities; enjoying the beauty and active lifestyle, managing our businesses, and mentoring our youth.

Our vision was born the day the Santa’s Village property became available.

We envisioned a way to share these beautiful mountains and all they have to offer that would entertain, energize and educate. We knew from history that the original Santa’s Village model was not sustainable.

What makes our vision sustainable are the summer-time offerings that the original Santa’s Village didn’t have: mountain biking, fishing, hiking, ziplining, and our comprehensive education programs. We offer rich and diverse curriculums such as Outdoor Education, Environmental Education, Pathways Programming, and so much more.

SkyPark at Santa’s Village promotes clean living, an active lifestyle, and conservation in a fun and interactive exchange with the environment.

Santa is obviously key to our vision as he lives and plays at the Park year-round, and is always excited to share his magical home with guests.

We are custodians of this magnificent land and we take that responsibility seriously.

With that responsibility comes an opportunity to excite, to entertain, and to teach.

Come experience our vision:

The vision that is SkyPark at Santa’s Village.

–Bill and Michelle Johnson


At SkyPark, we endeavor to provide our guests with outdoor experiences and adventure-based activities that create memories of wonder, thrill, and camaraderie!