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Google’s Santa Tracker is back with more holiday fun for 2018

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Santa Claus is coming to town Google.

Google has just rolled out a slew of new games and features to its Santa’s Village holiday page, including a location-based “Santa Tracker” that follows Santa  as he travels around the world delivering presents on Christmas Eve. You’ll also find new holiday commands for Google Assistant and brand new educational games.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant announced its latest interactive Christmas-themed web portal on Tuesday with a message on its homepage as well as an official from VP of product for Santa’s Village and Santa Tracker, Mrs. Claus.

The search giant’s Santa’s Village is now in its 15th year and to celebrate, Google has a few new holiday updates to share. Santa’s Village boasts two dozen fun educational games, including ones that teach kids to code, as well as videos and other holiday activities. Unlike previous years, all of the Village’s interactive features are available starting today. 

New to Santa’s Village this year is an Elf Maker game, where visitors can create their own elf, and train an elf to dance, which Google says is made possible thanks to a machine learning model called .

When the Santa Tracker rolls out when the big guy takes flight on Christmas Eve, for the first time, users will be able to track Santa’s real-time location right on Google Maps.

A screenshot of Google's new and improved Santa Tracker.

A screenshot of Google’s new and improved Santa Tracker.

Google Assistant is also spreading holiday cheer this year. Kids can ask an Assistant enabled device, like Home or the Pixel phone, to “Call Santa” or listen to a bedtime tale by asking assistant to “Tell me a holiday story.” Users will also be able to track Kris Kringle as we get closer to Christmas by simple asking Google Assistant “where is Santa?”

Other new features for 2018 include Android app exclusives like Gboard holiday stickers.

“In the village, you can practice basic coding skills, create original artwork, exercise your geographic chops, and learn more about charitable organizations like Khan Academy and Code.org,” according to Google. “Teachers can even download lesson plans with video guides to help teach their students fundamental coding skills and holiday traditions in English, Spanish, French, Japanese and Korean.”

With Santa’s Village open for business starting on December 4, Google users can get into the holiday spirit now while counting down the days until the company’s goes live on December 24.

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