October 5, 2023

Six years ago, Santa Claus Museum founder Pat Koch watched her dream become a reality as the museum opened its doors to the public for the first time. Together with the non-profit Santa’s Elves, Inc., she opened the Santa Claus Museum in the spring of 2006. Pat’s interest in preserving the history of the town, the famous Santa Claus Post Office, her father, and her family’s growing theme park, became a passion.

Her interest in preserving the town’s past has grown over the last six years to include the Historic 1935 Santa Statue and the 1880 Santa Claus Church, once located off the “beaten path” in the woods. We have just wrapped up a full restoration of the Santa Statue. Crews carefully moved the Santa Claus Post Office and 1880 Church to the museum grounds for further preservation and to allow visitors to walk through these historic buildings.

We’re now in the process of building a plaza that the historic buildings and statue will surround. That plaza will form the front entrance for a new, expanded museum building that can properly house and display our quickly growing collection of area antiques, artifacts and memorabilia. We also have plans to add three new collections to the Santa Claus Museum, giving visitors even more exhibits to walk through.

Museum Site Plan

Plans for the new Santa Claus Museum also include a cafe with seating inside and outside on the plaza. We hope to relocate a historic barn that will house a nativity scene. We’re also including larger, dedicated work space for Santa’s Elves and their volunteers to handle the yearly crush of mail and the letter answering campaign for Santa.

Santa Claus Museum Design

Our dreams are ambitious but with your help we can make them a reality. That’s why we’re proud to announce one of our first fundraising campaigns to help us reach the goal of raising $1 Million for the construction of a new museum complex: the Santa Claus Museum Cookbook.

Mrs. Koch proudly displays the Santa Claus Museum CookbookThe Santa Claus Museum Cookbook:  Recipes From Mrs. Claus and Friends focuses on the timeless treasures we all have neatly (and sometimes messily) tucked away in a recipe box somewhere. Part cookbook and part memoir, this collection of recipes pays tribute to food that has been handed down from generation to generation and are often part of dearly held family traditions.

Pat Koch’s father, Santa Jim Yellig, was the official Santa of Santa Claus Land for more than 35 years. Her mother Bella “Mrs. Claus” Yellig preferred to stay in the background and keep Santa happy with her well-known cooking skills. Bella headed catering operations at the Santa Claus American Legion Post and for a time, Jim and Bella owned The Chateau in nearby Mariah Hill. Many of Bella’s recipes were treasures brought to the United States by her grandmother when she emigrated from Germany. Dozens of those gastronomic treasures, along with the stories that go with them, are featured in the Santa Claus Museum Cookbook.

Thanks to the support of friends of the Santa Claus Museum, our new cookbook is packed with nearly 500 recipes and their stories and it will soon be ready to grace your kitchen counter. Maybe it will even start some new food traditions in your family too!

To pre-order your copy of the Santa Claus Museum Cookbook online for $14.95, head to Holiday World’s HoliShop. If you’d like to mail in an order, please send check or money order totaling $19.95 ($14.95 + $5.00 S/H) to:

Santa Claus Museum
Attn: Cookbook
PO Box #1
Santa Claus, IN 47579

Checks should be made out to Santa’s Elves & Santa Claus Museum Inc.

We appreciate your support!


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