If you walk the streets of Coeur d'Alene this week, you might think it was mid-December. With the exception of snow, the lake town and its business owners have fully embraced the most wonderful of the year, and for many locals it's a point of pride.
"I can't give you the source, but I know recently it was voted one of the top 10 christmas towns in America," said local business owner Brett Sommer.
Brett and his wife Susan Sommer own a downtown toy store for all ages called Figpickles. They admit their job is a little easier thanks to the enthusiasm of their little shoppers this time of year.
"In the very difficult world of toydom, the little ones are what keep you, you know. They just walk in and it's like, this is why I wake up in the morning," said Susan.
Brett added, "it's still magic, there's still magic there that sometimes older people forget."
But Captain Carl Fus doesn't forget. Him and his staff at the Couer d'Alene resort offer round trip cruises across the lake to the 'North Pole' to see Santa and his elves in their toy workshop. This attraction is an extremely unique experience, .
"It's the only way for children to get on a boat, take it to the North Pole and see Santa,” said Captain Carl.
With over 50,000 people making the trip to Santa's home every year, the cruise crew members clearly have a busy season ahead of them. But for Captain Carl, it's all worth while.
"Oh yeah it's great to see the children's eyes light up when they see Santa, it's probably the best part to be able to see that joy that it brings to the children,” he said.
Those North Pole cruises start Friday, November 18th and through January 2nd. For tickets, go here.