Ride in a Retro Plane With Santa in the Ozarks This Holiday Season
The Hangar Kafe in Miller, Missouri — about 35 miles west of Springfield — will offer flights with jolly ol' Saint Nick in a 1956 Cessna 180, which just so happens to be painted red and white.
The program starts Nov. 15 on weekends, weather-permitting. Each flight can seat two or three passengers along with Santa, who will double as the pilot. The cost includes both the ride and a photo with Santa, and advanced registration is suggested.
The aeronautical-themed family cafe, complete with model airplanes hanging from the ceiling of its hangar-shaped building, is located on the Kingsley Airfield, a charming terminal with a 3,119-foot chip and seal runway. While the menu features classic breakfast and lunch items seven days a week (and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays), it's also known for its pre-flight appetizers, including fried okra, breaded mushroom, and fried pickles, as well as its sweet treats, like ice cream shakes, sundaes, and floats.
Hangar Kafe has also offered plane rides — without Santa in the cockpit — at other events, most recently at its Oktoberfest celebration, which also included hayrides, hot-air balloons, and homemade apple butter made on-site in a copper kettle.
This plane ride is just one of the many creative ways to interact with Santa in the area. The Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield will offer experiences with Scuba Claus — an underwater Santa who has been known to host story time with tales like "'Twas the Night Before Fishmas." Meanwhile, the Branson Scenic Railway in Branson, about 45 miles south of Springfield, will start up its Polar Express rides this Friday, Nov. 5. Billed as a "ride to the North Pole to pick up Santa Claus," the adventure includes hot chocolate and cookies served along the way as carolers pass through, while The Polar Express is read out loud.