Boy talks to Santa on iPad

Santa makes a virtual visit from the North Pole to hospitalized kids


Streaming all the way from the North Pole via an iPad, Santa Claus made a virtual visit to UC Davis Children’s Hospital this week to ask pediatric patients what they would like for Christmas.

With his trademark “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Santa brought holiday cheer through his video chats with kids in the Pediatric Infusion Center at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Many kids discussed the toys and goodies at the top of their wish list as they were receiving treatment. Kids also received a stuffed polar bear toy after their visit.

Julia Walker’s 6-year-old son Jake was receiving treatment when he had the opportunity to talk with Santa on the iPad.

“Jake was a little shy. I had to whisper to him that he wanted Legos,” Walker said. “But when he realized that it was Santa, I think that he was pretty surprised that it was the big guy. Later that day, he told our family that he talked to Santa!” 

Hospitalized children on the pediatrics unit also received a virtual visit from Santa, as the iPad went from bedside to bedside via wagon.

Santa reminded kids that he will be back on Christmas Eve to deliver presents, while they are sleeping.

Our team is here to bring some holiday magic to kids and families who have to be in the hospital during the holidays.” Diana Sundberg

“Christmas doesn’t stop just because you’re in the hospital,” said Diana Sundberg, manager of the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department. “Our team is here to bring some holiday magic to kids and families who have to be in the hospital during the holidays. We’re happy that UC Davis Children’s Hospital is on Santa’s route on Christmas Eve. Now that he knows what our kids would like for the holidays, he will be making his list and checking it twice.”

Those interested in donating holiday gifts to the children hospitalized at UC Davis Children’s Hospital can still give to the Virtual Holiday Toy Drive, which runs through Dec. 24. The toy drive aims to provide holiday gifts for every child spending the holidays in the hospital. Plus, toys, crafts, books and electronics will help provide entertainment for patients at the bedside, stock play areas and help patients celebrate milestones and more. Visit the Virtual Holiday Toy Drive website.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children’s surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit