Here Comes Mrs. Claus

La Quinta resident and Palm Springs Air Museum volunteer Arlene Chapman shares why she’s had a jolly good time playing Santa’s wife for the past seven years.

Jeremy Kinser Attractions, Current Guide



Arlene Chapman, Volunteer

Palm Springs Air Museum
745 N. Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs

How did you come to play Mrs. Claus at the museum?

They just had Santa Claus, so I asked if they’d like to have a Mrs. Claus, too. They said, “Oh, yeah!” I ordered my outfit — and I’m still wearing it.

Why don’t you fly in the plane with Santa?

I used to fly in on the C-47 with Santa, but then it became difficult to get in and out. Now, they bring me in in a jeep. They let Santa out of the plane, and we walk in together. I couldn’t care less about the flying, but I still really enjoy playing Mrs. Claus.

What is most rewarding about the experience?

I love the children. They talk to Santa first, then they come see me, and I give them a goody bag. They take pictures with me, and I hug them and hold them on my lap. I love doing it as long as the kids are happy. The gal that cuts my hair has two little girls. They say, “Our mama knows
Mrs. Claus!” They’re so excited.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

I love meeting the people. I usually work at the visitor’s center. It’s so nice to see and talk with people and find out where they’re from. I meet people from all walks of life.

Arlene Chapman recommends

The Grill on Main in La Quinta. “I love it there,” says Chapman. “Their hamburgers and fries are wonderful. The soups are delicious. Plus, the staff is so friendly and accommodating.”