Santa Claus Brunches, Teas, and Cruises for NYC Kids

Christmast Breakfast and Tea with Santa Claus in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens

A picture with Santa can be thrilling for a little kid. But if your child wants a heartier visit with the Big Red Guy, a tasty breakfast (or brunch, or tea) with Santa might be in order.

We've found 10 spots in New York City where families can enjoy a special holiday meal with Old St. Nick. These range from inexpensive pancake brunches hosted by local organizations to lavish spreads at Rockefeller Center and the Plaza Hotel. You can even hop on a cruise with Santa.

All require advance reservations and sell out quickly. Whichever one you choose, bring your camera—and your appetite—and for more seasonal family fun check out our Holiday Guide.

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Breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller Center — Midtown
The Sea Grill, 19 West 49th Street
The Rock Center Café, 20 West 50th Street
Opens November 25, reservation dates and times vary. Book online
$50-95 for children; $70-150 for adults
Gaze at Rockefeller Center's sparkling Christmas tree and the skaters twirling on the rink as you dig into breakfast with Santa and his elves. Kids receive a special gift and families enjoy VIP admission to the skating rink. 

Breakfast with Santa at Stella's in Macy's – Midtown 
Stella 34 Trattoria, sixth floor of Macy's, 151 West 34th Street 
Opens November 26 (times and days vary)
Prices begin at $50 for adults, $35 for children ages 3-10
We rave about the magic of Macy's Santaland, but this in-store breakfast at Stella 34 Trattoria provides a more edifying experience. Chow down on a traditional Italian breakfast, which includes kid-pleasing pancakes or breakfast pizza. Candy canes, takeaway treats, and a keepsake photo on Santa's knee are included.

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Breakfast with Santa comes with a show at the Broadway Comedy Club. 

Breakfast with Santa – Midtown West
Broadway Comedy Club, 318 West 53rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
Opens November 26 (times and days vary)
$25 per person
Arrive early for this breakfast-and-show combo. You'll pose for pictures with Santa and enjoy a continental breakfast. Afterward, the jolly red guy hosts Elfprov, an improvised family musical comedy that ends with sing-along caroling.

Tea with Santa – Midtown East
The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
Opens Friday, December 2, running on select Wednesdays and Fridays
$100 per child; $50 per adult
Got a little one who’s been really nice? Consider indulging in this sumptuous tea at the Eloise at the Plaza shop, where you can snack with Santa in high style. Enjoy tea sandwiches, dessert treats and fruit, Santa storytime, pictures with the big red guy, and an Eloise goody bag. Call 212-546-5460, or email eloise@theplazany.com.

Santa Brunch – Greenpoint, Brooklyn
t.b.d. Brooklyn, 224 Franklin Street, at Green Street
Saturday, December 3 
$15 per person in advance, $5 for infants
Community organization Town Square Inc. is behind this annual holiday meal, which offers two seatings. Devour pancakes and sausage; make holiday-themed arts and crafts; sing carols with Santa and then pose for pictures. Buying advance tickets is encouraged as the event always sells out.

Breakfast with Santa at Masso – Long Island City
47-25 Vernon Boulevard at 47th Road
Saturday, December 3
Children's prices begin at $25; adults are $40.
Enjoy a prix-fixe brunch at this Queens eatery, and pose for complimentary digital pics with Kris Kringle. All kids receive a small gift. Call 718-482-8151.

American Girl Welcomes SantaMidtown
The American Girl Store, 609 Fifth Avenue, at 49th Street
Sunday, December 4
$28 per person
If you've got an American Girl fan at home, this is the event for her. She can visit the doll mecca and pose with Santa while there. Each child receives a 5-by-7 keepsake photo and everyone dines on a tasty meal.

RELATED: NYC's Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks


Celebrate with Santa over lunch aboard a Spirit Cruise. 

Lunch with Santa on Spirit Cruises – Chelsea
Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers
Saturday, December 10
Prices begin at $31.95 for children, $52.90 for adults
Hop aboard a Spirit Cruise for a kid-friendly lunch buffet complete with chicken tenders, fries, and cookies. Tasty adult fare is on board, too. You'll spend two hours sailing around New York harbor with Jolly Old St. Nick. Pictures are available for a fee.

Breakfast with Santa aboard the Zephyr Yacht  – South Street Seaport
Pier 16 at South Street Seaport
Saturdays, December 10 and 17
Prices begin at $39 for children, $49 for adults. A special family four-pack for $156 can be purchased by calling 212-742-1969.
This 90-minute holiday cruise includes a breakfast buffet, live DJ, dancing, Christmas movies, games, and, of course, face time with Santa.

Brunch with Santa at Aviator Sports & Events Center – Marine Park, Brooklyn
Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Avenue
Sunday, December 11
Prices begin at $20 for children, $22 for adults
Hit the popular Brooklyn athletics complex for pancakes, eggs, and other breakfast goodies, plus one Bloody Mary or mimosa per adult. Kids can pose for a free photo with Santa and enjoy cupcake decorating and crafts. There will be two brunch seatings, but holiday events at this Brooklyn hot spot always sell out!

Top photo: Meet Santa and his elves at Stella 34 Trattoria in Midtown. All photos courtesy the respective venues.

This story, originally published in December 2012, is updated annually.

location: 
Rock Center Café
20 West 50th Street
10020 New York , NY 40° 45' 31.2732" N, 73° 58' 42.618" W
New York
The Sea Grill
19 West 49th Street
10111 New York , NY 40° 45' 30.5208" N, 73° 58' 42.222" W
New York
The Plaza Hotel
768 Fifth Avenue
10019 New York , NY 40° 45' 52.596" N, 73° 58' 27.678" W
New York
Broadway Comedy Club
318 West 53rd Street
10019 New York , NY 40° 45' 51.642" N, 73° 59' 8.4228" W
New York
Stella 34 Trattoria
Macy's 151 West 34th Street
10001 New York , NY 40° 45' 2.3184" N, 73° 59' 21.4008" W
New York
Pier 16
South Street Seaport
New York , NY 40° 42' 19.548" N, 74° 0' 10.404" W
New York
Aviator Sports & Events Center
3159 Flatbush Avenue
11234 Brooklyn , NY 40° 35' 20.1552" N, 73° 53' 59.2764" W
New York
Chelsea Piers
62 Chelsea Piers
10011 New York , NY 40° 44' 53.4876" N, 74° 0' 30.8808" W
New York
American Girl Cafe
609 Fifth Avenue
10017 New York , NY 40° 45' 27.6876" N, 73° 58' 39.36" W
New York
t.b.d Brooklyn
224 Franklin Street
11222 New York , NY 40° 44' 0.0132" N, 73° 57' 28.8108" W
New York