Best Places To Take Pictures with Santa in New Jersey

Where To See Santa for Photos with Kids this Christmas Season in New Jersey
Santa Claus is taking a break from making toys at the North Pole to visit Heaven Hill Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm

Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's ready for his close-up. From simple setups to elaborate events, there's no shortage of opportunities for your little elves to pose for phots with Santa this Christmas season. We've rounded up our favorites, and there's something for every budget.

Want more QT with jolly St. Nick? Book a breakfast with Santa. And for even more seasonal activities, check out our Holiday Fun Guide.

FREE 


Watch Santa make a dramatic entrance by airplane, then take a family photo with the big guy. Photo Courtesy of Solberg Airport.

Solberg Airport – Whitehouse Station
Sunday, November 25, 2018 – CANCELED due to conditions; stay tuned for a new date
The annual event once again finds Santa making a landing at this Hunterdon County airstrip. Santa lands at 2pm (bring your cameras for family pics!), followed by a hot-air balloon launch at 3pm. A petting zoo, bouncy house, face painting, and a cookout hosted by the Kiwanis Club guarantees an afternoon full of fun.

Bass Pro Shop – Atlantic City
Now through Monday, December 24, 2018
Make a holiday shopping trip more fun by heading to a place where kids can meet and pose with Santa while you cross fishing rod and binoculars off your Christmas list. You’ll receive a free 4 x 6 photo, personalized digital Christmas card, and a wooden picture frame (while supplies last). Savvy shoppers can arrive an hour prior to Santa’s arrival from the North Pole to get a Bass Pass, which gives you a designated sitting time a so you can skip the line. Free crafts and outdoor-themed activities will keep little elves busy while you wait.

Abma'a Farm – Wyckoff
Saturdays, December 1 and 8, 2018
Stop by the farm for some s 'mores and hot cocoa, and stay for a visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus. The cheerful couple will be greeting guests in the greenhouse and smiling for as many pictures as you wish to take (remember your camera)! 

RELATED: Where To Have Breakfast with Santa in New Jersey


Little elves can enjoy a low-key visit with Santa at Kirby's Mill. Photo courtesy of Kirby's Mill

Kirby’s Mill – Medford
Saturday, December 8, 2018
The Medford Historical Society offers a low-key visit with Santa at their One Room School House. Bring your own camera for the perfect photo op from 12-4pm.

Heaven Hill Farm – Vernon
Sundays, December 2 and 9, 2018
Your train-obsessed kiddo will be all smiles for a photo with Santa after a free train ride around this picturesque farm. Although Santa only stops by twice, train rides are available December 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16. 

Snowflake Stroll – Millburn
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Santa really gets around, and his busy schedule will take him to the Snowflake Stroll and Family Fun Festival. Walk the lit park and enjoy appearances by costumed characters, the Paper Mill Playhouse Show Choir, and more.

Cape May County Park & Zoo – Cape May Court House
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Getting the perfect Santa photo at the mall can be a tad overwhelming, so why not try something everyone will love? Kids of all ages are welcome at Santa’s Family Workshop from 11am – 2pm. Bring your own camera for a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Reptile House, and then stick around for additional special events planned throughout the day, including craft stations, visits with animals, and more.

Downtown for the Holidays – Ridgewood
Saturdays, December 1-22, 2018
Come see Santa’s home away from home at Santa in the Park. Each Saturday from noon–3pm, St. Nick will visit his little red cottage in the park to greet children for photos and hear all their wishes for the big day. Ben & Jerry's will be there to provide hot cocoa.

INEXPENSIVE


Watch St. Nick light up the park, then head to his house for a photo. Photo courtesy of Storybook Land

Storybook Land – Egg Harbor Township
Through Sunday, December 23, 2018
Be here by 5 p.m., when Santa Claus appears in his chimney, waves his magic wand, and lights the park with more than one million lights for the holiday season. Then visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus at their home for a photo. Rides, attractions, and snack bars are also open during this time. On Saturdays, December 1, 8, and 15, bring a toy for Toys for Tots and receive a free hot chocolate and popcorn for every toy.

RELATED: A Dozen Must-Do Holiday Activities for NJ Kids


Walk through the magical displays at Christmas Ice Caverns, then pose for a pic with Santa. Photo courtesy of Christmas Ice Caverns

Christmas Ice Caverns – Fairfield
Through Saturday, December 22, 2018
This hidden gem is tucked within Jody’s Silk Florist and Patio Center. The walk-through display features dozens of animated storybook scenes, Santa’s reindeer feeding barn and candy workshop, familiar characters from Disney and Toy Story, a life-sized Nativity, and of course, Kris Kringle himself. Check the website for Santa's schedule.


Santa swoops down to visit the popular Johnson's Corner Farm this season. Photo courtesy of Johnson's Corner Farm

Johnson’s Corner Farm – Medford
Now through Sunday, December 23, 2018
The popular South Jersey farm transforms into a Winter Wonderland the day after Thanksgiving. Bring your own camera to snap a free photo of your kids with Santa, and stick around for a host of holiday activities. Check out a Fire and Lights display in their Discovery Barnyard, a light show on the lake, cookie decorating, and hayrides after dark.

The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of NJ – Teterboro
Saturday, December 1, 2018
It’s a bird... it’s a plane... it’s Santa, arriving by helicopter to Teterboro Airport. Arrive early (doors open at 10 a.m.) so you can get a prime viewing spot to see Santa as he circles the airport. Once he lands, a fire truck will bring him over to greet fans and take candid photos inside the museum. Admission is $8 for adults; kids under 12 are free.

RELATED: Best Holiday Light Displays in New Jersey 


Go for a swim with Santa at the Westfield Area YMCA. Photo courtesy of Cranford YMCA

Swimming with Santa – Cranford
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Santa is trading time in the sleigh for time in the pool! Come out to the Westfield Area YMCA to take a dip with the man in red—and go home with a truly unique Santa photo this year. Sessions are scheduled in 30-minute blocks, and parents must accompany children under the age of 8 or children who can't swim. Proceeds benefit the YMCA's Annual Support Campaign. 

PHOTO PACKAGES

Of course, you can always find Santa at the mall! We've picked just a few that offer fun experiences and photo ops—some even allow you to bring your four-legged babies, too. 

The Mall at Short Hills – Short Hills
Through Monday, December 24, 2018
Santa started early here this year (November 8 to be exact), but there’s still plenty of time left to get the kiddos there for a card-worthy photo and some holiday cheer. Kids can have a unique, interactive experience as a member of Santa’s elite flight academy. They'll receive a personalized badge at check-in which allows them to try on a virtual flight suit, learn about navigation, power Santa’s sleigh, and dance under magical lights and snowfall before taking their place on Santa’s lap. You can simply show up, or purchase your photo package in advance online to skip the lines.

Cherry Hill Mall – Cherry Hill 
Through Monday, December 24, 2018
Santa will be posting up at the Grand Court and checking in on all the nice-list children who are out shopping with their families. Kids who want to sit on Santa's lap can wait in line, or put in a good word with their parents to book a FastPass to Santa. Two-hour appointment windows can be scheduled online, and with the purchase of a photo package, plus a $3.95 convenience fee, parents can beat the mall crowds. Package prices range from $24.99 to $49.99. Every guest who purchases a photo package has the opportunity to receive at least one free phone call from Santa. Bring your pet for special photos times each Monday through December 17.

Garden State Plaza – Paramus 
Through Sunday, December 23, 2018
At the Santa set on Macy's Court Level 2, the big guy will be taking requests—with occasional breaks to feed his reindeer. Photo packages start at $24.99, and for an extra $10, parents can purchase a digital download of their little ones sharing the spotlight with the man in the red suit. All packages come with a $20 promo code to Shutterfly as well (great for getting those holiday cards started). If having the WHOLE family in the picture, paws and all, makes a difference... the mall will also be hosting Monday night photo sessions for Santa and his four-legged furry friends. Pets must be on their best behavior, too—so make sure to bring a leash!

Freehold Raceway Mall – Freehold 
Through Monday, December 24, 2018
Santa is HO-HO-HO-ING, this time in HD! For a fun, high-tech experience, check out Freehold Mall for Santa HQ's Elf Academy presented by HGTV, which invites guests to stand in front of a Magic Mirror and be turned into one of Santa's elves. This North Pole–inspired setup will be situated on the Lower Level Nordstrom/JCPenny Court. Make a date with Santa and all of his elf helpers to see the magic of his workshop in real life! Dogs and cats are welcome November 26 and December 3, 10 and 17.

The Willowbrook Mall – Wayne
Through Monday, December 24, 2018
Make a date with Santa at Bloomingdale's Exhibit Court—and reserve a time to skip the line! Find a time that works best for you and the little ones, and save $5 on photo packages when booking between Monday and Wednesday (only through December 5). Don't forget to check the schedule of special events happening at the North Pole. From holiday PJ parties to ugly sweater soirees, there's no shortage of mix-and-mingle time with Kris Kringle. Furry friends are welcome Monday evenings, 5-8pm, through December 17.

Monmouth Mall – Eatontown
Through Monday, December 24, 2018
Santa makes a stop at the Monmouth Mall and brings a full roster of festive activities with him from now until Christmas Eve. Apart from daily photo ops, kids can look forward to a pajama party and breakfast with the big guy (hopefully with some extra milk & cookies), and a special few days to bring their fluffy friends, with proceeds benefiting local animal-friendly organizations. Even more special, parents who have children with special needs can rest assured their little ones still get their moment with Mr. Claus at Santa Cares Sensory Santa Experience on Sundays, December 2 and 9.  


Santaland at Macy's is by reservation only, which is a great idea to avoid long lines with kids. Photo by Jody Mercier

Macy's Herald Square – New York City
Now through Monday, December 24, 2018
The center of all things Christmas in the NY metro area is Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square. Once Santa arrives at the tail end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, he'll head up to the eighth floor of the iconic department store. There you’ll find a 13,000-square-foot replica of the North Pole, where caroling snowmen, reindeer, giant toy soldiers, a massive train display, and decked-out Christmas trees line the path to Santa. Due to this spot's popularity, Macy's is a reservations-only destination. That's right – to see this Santa, you'll need to book an appointment online. Macy's hopes it cuts down on the long lines of the past. Admission is free, but you'll pay for a photo package.

This post has been updated for 2018.

 

location: 
Atlantic City Pass Pro Shops
30 N Christopher Columbus Blvd.
08401 Atlantic City , NJ
Phone: 609-449-4500
39° 21' 30.3444" N, 74° 26' 20.9904" W
New Jersey
Cape May County Park & Zoo
707 Route 9 North
08210 Cape May Court House , NJ
Phone: 609-465-5271
39° 6' 7.0848" N, 74° 48' 40.428" W
New Jersey
Solberg Airport
39 Thor-Solberg Rd
08889 Whitehouse Station , NJ
Phone: 908-534-4000
40° 34' 47.1576" N, 74° 44' 5.406" W
New Jersey
Shoreline Harley-Davidson
671 Broadway
07740 Long Branch , NJ
Phone: 732-229-8518
40° 17' 57.7716" N, 74° 0' 22.5612" W
New Jersey
Heaven Hill Farm
451 NJ-94
07462 Vernon Township , NJ
Phone: 973-764-5144
41° 13' 16.5324" N, 74° 27' 12.3336" W
New Jersey
Medford Historical Society
275 Church Road
08055 Medford , NJ
Phone: 609-654-7767
39° 55' 1.2" N, 74° 48' 20.88" W
New Jersey
The Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of NJ
400 Fred Wehran Drive
07608 Teterboro , NJ
Phone: 201-288-6344
40° 51' 8.5788" N, 74° 3' 19.7964" W
New Jersey
Christmas Ice Caverns
437 US Highway 46
07004 Fairfield , NJ
Phone: 973-808-5639
40° 53' 4.8048" N, 74° 17' 17.7396" W
New Jersey
Johnson's Corner Farm
133 Church Rd
08055 Medford , NJ
Phone: 609-654-8643
39° 55' 12.36" N, 74° 51' 2.88" W
New Jersey
Bridgewater Sports Arena
1425 Frontier Rd
08807 Bridgewater , NJ
Phone: 732-627-0006
40° 34' 40.7604" N, 74° 34' 6.2112" W
New Jersey
Fire Me Up!
117 N Union Ave
07016 Cranford , NJ
Phone: 908-272-2600
40° 39' 25.632" N, 74° 18' 11.8512" W
New Jersey
Storybrook Land
6415 E Black Horse Pike,
08234 Egg Harbor Township , NJ
Phone: 609-641-7847
39° 25' 23.3904" N, 74° 35' 29.166" W
New Jersey
The Mall at Short Hills
1200 Morris Turnpike
07078 Short Hills , NJ
Phone: 973-376-7350
40° 44' 23.8632" N, 74° 21' 48.2868" W
New Jersey
Cherry Hill Mall
2000 NJ-38
08002 Cherry Hill , NJ
Phone: 856-662-7440
39° 56' 32.5932" N, 75° 1' 30.6948" W
New Jersey
Macy's Herald Square
151 W 34th Street
10001 New York , NY 40° 45' 2.8512" N, 73° 59' 22.2936" W
New York