Santa has the magical ability to be in several places at once, but often for only a few hours at a time.
To help you pin down St. Nick, here's a sample of fun venues where he will appear on a regular basis throughout the holiday season. Remember, though, Santa sometimes has to take a break for milk and cookies, so build a little extra time into your schedule. And while some winter wonderlands remain open after Christmas, Santa returns to the North Pole on Christmas Eve, December 24.
For more seasonal adventures, check out our list of Polar Express Santa trains in the New York City and Long Island areas, and these great holiday shows in the region.
Bayville Adventure Park's Winter Wonderland — Bayville
Join Santa on Fridays from 6 to 10pm; Saturdays from 3 to 10pm; or Sundays from 3 to 9pm between November 23 and January 1. An adult ticket is $23.75 and includes admission to Santa's Toy Factory Fun House, holiday mini-golf, and express train ride, ice skating, skate rentals, rock climbing, and arts and crafts. The Magical Santa Experience is an additional $13 and includes photos for a family of up to six people.
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Share your secret wish list with Santa at Hicks Farms. Photo courtesy of Hicks Farms
Hicks Nursery — Westbury
Santa is present each Monday through Friday from 1 to 4pm, and from 5 to 8pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, he jingles on by between 10am and 1pm, and again between 2 and 6pm. There are special Santa hours on November 23 between 10am and 1pm, and again from 2 to 6pm. You can bring your own camera. Kids and grown-ups can enjoy hot beverages and live music while they amble through the nursery on weekends. And of course, guests can enjoy the sparkling Christmas displays and holiday greenery free of charge.
Old Westbury Gardens — Westbury
Take in the elegant Christmas decor and the time-period touches at the stately mansion, where Santa visits on December 1, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for kids ages 7-17. Folks can enjoy Santa as well as cookies and cider.
Roosevelt Field Mall — Garden City
You can take photos with Santa by the train on the lower level of the mall from now until December 24, most days between 10am and 9pm. Times vary by an hour or two on some days so be sure to check the website before you go. While the cost of seeing Santa is free, you must pay for photos to take home.
Meet Santa and penguin Pam at the Long Island Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
Long Island Aquarium — Riverhead
The aquarium's Santa brunch and photo-op is December 16 from 10 to 11:30am. It is $54.95 for adults and $26.95 for kids ages 3 through 12. Brunch price also includes tickets to the aquarium.
Northport Sweet Shop — Northport
Come see Santa on December 1 or 8 from 1 to 3pm and take your own pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. A fixed price of $20 per adult or $15 per child includes a meal, drink, and dessert. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, or you can call 917-854-6175 to reserve a table.
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Take a playful train ride around the grounds at Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
Santa serves up holiday cheer at Shamrock every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm. There is also a train that carries kids around the farm to view the Christmas trees; a fire pit, live music, live oyster shucking, a gift shop, and wine tasting for grown-ups.
Smith Haven Mall — Lake Grove
Santa is seated at the center court for photos from 10am until 9pm most days, although you should check the mall's website for slight variations. There is also a Caring Santa specializing in taking photos with children of all abilities on Sundays from 8:30 to 10:30am from November 25 until December 16. Caring Santa makes adjustments to accommodate the physical, sensory, and developmental needs of all children.
Walt Whitman Mall — Huntington Station
Visitors to Walt Whitman can make their appointment to see Santa online. Santa is there most days from just after 10am to about 8pm. You can also reserve a Fastpass online allowing you to skip to the front of the line upon arrival. A Caring Santa is available to accommodate children with different abilities on December 2 and 9 from 9 to 11am.
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Santa is but one part of the holiday celebration at White Post Farms. Photo courtesy of White Post Farms
White Post Farms — Melville
Children visiting this fifth-generation family farm can meet Santa and the "Mensch on the Bench." There are also candy cane hunts and holiday train rides. The farm only accepts cash; there is an ATM on the premises. Every Saturday and Sunday beginning November 24, children and adults can pay a $15.95 admission fee that includes free Santa photos, animal farm entry, a singing chick show, and entrance to the monkey barn.
Writer Rebekah Yahoves contributed to this post, which was updated for 2018.