Santa has the magical ability to be in several places at once and often for only a few hours. To help you pin St. Nick down, here is a selection of fun venues where he will appear on a regular basis throughout the holiday season. Do remember, though, that Santa sometimes has to take a break for milk and cookies, so build a little extra time into your schedule. And while some of the winter wonderlands are still open after Christmas, Santa always returns to the North Pole on December 24th. And for more fun this month, check out our Holiday Guide.
If you are looking for a full day of entertainment, the Bayville Adventure Park Winter Wonderland and the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery will certainly fit the bill:
Bayville Adventure Park's Winter Wonderland - Bayville
Come meet Santa at this beach side winter holiday park. Admission includes a fun house, train ride, skating, and a light show. A photo with Santa and a letter from Santa are available for an additional charge. The outdoor miniature golf and rope-bridge climbing areas are open weather permitting. Tickets are $22.75 per person and includes:
- Santa's Toy Factory Funhouse
- Captain Bay's Yo Ho Holiday Light Show
- Bayville Holiday Express Train Ride
- Ice Skating Adventure
- Ice Skate Rentals
- Bradley Bay's Rock Climbing
- Holiday Character Meet and Greet
- Holiday Arts and Crafts
- Holiday Story Telling
- Hermit Crab Races
Dart's Christmas Tree Farm
Dart's opens up the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. Kids can sit on Santa's lap on Saturdays and Sundays 12pm-4pm.
Photo courtesy of Hicks Farms
Hicks Nursery - Westbury
Santa will be in the store daily, Monday-Friday 1pm-4pm and 5pm-8pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-1pm and 2pm-6pm from November 245h through December 23rd. Guests can also visit live reindeer at the Reindeer Sanctuary. There is also a walk-through animated holiday story open from November 11th through December 31st as well as a store with wonderful displays of holiday villages. Admission to Hicks is free. The nursery, a family business since 1853, is collecting nonperishable food items to donate to the Long Island Cares food bank. It sells fresh-cut Christmas trees and holiday greenery. Check Hicks's website for coupons.
Long Island Aquarium - Riverhead
Guests can come right to the Long Island Aquarium to get their pictures taken with Santa- families, children- or even pets! Pets must be on a leash or in a carrier. Aquarium Admission is not included (or required) with the purchase of the Santa Photo Package. Fridays-Sundays,10am-4pm, November 27-29, December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 2015
Old Westbury Gardens - Westbury
Head over to this beautiful Long Island spot to start a new Christmas tradition. On most Saturdays and Sundays in December, see Santa, eat some cookies and cider, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Check website for hours. It's $12 for general admission, $7 for children, and members are free.
Roosevelt Field Mall - Garden City
Santa has officially landed! Located in the North Court of the Mall, children can pop by for a visit to whisper their wish list in Santa's ear and take a keepsake special photo. Please check mall website for exact hours.
Photo courtesy of Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
The farm is opening Black Friday through Christmas Eve, seven days a week from 9am-5pm. Santa visits every Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-5pm and kids can enjoy a train ride and Charlie Brown Land.
Smith Haven Mall - Lake Grove
Since early November (and through Christmas Eve) guests to the Smith Haven Mall have been able to sit on Santa's lap. Please check their website for exact times since they vary by day.
Pam the Penguin met Santa at the Long Island Aquarium.
Walt Whitman Mall - Huntington Station
Visitors to Walt Whitman can make their appointment to see Santa online for just $10. Santa will be there most days from just after 10am to around 8pm.
Photo courtesy of White Post Farms
White Post Farms - Melville
Beginning right after Thanksgiving (and most Saturdays and Sundays in December), children can come meet Santa and the Mensch on the Bench! There are also candy cane hunts and holiday train rides. White Post Farms only accepts cash and there is an ATM on the premises for convenience.
Top photo: Bigstock
Updated for 2016.