With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to start getting ready for Christmas. With so many holiday activities and events to choose from, figuring out which ones will actually let you catch a glimpse of the big man himself, and maybe even capture some one-on-one time, can be a daunting process. So we're making things easy for you with this list of Greater Philly ongoing and one-time events where you kids are guaranteed to see Santa. Take a break from your baking, shopping, and party planning duties, and spend fun quality time with your family this holiday season.
1. Santa Saturdays at Franklin Square Park - Philadelphia
Take in the free Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show and see Santa on Saturdays until December 31.
2. Santaland at Macy's Center City - Philadelphia
Since the 1950s, this destination has been a Philadelphia Christmas delight. Until year's end, you'll be able to watch an indoor light show, view a Dickens-inspired holiday display, and sit with Santa.
3. Breakfast with Santa at the Philadelphia Zoo - Philadelphia
Throughout December, register to enjoy a breakfast buffet with the man in red and snag a few photos with him too.
4. Santa in the Market at the Comcast Center - Philadelphia
Weekends are for Santa at this Philadelphia venue. Grab some lunch and do some Christmas shopping while you're there.
Playing Santa is part of the holiday fun! Photo courtesy of the author
5. Weekends with Santa - Chestnut Hill - Visit the Market at the Fareway on Saturdays from 12pm to 3pm beginning on December 8. Laurel Hill on Sundays from 1-3pm beginning on December 2.
6. Christmas Around the Farm at Linvilla Orchards - Media
Besides visiting with Santa, you can cut down your own Christmas tree, take a hay ride, roast marshmallows, and enjoy some hot cocoa.
7. Christmas Village at Santa's House - Philadelphia
Center City's Love Park has been transformed into an open-air Christmas destination inspired by traditional German markets. Shop local artisans, sip mulled wine, have a schnitzel, and then enjoy some time with Santa.
8. Feeney's - Feasterville
You'd never expect a garden center and nursery to deck the halls so festively. As soon as you open the front door, you step into a Christmas wonderland. Walk through the many rooms in this store, which is chock full of indoor and outdoor holiday decorations and unique gifts. Check out the animated Christmas displays, Irish Christmas room, Byers Choice figurines, and more before you head to see Santa.
9. North Pole Express & Santa's Steamland Spectacular - New Hope
Buy a ticket to board one of these two trains in New Hope. Take a ride and get up close and personal with Santa.
10. Breakfast with Santa at Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square
Throughout November and December, families can enjoy a delectable breakfast buffet and meet the big man himself. Tickets are $23 for children 2-11 years old and $34 for those older. Children 2 and under are free.
11. Brunch with Santa and Santa's Workshop at Elmwood Park Zoo - Norristown
In addition to brunch with Santa, a photo op, and a craft, kids enjoy entrance to the zoo, where they'll be able to see Santa's workshop and his reindeer. This activity runs Saturdays and Sundays throughout December.
12. Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm - Yardley
Head to the Farm Market to take a picture with Santa. Then roast marshmallows by a warm fire pit while you sip hot cocoa. Don't leave before taking a ride through the spectacular Christmas light display strewn through two miles of farmland.
13. Christmas at Peddler's Village - Lahaska
On weekends, now through December 23, Giggleberry Fair will offer photos with Santa. Opportunities for breakfast or dinner with St. Nick are also available.
14. A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place - Langhorne
Check out Santa's Furry Workshop for a photo experience with Santa and meet Rudolph. Sensory-friendly activities abound here as well, including a low stimulation holiday light display and story time.
15. Santa Sundays, Bucks County Visitors Center - Bensalem
Now through mid-December, come with your camera and capture your children whispering their Christmas lists to Santa. Pet lovers, mark your calendars for December 16, when Santa will be taking pictures with pets.
16. Santa's House - Lansdale
On Thursday and Friday nights as well as late Saturday mornings, Santa will be onsite for pictures.
17. Cookies with Santa at Dutch Wonderland - Lancaster
Enjoy a theme park and a Santa moment all in one. Stay until dark and marvel at the park's holiday light show.
18. Sit with Santa at King of Prussia Mall - King of Prussia
Why not combine shopping with a Santa visit at the largest mall on the East Coast?
19. Christmas Underwater at Camden Aquarium - Camden, NJ
This holiday season, your aquarium admission lets you peer at Scuba Santa and view an underwater Christmas tree. You can also buy tickets to have milk and cookies with Father Christmas.
20. Sit with Santa - Collingswood, NJ
This NJ town is close enough to the city to make this list. Make the short drive to Extraordinary Ed toy store on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and mark some Christmas shopping of your list while you're there. Throughout December, shop owners in the borough will be distributing holographic glasses, so plan to stay until nighttime to view the holiday lights through unique lenses.
21. Brandywine River Museum - Chadds Ford
December 5, 2018
Buy a ticket to the children's Christmas party on December 5, from 6-8pm. Kids can enjoy cookies with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Kids can also get their faces painted and play with model trains.
22. Independence Seaport Museum - Philadelphia
December 8, 2018
Snag a photo with Santa, who'll be arriving at 2pm. Then beginning at 5:30pm, view the Parade of Lights and Santa's Workshop on the Delaware River. Kids can also make a gingerbread boat.
23. Palace Roller Skating Rink - Philadelphia
December 15, 2018
Head to Northeast Philly to skate with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch. Kids under 10 will have a designated skate time from 11am-1pm, with an all ages skating session beginning at 1pm.
24. Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia
December 15, 2018
Buy tickets to the Polar Express Family Festival with Santa, complete with a meet and greet.
Be sure to let us know about your holiday adventures with Santa by visiting our Facebook page. Happy holidays!
Lead photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium.