Santa Sightings Outside the Mall
Avoid the shopping bustle with these fun spots.
‘Tis the season to browse crowded malls, but your crew might prefer something more unique this year. Not to worry: there are loads of places to meet and greet Santa, from the zoo to a pancake breakfast. Here’s where to see the man in red.
On December 10 and 17, it’s Santa Saturday at the site of the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show. Buy tickets in advance and share milk and cookies with Kris Kringle in the heated, indoor pavilion. Or take an “Elfie Selfie” with him when he strolls the fountain area later. Even pets can get in on the fun on December 10, for Santa Paws Saturday.
The Christmas Village that usually lives in Love Park has been moved just outside City Hall this year. Expect to see St. Nick hosting visitors in his own little house on weekends. Bring the kids to meet him and photograph the moment!
Experience a traditional Philly Christmas: see the classic light show on the ground floor before travelling upstairs and seeing the Christmas Carol display. The Dickens Christmas Village also holds a concession for photos with Santa.
The Comcast Center is best known for its big-screen spectacle this time of year, but don’t forget that a whole village of shops is located just downstairs! Santa frequents the village on Saturdays and Sundays.
Besides enjoying the holiday hot chocolate bar and perusing the little elves’ gift shop, make sure to stop by the treehouse while you’re at the Philadelphia Zoo’s sweet and fun event. That’s where Santa is set up on December 10 and 11 to listen to your holiday wishes and pose for a photo.
Bring a holiday card for your favorite animal, and Santa’s helpers will hand-deliver your greeting that day. Rejoice in the enchanting holiday season and experience the red pandas exploring, the polar bear frolicking, and cats roaming about in Big Cat Crossing, while enjoying the season’s crisp winter air.
This children’s favorite is going all out on December 11. The Philly POPS Festival Brass will set the holly jolly mood while you and your family meet and greet Kris Kringle himself.
On Saturdays, Santa will be at the Market on the Fareway; on Sundays, he’ll be in residence at Laurel Hill Gardens. He works from noon — 3 pm, so catch him while he’s there!
Show Santa which roof is yours, to make sure he doesn’t skip you. He and Mrs. Claus will be 57 floors up on Saturdays and Sundays in December from 11 am — 2 pm.
Everyone in the family can get into the holiday spirit at this Fishtown favorite. Santa will be here on December 10 and 11 from 10:30 am — 3 pm, and on December 17 and 18 from 10:30 am — 4 pm. You can take your own photos, enjoy some free hot cocoa, and rock out to live music. Oh, and there’s beer!
Enjoy music, a buffet, and a photo op at the Hard Rock Cafe December 17 and 18. Every child gets a goodie bag, too.
On Saturdays and Sundays, Santa and his elves visit Christmasland at Linvilla. Say hello to Saint Nick, let the kids list their magic wishes, take a snapshot, and check out the craft corner activities as well.
From December 14-23, Santa Claus himself will join the warm holiday glow of State Street as he awaits visitors in the local FMFCU. Bring smiles and a camera!
The promise of good-morning pancakes and ho-ho-ho laughter could entice the little ones out of bed and into the Community Recreation and Environmental Center in Haverford on December 11!
On December 11, kids can hang with Santa, while parents enjoy mimosas and great food. Fantástico!
The kids will love seeing the fire engines almost as much as they will love meeting Santa. Join Mr. Claus for some breakfast December 11!
Luckily for local families, another fire company opens its doors for Santa, community, and yummy breakfast foods on December 11.
Each Saturday and Sunday in December offers two Santa breakfast times at the world-famous Longwood Gardens!
On December 7, celebrate the season with Santa and Mrs. Claus while costumed characters, model trains, and entertainment deck the halls. Of course the Cookie Land treats will be delicious and your family will feel jolly.
Not only does this fun event benefit the Kennett Fire Company, but it also collects non-perishable food items for the Kennett Area Food Cupboard! Get your picture and breakfast with Santa while helping the community on December 18.
This holiday tradition held at Timothy’s offers yet another great opportunity to meet the big man in red. And it doesn’t stop at breakfast — the kids can also decorate their own gingerbread men!
Worth a Short Drive
On select Saturdays, Sundays, and weekdays, get your family photos with Santa right at the front of the park, and then enjoy everything else that the Winter Wonderland has to offer! Santa’s Workshop is just the beginning.
What a cozy time of year to brunch the morning away at beautiful Winterthur! Santa wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Weekends at Sesame Place are Christmas celebration time! Santa takes up residence in his Furry Workshop and the park transforms into a wonderland of lights, shows, shops, and decorations. Can’t make it before Christmas? The park is open weekdays between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Photographs courtesy of Christmas Village in Philadelphia.