Best places to see Santa in Chicago


Believe it or not, some day you'll cherish that photo of your toddler screaming on Santa's lap. But in the meantime, this year holds another possibility of capturing the iconic moment of the annual visit to Santa-maybe with fewer tears this time.

Here are a few prime spots for the shot in the city.


John Hancock Observatory's Santa in the Sky

My sources say this is the best Santa EVER, soaring high above the city at 1,000 feet.

At the Observatory, Santa's helper Seemore Miles (the Observatory mascot) helps guests feel the holiday spirit. Everyone who visits gets a free family photo, face painting and free child ticket to Shedd Aquarium. For an additional fee, you can eat breakfast with Santa in the clouds.

Open 1-5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 24.


Lincoln Park Zoo's ZooLights

The switch for the lights at the zoo was flipped on at the end of November, but the lights will stay on through the holidays for families from all over to experience the joy of seeing a magnificent light show in one of Chicago's greatest tourist attractions.

And Santa, you ask? He can be found in the Kovler Lion House.

Zoo Lights is open December 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 26-31, but Santa heads back to the North Pole after Dec. 23.


Macy's on State Street

Nothing says Christmas in Chicago like celebrating on State Street at the former Marshall Field's building (now Macy's).

Between the tree lighting ceremony in the Walnut Room, the amazing window displays and Santa's workshop, Macy's has meeting Santa down to a tee. You can even have breakfast with Santa on Saturday or Sunday mornings Dec. 1-23.


Christkindlmarket Chicago

Not to be outdone by its Loop neighbor, Christkindlmarket is a veritable snowstorm of Christmas tchotchke, German food, drinks and all-around Christmas celebration.

Also, the market is home to Santa's House, where children and families can enjoy the wonders of the North Pole and get their photo taken with Santa. Ho, ho ho! Open through Dec. 24.


Santa visits Little Beans Café

Finally, if trekking downtown is too much for your brood, why not try something a little more low key at everyone's favorite city play space, Little Beans Café? On Dec. 14, Santa will be visiting Little Beans for their holiday party. Santa photos included!

Kids Eat Chicago

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