Where to See Santa in Chicagoland

Are you looking for a unique event for your kids to visit Kris Kringle? If so, check out these fun Santa experiences in Chicagoland.

The holidays are always a busy time. Are you wondering how you’re going to squeeze in a photo with the big guy, but still have time for see the holiday lights a and participate in other winter fun? We’ve got you covered with these holiday events where you can see Santa Claus, as well.

Christmas Town

Nov. 11-Dec. 23, 2023 (Saturdays-Sundays) 

Check out Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of reindeer, then visit with Santa Claus. Kids will earn a “stable elf” diploma and take part in baby reindeer flight school training sessions. Online reservations are required.

Santa at 900 Shops

Nov. 19-Dec. 24, 2023

Come out to visit with Santa at 900 North Michigan Shops on Level 3. Santa will be in a vintage sleigh with hundreds of tiny holiday lights. Online reservations required.

Photos with Santa at ZooLights

Nov. 17-Dec. 23, 2023

When taking in the holiday lights at the zoo, visitors can take a photo with Santa in The Pepper Family Wildlife Center, which will be transferred into the North Pole. Dec. 6 is sensory-friendly night.

Magical Christmas

Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2023

See over 3 million lights synchronized to holiday music at this one-of-a-kind drive through experience. At the end of the drive through, you’ll be able to park your car and meet and take a photo with Santa Claus. Also, a 300 feet tube slide, entertainment and hot cocoa and funnel cakes for purchase. Online reservations are required.

Santa in the Village!

Nov. 25-27; Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 2023 

Do your holiday shopping and visit with Santa Claus. On Dec. 3, the pictures will be by the decorated bridge.

Santa’s Workshop

Nov. 27-Dec. 21, 2023

Families can enjoy a unique visit with Santa Claus inside his magical workshop. Bring your own camera. Dress for the weather. Advanced registration is required.

Holiday Express

Nov. 30; Dec. 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 2023 2023 

See Santa and his elves at Blackberry Farm for pictures. Also, holiday displays, Gingerbread School House, Little Elf Hobby Shoppe, Candy Cane Village, a gift shop, Sugar Plum Playland and more. Special Needs Night is Friday, Dec. 1 from 5-8 p.m. 

Kris Kringle Market

Dec. 1-2, 2023 

Shop from tons of vendors in two heated tents. Then, head to the Kids Korner, see Santa and eat at the food court.

Hyde Park Holly-Day

Dec. 2, 2023 

  • Locations vary by event
  • Cost: Free

Families can enjoy a day full of holiday activities including ice carving demonstrations, holiday crafts, ice sculptures, dance performances, costumed characters, live reindeer, Buddy the Elf, Brown Books & Paintbrushes and Soul Santa and Mrs. Claus. This event is sponsored by the University of Chicago.

Santa at the Gazebo

Dec. 2, 9, 2023

Enjoy a visit with Santa Claus and you’ll receive a free download of the photo taken afterwards.

Tree Lighting

Dec. 7, 2023 

Kick off the holiday season in Wilder Park and light community trees that surround the park. Kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy holiday festivities. 

Breakfast with Santa

Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 2023

Enjoy brunch at Magnolia Café & Bakery and visit with Santa in his workshop. Kids can choose a gift, get a temporary tattoo, make sand art and get a goodie bag to take home. Advanced reservations are required.

Home for the Holidays

Dec. 16, 2023 

  • Address: Downtown Oak Park area
  • Cost: Free 

Families and friends can head down to Lake Street & Marion Street for free sleigh rides, visits with Santa, hot cocoa and musical entertainment. Also, enjoy a free showing of The Polar Express at Lake Theater

Santaland at Macy’s

Through Dec. 24, 2023

Kids will be able to go over their wish list with Jolly Old St. Nick. This location is great when enjoying more holiday activities in The Loop. Reservations are required.

This post is updated annually. 

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