Where to See Santa in Chicagoland

These experiences make the visit with Santa extra special.

Looking at the calendar, it feels crazy to be thinking about Christmas. But Santa Claus is coming to town – and in some cases, he’s already arrived.

And unlike in our childhoods, when visiting Santa usually amounted to a loooong wait in a crowded shopping mall for a quick pic with the jolly elf, today’s Santa experiences have a lot more to offer.

Here are our favorite places to see Santa in Chicago and the suburbs. Ho ho ho!

Photos with Santa at MSI Chicago

Nov. 18-Dec. 23, 2021

On select days, families can visit Santa in his festive photo studio inside the Holiday Store. A souvenir photo is included in the purchase. While you there, check out the annual holiday event, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Lights.

Santa’s Workshop at Gallagher Way

Nov. 26-Dec. 19, 2021

Between ice skating, Christmas movies, Christkindlmarket and the other holiday activities at Gallagher Way, you can also visit Santa on weekends! You can find Santa’s Workshop at the base of the Cubs building, near the Cubs Store at Gallagher Way. Pets are also allowed on Sundays.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Through Dec. 23, 2021

If you’re attending Lincoln Park Zoo’s holiday light display before Christmas, you might have a chance to see Santa. Socially-distanced photos with Santa are available from 4-9 p.m. at the Helen Branch Primate House.

Macy’s Santaland

Through Dec. 24, 2021

  • Address: 111 N. State St., Chicago
  • Cost: Free admission

On the 5th floor in Macy’s State Street location, go over your wish list with Jolly Old St. Nick. This location is great when enjoying more holiday activities in The Loop. Plus, virtual experiences are available Nov. 26-Dec. 24.

Santa at 900 North Michigan Shops

Nov. 20-Dec. 24, 2021

While you’re enjoy holiday activities, reserve a spot to visit Santa at 900 Shops. Don’t worry about waiting in line because this mall is only taking reservations. Guests can spend some time with Santa and quickly take off their masks when they’re ready for their photo.

Santa Sunday at Museum of Illusions

Nov. 28-Dec. 19, 2021

Spend the holidays at Museum of Illusions with Santa as the special guest. You’ll find him wandering around the museum and who can say no to taking a photo with Santa in the Vortex Tunnel? Plus, kids will receive a special holiday treat at the end of their visit.

Santa on the Farm

Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 2021

Enjoy some farm fun in the winter season! Schedule a visit with Santa inside Abbey Farms’ Nagel Farmstand Emporium. Each visit will receive hot chocolate, apple cider doughnuts, coloring books and crayons, and a special gift from Santa.

Holiday Tradition Package at Santa Suite

Dec. 4-19, 2021

Do you know where Santa stays while he is in town? At Swissotel Chicago’s Santa Suite, of course! Families are invited to hang out at his home away from the North Pole in this private experience featuring a visit with Santa, hot cocoa bar, holiday treats and champagne, keepsake ornament, cookie decorating and crafts, and more. A $50 donation of the total price will be made to SOS Children’s Villages Illinois.

Dreezy Claus

Virtual bookings available

  • Cost: $35

Known as Chicago’s Black Santa, you can book a virtual visit with Dreezy Claus for up to 15 minutes. Kids can chat via video chat to talk about what they want for Christmas and more. Physical visits are also available starting at $50.

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