4 ways to shake up your Santa routine

Maybe you like to brunch. Or maybe you’re a fan of those train rides. Or maybe you’re lucky if you find time to wait in a line at the mall for just a few precious moments with the star of the season. In any case, it’s safe to say that it might be time to shake up your Santa routine.

Here are four fun ways to try!

If you’re a fan of breakfast meet-and-greets but don’t need bacon and eggs, check out Donuts with Santa. This get-together with Kris Kringle and his elf friend, Sparkle, includes the chance to decorate doughnuts from DeEtta’s Bakery, take part in a holiday story, and of course, snap a pic with the jolly old elf. $18, $12 resident. 9-10 a.m. Dec. 20. Naperville Park District, 305 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. (630) 848-5000.

Just because he’s a big guy doesn’t mean Santa can’t rock some figure skates. At Skate with Santa, St. Nicholas demonstrates his straight-outta-the-North-Pole moves on the city’s new ice ribbon alongside kids 3-15. Wonder if he’ll show off a salchow or toe loop? Bring your own ice skates or rent them there. $10. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 5. Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago. (312) 552-3000.

Forget the snazzy red and white suit; we’d love to see Santa in a bowling shirt. And maybe we will at Bowling with Santa, Oakbrook Terrace’s breakfast-and-bowling extravaganza. Hopefully your strikes and spares won’t be miracles worthy of 34th Street. $25 kids 2-5, $20 residents 2-5; $38 kids 6 and up, $30 residents 6 and up. 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 12. Pinstripes, 7 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook. (630) 627-6100.

This might look like your typical holiday party, but the guests are what makes it extraordinary. Special Kids Day hosts a Visit with Santa, which includes face painting, music and merry-making for kids with special needs (and their families). Plus there will be a photo op with Santa Claus. We have a feeling you won’t even have to say “cheese” to get a big smile. Free. 3:30-8 p.m. Dec. 2. Wilder Mansion, 211 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst.

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