American at the Brand in Glendale Ca
( Nov 15th to Dec 24th )
The Santa house there is to DIE for! I’ve never seen such a posh, enchanted cottage for St. Nick to sit on his bum and chat with kiddos.
I love that 5% of Santa’s House proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES AREA
Grinchmas™ - Universal Studios Hollywood (Nov. 28 - Dec. 29, 2019)
Get in the festive spirit with spectacular holiday experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood! Surrounded by holiday decor, you can celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, enjoy the most Who-tacular Grinchmas™ celebration ever, and end your day at Universal CityWalk, where you can enjoy world-class shopping, dining, and movies at the state-of-the-art Cinema.
Snap a selfie with The Grinch™ and Max for holiday memories that will last a lifetime, then enjoy the spectacular lighting of the spectacular 60-foot Seussian tree. Listen to cheery Christmas carols from the Who-ville singers, then decorate ornaments – prepare for messy fingers! Enjoy Martha May Who-vier and the Who-Dolls’ big holiday revue before settling in for story time with Cindy Lou Who.
Westfield Century City (Nov. 29 - Dec. 21, 2019) Santa arrives at Westfield Century Cityon Friday, November 29 and will be available to strike a pose while answering all your questions about the North Pole till December 21. Please note that Santa takes breaks to feed his reindeer every day from 1pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm and will be too busy to pose for photos at this time. Reserve your Santa photo Fast Pass today at the Westfield Century City website.
Westfield Topanga & The Village (Through Dec. 21, 2019) Celebrate the holidays and share your Christmas wish list with Santa himself at Westfield Topanga. Take home a keepsake photo for the whole family to treasure forever. Walk-in visits are welcome and all guests who take their photos with Santa before December 14 will receive a special gift! Bring your Santa photo receipt to Concierge to redeem. Want to skip the line? Make your reservations today.
Westfield Santa Anita (Through Dec. 24, 2019) Make the season extra merry and bright with a memorable Santa visit at Westfield Santa Anita. Photos with Santa are on a non-reservation check-in system that is first come, first-served. When a line forms, customers will receive a text to come back in line when their spot is ready. Get your Santa photos taken in November and get a free polar bear plush from Miniso (while supplies last) PLUS free Circus Vargas Kids Tickets with purchase of Santa photos.
Santa at American Girl - The Grove (December 2019)
The ever-popular American Girl at The Grove is hosting Santa for special brunch and dinner experiences throughout the holiday season. Whispering her wishes is an exciting holiday tradition, and a special pose with St. Nick is the perfect photo opportunity! These festive events includes one 5x7 keepsake photo per girl, plus a delicious brunch or dinner to enjoy during your visit. Pricing is $32 per person for dinner and $25 for brunch.
December 6: Santa Dinner (5:30-6:30pm)December 8: Santa Brunch (8:30-9:30am)December 13: Santa Dinner (5:30-6:30pm)December 15: Santa Brunch (8:30-9:30am)
On Sunday, December 22 American Girl is hosting Santa Brunch at 8:30am, followed by a noon performance of The Nutcracker at the world-famous Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Pricing is $80 per person, including parking at The Grove. Transportation and parking at the Dolby is not included.
For more info and to book your reservation, visit the American Girl website.
It's Holiday Time in Paleyland - The Paley Center for Media (Nov. 23, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020)
The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills celebrates the joy of the season with a special family-friendly experience. "It’s Holiday Time in PaleyLand" features screenings of beloved classic holiday TV programs from the Paley Archive, along with family holiday activities and a visit with Santa. Starting Saturday, November 30, visit with Santa and take a photo on weekends and select weekdays from 11am - 5pm. Families can also enjoy special holiday activities like arts & crafts, dreidel games, plus free hot cocoa!
Macy's Court at Glendale Galleria
PHOTOS WITH SANTA (Through Dec. 24, 2019) Create magical memories, make the holidays special, and take care of those wish lists—all in one place! Santa Photos at Glendale Galleria are brought to you by Lifetime. Share your favorite holiday snapshots using #ItsAWonderfulLifetime #LifetimeSantaSweeps and tag @LifetimeTV for a chance to win up to a $2k shopping spree courtesy of Lifetime. For official rules visit: mylifetime.com/lifetimesantasweepstakes.
PAW-FECT PICS WITH SANTA (Mondays through Dec. 16, 2019) Paw-fect Pics with Santa are back at Glendale Galleria! Santa is available for pet photos from 5pm to close at Macy's Court every Monday through December 16. Dogs and cats only please. Make your FastPass reservation at the Glendale Galleria website.
ORANGE COUNTY AREA
(credit: Irvine Park)
Irvine Regional Park 1 Irvine Park Road Orange, CA 92869 (714) 997-3968 www.irvineparkrailroad.org
Every year at Irvine Regional Park, you’ll find the Christmas train, which takes children through the park, and drops them off at the North Pole to visit Santa. This is a great option because it gives kids a memorable experience. Also, it means that you don’t have to go to a mall. Let’s face it: avoiding a mall at Christmastime is always welcome. Tickets are available at the Irvine Park Railroad website. The Christmas train runs through Dec. 23.
This year, head to South Coast Plaza where you’ll find Santa’s Village. A charming area of the mall that looks like something you would see in a movie, you’ll be able to have your photo taken with Santa (available as long as the mall is open through Christmas Eve) and kids can enjoy the train, the reindeer carousel and the craft center as well. This area will definitely keep your kids occupied while waiting for a photo with Santa.
Fashion Island is known for its festive decorations – particularly its giant Christmas tree. It is also known for Santa House. This is a charming setup where your kids can visit the jolly man and get a photo with him in a great setting on the Atrium lawn. Photos with Santa are not available every day at Fashion Island, so make sure you consult the schedule and plan accordingly.
If avoiding malls is something you want to do when it comes to getting photos of your children with Santa, then Roger’s Gardens is a great place to visit. While there is something magical about avoiding malls, that’s not the only magical thing about this experience. Photos with Santa are taken in the original Disneyland bandstand gazebo. Photos here are available until Dec. 20, so make sure to plan your visit before then.
Children can often be overwhelmed by the experience of meeting with Santa. It’s understandable. At a lot of places, there is a lot for a child to absorb in the whole scene surrounding Santa. At Brea Mall, the setup is charmingly simple. Here, you’ll find Santa in a chair big enough to accommodate him and a couple siblings that have come to visit him. Photos are available until Christmas Eve. Appointments are available here too, which is nice because then your kids won’t have to wait in a long line to meet Santa.
SAN DIEGO AREA
Santa Brunch & Holiday Festival at Hotel del Coronado
Head to Hotel del Coronado's Holiday Festival for a merry start to the holiday season! Spend time in Santa’s Village and enjoy a professional ice skating show, carnival games and prizes, skating by the sea, fireworks, a holiday performance by Coronado's schools, visits and photos with Santa and much more.
Date: Dec. 11 Time: 4-7 p.m. Cost: Varies based on activities; photos with Santa are $15/photo
The Del also offers a Sunday Brunch with Santa! Kids of all ages are invited to meet St. Nick in the Crown Room during this festive meal. Parents, be sure to bring your cameras to take photos of your little ones catching up with Mr. Claus.
Date: Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 Cost: Adults/$105; Kids 4-10/$40; Kids under 3/free
1500 Orange Ave. Coronado, CA 92118 619-435-6611 Online: hoteldel.com
Santa by the Sea, Del Mar
Santa Claus is coming to Del Mar Village! Before the big meet and greet, kids can create holiday crafts including Rad Hatter Holiday hats and write notes to be delivered to Santa's workshop while enjoying holiday treats like soup shooters and hot chocolate. Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch and Candy Land’s Mr. Mint will join in the fun. Revelers are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit children in need.
Date: Sun., Dec. 8 Time: 3-5 p.m. (tree lighting is at 5 p.m.) Cost: Free
Del Mar Village Camino Del Mar & 15th St. Del Mar, CA Online: visitdelmarvillage.com/santa-by-the-sea
Santa Breakfast, Bernardo Winery
Wake up, smell the coffee and enjoy a mimosa and brunch while the kids mingle with Kris Kringle at Bernardo Winery. In addition to face-time with Santa, kids will also enjoy face painting, crafts, and animal encounters with creatures from Wild Wonders. Book your reservation soon because the tickets go fast.
Dates: Dec. 16-21 Cost: Presale only, tickets via Eventbrite––no tickets day of event
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte San Diego, CA
858-487-1866 Online: bernardowinery.com
Christmas in the Valley, Bates Nut Farm
Your little helpers will be amazed as Santa arrives by fire truck. Then they get to take a Polar Express ride to visit Old Saint Nick himself. There are also crafts, carols and plenty of holiday fun. Bonus: you can check a few people off your holiday gift list at the cute shops.
Dates: Dec. 13 & 14 Time: Fri., 3-8 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
15954 Woods Valley Rd. Valley Center, CA 760-749-3333 Online: batesnutfarm.biz
Botanic Wonderland: Holiday Nights in the Garden
Gather your family and friends and come spend an evening (or two!) at the all new Botanic Wonderland! Held in the Garden's brand new Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, this family-friendly festival contains many of the holiday traditions you’ve come to know and love over the years at the Garden, as well as some fantastic new ones! For the first time ever, select areas of Hamilton Children’s Garden and Toni’s Treehouse will be lit up and ready to play in during December evening hours. Go celebrate and explore the new educational space filled with unique and unusual tropical plants, many of which have never been displayed before at the Garden.
Dates: Various dates in Dec., 5-8:30 p.m. Cost: Prices vary. Cost breakdown available here.
San Diego Botanic Gardens 230 Quail Gardens Dr. Encinitas, CA 760-436-3036 Online: sdbgarden.org/botanicwonderland Santa's Village in San Marcos
Head to Santa's Village and Tree Lighting at San Marcos Civic Center. This free event includes fun for the whole family. Get a photo with Santa Claus between 1-4:30 p.m. There will be free festive crafts and activities, as well as vendors selling their wares and snacks. Entertainment will be featured in the courtyard, and the tree lighting is at 5:35 p.m. Don’t miss the ‘snow’ right after the tree lighting!
Additionally, the City offers a Breakfast with Santa which includes a free photo! The breakfast is from 7:30-11 a.m. on Dec. 14 and tickets may be purchased here.
Date: Dec. 7 Time: 1-7 p.m.
San Marcos Civic Center 1 Civic Center Dr. San Marcos, CA Online: san-marcos.net
Cardiff-by-the-Sea welcomes you to a free festive holiday celebration for the entire community. Come get free photos with Surfing Santa in his vintage Camera Camper Sleigh. Listen and dance to lively musical performances throughout the afternoon with kid favorites Bucket Ruckus and Hullabaloo Band. Sample açaí bites from Sambazon, sip on hot coffee or hot chocolate for the kiddos from Starbucks, provided free to guests thanks to the generous support of these local businesses. Drink up for a cause at the Lost Abbey Confessional, they will be hosting a Happy Hour fundraiser to benefit the Cardiff community from 1-5 p.m. Bring your reusable mugs and bottles to fill up as well! For the big finale, stay nearby as they flip the switch at 5 p.m. for the festive tree lighting ceremony.
Dates: Dec. 1, 1-5 p.m. Cardiff Town Center North Courtyard Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007 760-436-0431 Online: cardiff101.com/kringlemingle
Breakfast with Surfin' Santa
Have breakfast with Surfin' Santa! This special morning with everyone's favorite jolly guy includes a full breakfast, picture with Santa, face painting, balloon artists and kids show. Don't miss it!
Dec. 14; $25/person
For double the fun, before you head to breakfast with Surfin' Santa, watch him arrive to shore in San Diego. The longstanding Seaport Village tradition of Santa surfing in to greet revelers returns for the 14th year on Nov. 30, 2019 at 1 p.m. Named one of the ten best Santa sightings by USA Today, Santa will break out his boardshorts and favorite Hawaiian shirt to visit Seaport Village. Arrive early to see Surfin’ Santa cruise in from the San Diego Bay by watercraft, and enjoy a day of live music by the Surfin’ Santa Band, free photos with Santa on his giant surfboard, and more!
Nov. 30; free
Simply a Snapshot with Santa
Westfield UTC Santa lands his sleigh near Pottery Barn, so head on over to greet him. When done with your holiday pics, stop by the new playground so your little snow angels can run around. Finally, it's time to get that holiday shopping in!
Dates: Nov. 15-Dec. 24
4545 La Jolla Village Dr. San Diego, CA 92122 858-546-8858 Online: westfield.com/utc
Seaport Village Perfect professional photos of your little tykes with Mr. Claus are taken at this festive outdoor shopping spot. Pay $35 for a flash drive with all captured photos. Perfect professional photos of your little tykes with Mr. Claus are taken at this festive outdoor shopping spot. Pay $35 for a flash drive with all captured photos.
Dates: Nov. 16-Dec. 23; Weds.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Seaport Village 849 West Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101 619-530-0704 Online: seaportvillage.com/holidays/photos-with-santa
Grossmont Center Dash into Santa's festively decorated hut for that special photo-op. Let your little ones tell Santa what’s on their list. You can book an appointment or just show up. Pics available for purchase. Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Grossmont Center 5500 Grossmont Center Dr. La Mesa, CA 91942 619-465-2900 Online: grossmontcenter.com
The Shoppes at Carlsbad We may not get snow in San Diego, but we have plenty of Santa sightings in town. Find Santa waiting on the lower level near Macy's Court. Pictures are available to purchase. Also, sign-up for a fast pass and skip the line!
Pet pictures with Santa are also available Dec. 2-16!
Dates: Nov. 29-Dec. 24
2525 El Camino Real Carlsbad, CA 92008 760-729-6183 Online: theshoppesatcarlsbad.com
Fashion Valley Ready, set, smile! Grab the crew and take a family photo with Santa. You'll find him ready to listen to lists and smile for that famous photo in front of Macy's.
Dates: Starting Nov. 7
7007 Friars Road San Diego, CA 92108 619-298-0381 Online: fashion-valley/santa-photo-experience