Where to Find Santa in and Around Philly

Santa! We know him! And we know where to find him!

santa claus frankford hall

Santa Claus is coming to town! / Photograph courtesy of Frankford Hall

Santa Claus is coming to town — all over town! Whether you’re looking for a meal with the big guy, a traditional photo op, or something completely different (Scuba Santa, anyone?), Philly’s got it all. Here are the best places to find him.

Santa has returned to Macy’s after two years of virtual-only visits. Head upstairs to Dickens Village to walk through an animatronic telling of A Christmas Carol, then visit Santa in his office. Kids can sit across the desk from him (not on his lap) for a photo. Professional photos are optional, and packages start at $40. Note that this year, online reservations are required to visit Dickens Village and Santa, so this will take a little more planning. Book your visit online, and if you can, try to time it with a showing of the light show. If you prefer to meet with St. Nick virtually, Macy’s still offers that as well.
Optional professional photos start at $40; Daily through December 24th, 1300 Market Street.

Christmas Village
While Santa’s house has typically been in the middle of this pop-up holiday market in LOVE Park, this year he’s moved to the periphery — you can find him on JFK, so expect to line up on the sidewalk. Unlike most Santa sightings on this list, these photos are not free, and you’re not allowed to take personal photos even if you are paying for the professional ones, so just be aware of that going in.
December 9th-11th and daily from December 16th-24th, 16th and JFK.

Santa at Christmas Village / Photograph courtesy of Christmas Village

Frankford Hall
This German beer hall in Fishtown gets decorated for the holidays, including their outdoor patio with cozy fire pits and heaters, s’mores kits and warm drinks like spiked apple cider. But families especially should be on the lookout for their popular “Frankford Hall-idays” weekends — planned for December 10th-11th and 17th-18th — when they’ll have free crafts, free hot cocoa, and free photos with Santa. They will also have some extra-festive food specials available, including a sugarplum milkshake and Christmas-themed Rice Krispie treats.
December 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th, 1210 Frankford Avenue.

Franklin Square
As part of Franklin Square’s holiday happenings, Santa will stroll around the park and take photos for free from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the next two Saturday nights before Christmas. Come on the evenings of December 10th and 17th for “Jingle and Mingle with Santa” events. Stick around for the light show every half-hour, Chilly Philly Mini Golf, treats around the fire pit and more festiveness.
December 10th and 17th, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 6th and Race streets.

Santa rides the Franklin Square carousel / Photograph courtesy of Visit Philadelphia

The Logan
If you’re looking for an extra-special family event where your kids can have some quality time with Santa, book a slot for Logan’s Holiday Magic on December 11th. You’ll be taken up to the Holiday Lodge suite by one of Santa’s helpers, hear a story from Mrs. Claus, write a letter to Santa, and finally meet the big man himself. The hotel collects information from parents ahead of time about the kids, so Santa can drop in some all-knowing details about how nice they’ve been this year. Old City Santa will be on hand to take photos, which you’ll have the option to purchase, as well. Plus, the parents get welcome cocktails and the kids leave with cookie-decorating kits. The 20-minute sessions are priced at $375 and can be booked by emailing livelogan@theloganhotel.com.
December 11th, 2-5 p.m., 1 Logan Square. 

Market at the Fareway
Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m., stop by this Chestnut Hill farmers’ market to visit with Santa and get a free photo with him.
December 10th and 17th, noon-2 p.m., 8221 Germantown Avenue.

Chestnut Hill’s Stag & Doe Nights
Chestnut Hill’s annual holiday-shopping events, Stag & Doe Nights, take place every Wednesday in December from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The events feature extended store hours, holiday specials, a roving brass quartet and free refreshments. You may even catch a glimpse of Santa strutting down the Avenue.
December 7th, 14th and 21st, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Germantown Avenue.

Scuba Santa! / Photograph courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Adventure Aquarium
Scuba Santa is back and ready to make his underwater appearance! Visit him in Ocean Realm as he spreads the magic of Christmas and takes selfies through the glass. The aquarium will also have the World’s Tallest Underwater Christmas Tree, and more decorations throughout. If you prefer to meet Santa on dry land, you can also visit his study. While you’re at the aquarium, check out fun crafts, write a letter to Santa, watch it snow indoors, and enjoy more holiday fun.
Through December 24th, 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey.

Please Touch Museum
On Saturday, December 10th, read a book with Santa and enjoy excerpts from The Nutcracker Dipped in Chocolate performed by the Chocolate Ballerina Company, followed by a dance workshop. There will also be a DIY Wrapping Paper art workshop and other holiday fun at the museum.
December 10th, 4231 Avenue of the Republic.

Santa at Fashion District / Photograph by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Fashion District Philadelphia
Mall Santa — he does exist! Head to Fashion District’s concourse level for a free visit with Santa (photo packages are available for purchase). You can even book your visit online so you don’t have to wait.
Through December 24th, 901 Market Street.

Reading Terminal Market
Meet Santa in Arch Court in Reading Terminal Market for free photos. Stick around and pick up some holiday treats!
December 17th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 51 North 12th Street.

Brunch with Santa at Figo
Santa is coming to Northern Liberties for Sunday brunch. Sit inside or in an outdoor igloo for a festive breakfast. Take pics with Santa, make your own hot chocolate, decorate cookies and more. Reservations are required; brunch is pay-as-you-go.
December 18th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1033 North 2nd Street.

Every night at this holiday light spectacular in Oaks, you can visit Santa’s workshop for a professional photo with the big guy. Reservations are required, and don’t include admission to Tinseltown itself. But you know what’s even better than Santa? Gritty Claus! Catch everyone’s favorite terrifying mascot dressed as jolly old St. Nick on December 8th, 15th and 22nd.
Through December 24th, 4:30-10 p.m., Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks.

Gritty Claus at Tinseltown / Photograph courtesy of Comcast Spectacor

Brunch with Santa at Elmwood Park Zoo
Meet one of the zoo’s education animals, share your holiday wishes with Santa and snap a photo with him, and enjoy exploring the zoo after your brunch buffet. Reservations are required and include zoo admission.
December 17th and 18th, 1661 Harding Boulevard, Norristown.

West Chester Railroad
Hop aboard Santa’s Express for a 75-minute train ride with Santa, decorations and live entertainment. You’ll get a visit aboard the train for a very special photo op. Tickets available online.
December 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th; 230 East Market Street, West Chester. 

Linvilla Orchards
Visit Santa on the farm in a covered outdoor space, and talk to him from a safe distance via Noelziphone. While you’re at Linvilla, you can cut your own Christmas tree, or buy a pre-cut one. You can also visit the market for holiday treats, decorations, gifts and more. Online reservations required.
December 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th, 137 West Knowlton Road, Media.

Shops at Liberty Place
Stop by on Saturday, December 17th for photos with Santa and the Grinch in the rotunda. The photos are $10, which benefits Cradles to Crayons.
December 17th, noon-5 p.m., 1625 Chestnut Street.

Santa will visit Heritage on Saturdays for brunch, holiday cocktails, free hot chocolate and DIY photos.
December 10th and 17th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 914 North 2nd Street.

Jerry’s Bar
While you shop at Jerry’s Bar’s annual Holiday Market on Saturday, December 10th, you can also get a free photo with Santa.
December 10th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 129 West Laurel Street.