Santa’s busy public appearance time is gearing up into full speed. That jolly old fat guy sure can get around! This is a sampling of some of the best places to run into the guy. We’ll keep adding to it all season, so let us know if you have any additions.
Events with Santa Claus
11/19-12/18: Bachman’s: Santa & Albert Rock Christmas Holiday Play and Sing Along @ Bachman’s, Minneapolis • Sat: 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm & Sun: 11:30, 1:00, 2:30 • Bachman’s Annual Christmas Play is free to attend and suitable for all ages. Guests are encouraged to participate in caroling after the play, and Santa and Albert will be available for photos.
12/1-11: North Pole Express @ Union Depot, St. Paul • Thurs-Sun, various times • Tickets $19.95-$23.95/pp • Families will have the opportunity to ride a train with Santa, see his village and elves at work, then return to Union Depot for refreshments. This event sold out fast last year.
12/2: PJs With Santa @ Vadnais Heights Commons • 6-8pm • $10/res family, $20/non-res, register with the City of Vadnais Heights by 11/28. This family event features Santa, a face painter, balloon animals, Holiday games, puppet shows and cookies. Wear pajamas if you like!
12/2: Dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Claus @ Langford Recreation Center • 5:30-7:00pm • $5/$25 family max • Join the Claus couple for a spaghetti dinner. Craft, cookie decorating and face painting. Bring your own camera. Register online or call (651) 298-5765.
12/4: Caring Santa @ Southdale Center, Edina • 9:30-11am • FREE, but tickets required • This event offers families whose children have special needs a subdued environment to participate in the Santa Photo Experience.
12/4: Old Fashioned Holiday @ Holz Farm, Eagan • Noon-3pm • Details: Come visit Santa at this 1940’s era event at Holz Farm. Also enjoy hayrides, a bonfire, carols, live reindeer and treats. All activities are FREE!
12/3, 12/4, 12/10, 12/11, 12/17, 12/18: Santa’s Train Shop @ Minnesota Transportation Museum • 10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. • Details: Train rides, photos w/Santa & Mrs. Clause, face painting, activities, music, food, prizes, gifts, and more! • $35/family.
12/5, 12/7, 12/12, 12/14: Bedtime Stories with Santa @ Woodbury Lakes • 6-7:30pm • Families (especially with kids ages 2-6) are invited to wear their pajamas for stories, crafts, cookies and cocoa.FREE, but registration is required.
12/8: Winter Wonderland @ North Dale Recreation Center • 5:30-7:00pm • FREE • A special visit from Santa and activities geared for youth under the age of 12. Free. No registration necessary. Call (651) 558-2329 for more information.
12/8: Dinner with Santa @ Duluth & Case Recreation Center • 6:00-7:30pm • FREE • Food, crafts, and a visit from Santa. Free. No registration necessary. Call (651) 298-5709 for more information.
12/10, 12/11: Nature Hike With Santa @ Eastman Nature Center • Saturday 10 am-noon & 1 pm- 3 pm; Sunday 1 pm-3pm • $3-$7/pp • Details: Look for magical reindeer food, decorate a Santa letter, create edible squirrel ornaments, and get one-on-one time with Santa. Refreshments included.
12/10: Winter Wonderland Weekend @ The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, Maple Grove • 10am-2pm • Come meet Santa and members of his reindeer team! FREE.
12/11: Santa’s Workshop @ Landmark Center, St. Paul • 1-3pm • Snap pics with Santa, meet a pair of his reindeer, play games and made some handmade holiday gifts at the craft tables. Free.
12/13: Breakfast with Nature Santa @ Springbrook Nature Center, Fridley • 10am-noon • $7/pp, pre-registration required (763-572-3588) • Enjoy breakfast, a story, and activities with Nature Santa. Bring your camera!
12/17: Santa Land @ Braemar Arena, Edina • 10:30am-12:15pm • $12/child, skate rental $2.00 • Santa land will feature a craft station, cookie decorating station, open skating and a visit from Santa and his helpers.
12/17: The Enchanted Christmas Ball @ The Shoppes at Arbor Lake, Maple Grove • 2-4pm • $30-$45/child with one adult • Dancing, caroling, making crafts with princesses and Santa. The event is hosted by by Twin Cities Party Princess. It requires pre-registration and can be found on Eventbrite.
12/17: Jerry’s Very Merry Santa Day @ Jerry’s Foods, 9625 Anderson Lakes Pkwy, Eden Prairie • 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. • Free • Take photos with Santa, make holiday crafts, enjoy treats, face painting, giveaways, live carolers.
12/17: Candy Cane Hunt @ Silverwood Park • 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. • $7/pre-register; $9/day; $2/spectators • Candy cane hunts divided by age; horse-drawn wagon ride, warm treats, arts, and photos with Santa.
12/18: Jerry’s Very Merry Santa Day @ Jerry’s Foods, 7760 Hargis Pkwy, Woodbury • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. • Free • Take photos with Santa, make holiday crafts, enjoy treats, face painting, giveaways, live music.
Find Santa Claus and Malls and Other Shops
Santa will simultaneously be at several malls during the pre-Christmas season. Remember, Santa Claus is old and needs occasional breaks.
11/10-12/24: Rosedale Center, Mon-Sat 10am-8pm & Sun 11am-6pm • Find Santa in lower level JCPenney Court (near the Northwoods Play Area). Photo packages available.
11/18-12/24: Southdale Center • Find Santa at the Center Court 2nd level overpass. Photo packages available.