Santa Claus is coming to town, and if you want the merriest experience for your kiddos and the most festive photo ops in town, consult this list when making your Santa Season plans. It's a surefire way to bring the magic of the holiday season alive for the little ones, for your fur babies or for yourself! Because if you're anything like us, you might have just the slightest tendency to turn into a little kid this time of year.
1. santaland + Snowday
Tickets for Santaland at the Galleria can be purchased as a package, together with tickets to Snowday, or separately, if you just want to have a chat with the big man. It's all located in the Galleria on level one, near Banana Republic. Families will travel to Santa on the Santaland Express Train, and when your kiddo sits on Santa's lap, he will already know their name and what they want for Christmas. December 18 is Santa Cares Night, when children with special needs get priority access to Santa from 8-11 a.m. Also, Wednesdays are Pet Nights, when you can bring your furry children for pics with Santa from 6 p.m. until close. And, one more note, a Spanish-speaking Santa is available here December 1-15 from 6-9 p.m. as well.
2. holiday at the arboretum
Santa will be at the Arboretum for pictures on the following dates: Nov. 19–20, 12–3 p.m. and 6–9 p.m.; November 21–23, 6–9 p.m.; Nov. 25–27, 12–3 p.m. and 6–9 p.m.; Dec. 3–4, 12–3 p.m. and 6–9 p.m.; Dec. 10–11, 12–3 p.m. and 6–9 p.m.; Dec. 17–23, 12–3 p.m. and 6–9 p.m.; and Christmas Eve, 12–3 p.m. Check the Arboretum website for tickets and for any updates to this schedule. Keepsake family photos are available in exchange for a donation to the Volunteer Advisory Board on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. Nov. 26 - Dec. 24.
Enchant is the world’s largest holiday-themed light event, sponsored by the hallmark Channel. Aside from the perfect Santa pics, enjoy the ice skating rink, light maze and interactive games.
Head up to visit Santa’s Landing and let their professional photographers capture your child's heart-warming moments with Santa. You choose one your Santa photo package, and you can snap your own as well. It’s the perfect backdrop for your family Christmas card!
4. dallas farmers market
You can get family photos with Santa or pics with your fur babies and Santa from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on on Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and Dec. 17. Prints are $15 each. We have it on good authority from our sources at the North Pole that kids can also mail their letters to Santa here, with an ironclad guarantee that Saint Nick will receive them.
5. northpark center
Create special memories for your children during one-on-one visits and portraits with Santa, and while you're at Northpark, stop by the Christmas Train exhibit as well! This holiday tradition includes a private conversation and photography session in Santa’s cozy cottage, a commemorative digital photo, and a donation to Children’s Health. Visits begin at $25 and must be booked in advance here. Also, new to the Santa Experience this year is Stories and Songs with Santa at Northpark. Santa Joel will perform stories and songs Monday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and noon on Sundays. Visits are $25 and include a donation to Children’s Health. Reservations slots will be released starting November 20th.
6. vitruvian lights
Not only can kids get their photos taken with Santa FOR FREE at Addison's Virtuvian Lights, but this year, they're celebrating the 10th anniversary of the event. That means the return of their Letters to Santa feature, where kids can drop off their Christmas wishes for guaranteed delivery to the North Pole, as well as appearances from Mrs. Claus and some live reindeer!
7. grand prairie — prairie lights
This event right next to Joe Pool Lake is HUGE, and on top of the incredibly impressive lights display, for an additional fee, the kiddos can sit on Santa's lap, talk presents and get their picture taken as well. Santa will be posted up at the Holiday Village at Prairie Lights through Dec. 23.
8. christmas in the square — frisco
This year at Christmas in the Square in Frisco, the family-friendly fun includes visits with Santa ($15 per person), skating in the Square ($15 per skater), horse carriage rides ($15 per rider), storytime with Elsa, Anna and Olaf ($20 per person) and free access to the chroeographed light show! The event is open now through Jan. 3!
9. where is santa? participating locations
Several other Dallas-area malls will have Santa onsite as well, and you can book your child's visit with Saint Nick through the Where is Santa site. Participating Dallas locations include Town East Mall in Mesquite, Irving Mall, Firewheel Town Center in Garland, the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, Grapevine Mills Mall, The Parks at Arlington and Stonebriar Centre in Frisco. Pet nights are available and there are also certain Santa Cares nights for children with special needs.
10. ICE! featuring the polar express at the gaylord texan
There are several options and price points for your visit with Santa at the Gaylord Texan just outside of Dallas in Grapevine this year. To get the full immersive wintery experience of the ICE! exhibit featuring the Polar Express, plus a visit with Santa, that's $99 (includes three 6x8 Santa photos and access to all parts of the exhibit), according to their website. But pics with Santa can be had for as little as $35, too.