It is that time of the year. Time to get your cameras ready or plan the Christmas card because Santa is coming to town! We have the best places to see old St. Nick, whether it’s for a formal pic, brunch, crafting or watching him get rescued on top of a museum. We have the best spots, so mark your calendars for the holiday fun has now begun!
Don’t forget to check out The Best Holiday Markets to Visit in New York for more holiday fun and cheer!
American Girl Santa Brunch
American Girl Santa Brunch – Midtown Manhattan
75 Rockefeller Plaza New York, 877- 247-5223
American Girl loves to give you an experience, so it makes sense that they would have a Santa Brunch where a delicious meal is served, and your girl and her doll can have a one-on-one photo op with jolly old St. Nick himself. $30 per person and for ages 3 and up. Check calendar for available dates and times.
Apollo Theatre Coco-Cola Winter Wonderland
Apollo Theatre Coco-Cola Winter Wonderland – Harlem
253 W 125th Street, 212- 531-5300
This free event will be held on Saturday, December 14 th, 2019, this year from 2 pm – 6 pm at the iconic Apollo Theater. Bring the family for fun holiday-themed activities, including photo ops with Santa Claus. Stay a while to enjoy performances from local choirs. Also, if you have a toy or book you’d like to donate, the Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland marks the start of the Apollo Theater’s toy and book drive for children.
Breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller Plaza
Breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller Plaza – Midtown Manhattan
5th Ave between 49th and 50th Streets, 212- 332-7655
There are two ways to have breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller Plaza, and The Sea Grill is all luxe with white tablecloths and chef’s stations, which include a chocolate fountain! The best part is Santa comes to your table for a visit and photos. This is when you are looking for a Santa experience for a date with your child or a cool family day out. Prices range from $110 – $150 for Adults and $70 – $95 children (ages 9 & under).
Rock Center Cafe is perfect for when you have little kids and know they are not going to go for a fine dining breakfast eve if seeing Santa is on the cards. In the Throne Room, you’ll find Santa and a holiday card-worthy opportunity where kids can sit on Santa’s lap, plus a Candy Bar Experience where kids can take home yummy treats. $65 – $125 Adults; $45 – $85 Children (ages 9 & under)
Central Park Holiday Lighting
23rd Annual Central Park Holiday Lighting- Central Park
110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues, 212-310-6675
Central Park provides year-round family fun, and the winter is no exception. Bring your camera and head to Central Park Holiday Lighting on December 5th, 5:30-6:30 pm at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center! Meet Santa Claus, sing carols at the Plaza, and enjoy delicious hot chocolate and cookies at this free event. Then watch the lighting of the trees at Harlem Meer to kick off the holiday season!
Santaland at Macy's
Santaland at Macy’s– Herald Square, Midtown South
151 W. 34Th Street, 212- 695-4400
Visit Santaland at Macy’s Herald Square from Friday, November 29th – Tuesday, December 24th, which is located on the 8th Floor, across from Au Bon Pain. You’ll be transported into a magical world of elves, sleighs, Santa Claus, snow-topped trees, lights, and so much more! Make your way through the 13,000 square foot display to see Santa’s Workshop, a giant Lionel train-scape, the rainbow bridge, and a shiny red sleigh. At the end of your walkthrough of Santaland, little ones get to meet Santa! Santaland is free, but there are additional fees if you wish to purchase a photo package of your kids with Santa Claus. This New York location is the only store location where you can book your Santa visit in advance as reservations open 11/25th. Admission to Santaland is free; bring your camera if you like to take your own pics. Photo packages are also offered, starting from $22.
Santa at Brookfield Place
Santa at Brookfield Place – Downtown New York
230 Vesey Street, 212-978-1673
Be sure to bring your camera to take adorable photos of your little ones with Santa Claus! November 29th – December 24th, closed Mondays except December 23rd. If you’re interested in a photo package, these start at $29. For your sensory-friendly child, Autism Speaks in partnership with Brookfield Place will be hosting a Sensory- Friendly Santa with Autism Speaks. On December 15th, from 8 am to 10 am. Accommodations will be made to support children with developmental and physical needs.
Santa’s Corner at Bank of America Winter Village
Santa’s Corner at Bank of America Winter Village– Bryant ParkBank of America Winter Village At Bryant Park
Visit Santa for free at this winter wonderland. Photo ops start at 1 pm on December 14th and go all the way through until December 22nd. Also, after you visit Santa, get more into the holiday spirit by ice skating Bryant Park’s ice rink, which has free admission this season thanks to their partnership with Bank of America!
New York City Fire Museum Santa Rescue
New York City Fire Museum Santa Rescue – Soho
278 Spring Street, 212- 691-1303
Santa to the rescue at this fun event. FDNY will rescue Santa from the top of the museum bringing him inside to mingle and pose for pics. There will be a live band singing holiday carols, snacks and refreshments can also be purchased. If possible, leave strollers, scooters, and bicycles at home. December 15th at 11:30 am, tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance to attend.
St. Nicolas at Wyckoff House Museum
St. Nicolas at Wyckoff House Museum– East Flatbush, Brooklyn
5816 Clarendon Road, 212-629-5400
Plan a day at this unique Brooklyn museum. Enjoy a visit with Sinterklaas for crafts, foods, music, storytelling tree decorating, and of course, a visit from St. Nicholas, who arrives grandly riding on horseback. Tickets start at $4 and go up to $28 if purchased in a family bundle. Infants are free. Limited tickets are available. December 7th at 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Free – $28.00
Santa at Items of Interest
Santa Items of Interest- Downtown Brooklyn
60 5th Avenue, 718- 404-9185
This is a great option if you are looking for a photo op with Santa that runs at a little under $40. We have personally used this store for family holiday pics, and were in and out in less than 10 minutes — the pics came out great. Check out Items of Interest site for available dates and times as they do fill fast.
Prospect park: See Santa at Winter on a Flatbush Farm
Winter on a Flatbush Farm– Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, and Windsor Terrace
Sunday, December 1st, 1 pm – 3 pm
Prospect park goes old school and shows how a 19th-century farming village prepared for winter by sharing Dutch treats. Watch how wool was spun and, most importantly, visit Saint Nicholas, who will arrive on horseback. Kids will even have a chance to feed his horse! $3 suggested donation. RSVP is not necessary but appreciated.
Winter Wonderland and Santa at Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center
Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center– The Bronx
3225 Reservoir Oval East, 718- 543-8672
Williamsburg Oval Recreation Center creates a Winter Wonderland for families! Celebrate the holiday season with arts and crafts, music, games, and a special visit from Santa Claus. Have some free family fun as you learn about all of the winter holidays. Winter Wonderland takes place this year on December 14th, 12:30-2:30 pm.
St.Nicholas at Vander-Ende Onderdonk House
Vander-Ende Onderdonk House– Queens-Ridgewood
1820 Flushing Ave, Ridgewood, 718- 456 1776
You can find St. Nicholas December 8th at the Onderdonk House, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in NYC located in Ridgewood on the border of Queens and Brooklyn. Sip on cider, participate in holiday crafts, play games from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as pop popcorn and roast chestnuts. Admission is $5, free for the little ones. December 8th, 12-5 pm.
Santa at HGTV Head Quarters at Queens Center
Visit Santa at his Queens location from November 7 through December 24, for a fun and fantastic holiday experience presented by HGTV located in Center Court, neat Gong Cha. Plan to stay a while to visit the interactive Elf Academy and try on the latest elf looks with Santa’s Magic Mirror. Kids can even create their Elf- ID Card and scan themselves at the Naughty or Nice O’meter. Bring your camera for free Santa photo. If looking to spend less time in line, you can purchase a fast pass to expedite your Santa process, photo packages range from $35 to $45.
Santa at The Plaza
Santa at the Plaza- Midtown Manhattan
768 5th Ave, 212- 759-3000
If you’re looking for a gorgeous Santa pic, make your reservation at The Plaza Hotel to get a fast pass as well as a portrait package. Booking a reservation is recommended for this popular Santa spot. Packages run from $40 to $60. Santa will be at The Plaza from November 29 to December 24.
ABC Carpet & Home
ABC Carpet & Home’s Santa is one of NYC’S most popular by far. This year we have been told by Abc Carpet & Home- they tend to run Santa’s visit a bit differently from years past. Santa will return to the store but only for one day. Santa will be visiting on Dec. 8, and spots will be chosen by lottery. There will be 100 spots to see Santa this year. The store will host a lottery for the spots, to enter the lottery please go here.
One World Observatory
One World Observatory – Financial District
285 Fulton St., 844-696-1776
Visit Santa at Manhattan’s tallest points, the One World Observatory! See “Winter ONEderland: A Holiday Experience Above It All,” where visitors are transported to the top on a SkyPod elevator. This holiday experience is complete with holiday decor and thematic dining options that the whole family will love. Visit Santa from December 12 to the 24th! For more info, visit oneworldobservatory.com