It’s a magical experience to get up close and personal with Mr. Santa Claus himself! If you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to meet an elf or Mrs. Claus too! Santa is popping up in Columbus this holiday season and many of the photos with Santa opportunities are free! This will be a keepsake you will hold on to for years to come and may just be a right of passage for most kids. Will they smile or scream? Will they be shy or tell him an endless wish list? This tradition may have some modifications this year, but be sure to check out our list below to see Santa safely!
Locations to Get Photos with Santa
Columbus Shopping Malls:
Dates: November 27, 2020 – December 24, 2020
Times: See website for reservation times
Details: You must make a reservation this year! Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks and guests must do so as well.
Dates: November 27, 2020 – December 24, 2020
For 2020, the Santa set opens Friday November 27th and the final day is December 24th. The set will temporarily be closed Monday, November 30th – Wednesday, December 2nd.
The set hours will be
- Monday – Saturday 11am to 8pm with a Santa Break from 3pm to 4pm
- Sunday 11am to 7pm with a Santa Break from 2:30pm to 3pm
- Christmas Eve 9am – 5pm with a Santa Break from 1pm to 2pm
Details: Masks are required and reservations are recommended!
Dates: Santa is staying in the North Pole this year!
Santa is staying safe at home in the North Pole this year with his elves, Mrs. Claus, and the reindeer – the whole quarantine crew! Although he won’t be visiting Easton, he still wants to check in, say hello, and see who is on the Naughty or Nice List! They will be offering personalized videos from Santa, delivered straight to your email inbox. Videos will be $10 each, with proceeds benefiting the Easton Community Foundation. Videos will be available for order mid-November. Check back to their website for more information on how to get yours!
Details: Be sure to safely check out the lights at Easton this 2020 season even though Santa won’t be present! Also, the indoor and outdoor area of Easton already has lots of decorations up and is looking quite festive!
The Worthington Mall is still deciding if Santa will be present for 2020 season. Please check their website for updates.
Various Photo with Santa Locations:
Dates: Santa arrives at Cabela’s (1650 Gemini Pl) on Saturday, November 7, at 5 pm to kick off the holiday season. Families can enjoy a socially distanced tailgate event in designated parking spots with a free outdoor parade featuring giveaways, Christmas carols, hot cocoa and magical fun building up to the arrival of the big guy himself.
Time: Store hours
- Reservations must be made in advance. There are additional protocols in place this year such as temperature screenings and a glare-free plexiglass barrier between the children and Santa. Refer to their website for additional information. They won’t have in-store crafts and activities like previous years, but kids will be given a craft to take home.
- There’s also a mailbox for Letters to Santa.
Cost: Free (they even print a photo for you to take home)
Dates: November 20, 2020- December 22, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday and 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday- Thursday and 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Details: A new theme this year with Santa “up on the rooftop”. Guests will be able to visit with Santa and get a photo with him by looking out the window with Santa up on the rooftop! Reservations are recommended online in advance.
Dates: November 20, 2020- January 3, 2021
Time: Sunday- Thursday 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Details: After seeing the lights, head across the street to Cross Creek Camping to see Santa for pictures. Modifications will be updated soon!
Website: Santa’s House at Cross Creek Camping
Oakland Nursery (All locations)
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays – November 28, 2020 – December 13, 2020
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a socially distanced Santa this year! Santa will be parked outside in his sleigh and joined by ice sculpting elves at some locations!
Time: Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday Mornings from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Details: Typically, Partners Park is transformed into Santa’s Village! Plans for 2020 will be finalized soon!
Dates: December 4, 2020- December 6, 2020
Details: Check their website for information will be updated soon for 2020 but the date is set!
Location: Lazarus Building
Date: 2020 decision is still being finalized!
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Details: Visiting Santaland at the downtown Lazarus building was a fond memory of many. Take your own photo with Santa and the little ones can enjoy face painting and crafts. Starting at 5:00 p.m. head over to the Columbus Commons to check out the light display, free carousel rides, hot chocolate and holiday music.
Santa in the Caboose at Historical Village at Weaver Park (Hilliard)
Location: Historical Village at Weaver Park
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Details: 2020 information will be updated in the next two weeks! In the past, you can interact and take photos with Santa in his suit from the 1800s in the red caboose. Last year Mrs. Claus was in the one-room schoolhouse for visits with her as well. Historical Village will also be open with live music, art projects, refreshments and more.
Rent A Christmas Character
If you’d rather do a private event, please be sure to check out Paulette’s Princess Parties for unique ideas in 2020! You can rent a character like Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf, Mr. Grinchy and many more!
Further Drive for Photos with Santa:
Location: West Chester, Ohio
Date: November 14, 2020- January 1, 2021 (although Santa leaves Christmas morning, so if you want to see him, visit before then.) Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Monday – Saturday and 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Sunday
Details: This Christmas Journey is a magical experience. Step back in time to a 1950’s street scene, see the reindeer stables at the North Pole and watch the elves make toys in their workshop getting ready for Christmas. Don’t forget to stop by Mrs. Claus’ kitchen to get a cookie before visiting Santa Claus in his study. In addition to this Christmas Wonderland, there is also the world’s largest indoor train display, play area, and A-Maze-N Funhouse.
Cost: Different prices depending on what you want to do. Buying your tickets online ahead of time saves you money as well as check Groupon for discounted tickets.
Comment below where you plan to have photos with Santa this year! We can’t wait to see the unique ideas!