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 could 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 18, 2021 – December 24, 2021
Times: See website for reservation times
Details: They are encouraging reservations, but walk-ups are still available at this time.
Dates: November 12, 2021 – December 24, 2021
The set hours will be listed on the website when you make your reservation.
Details: Masks are required and reservations are recommended!
Dates: November 20, 2021- December 24, 2021
Details: Santa will be taking photos with families and spreading holiday cheer at the North Pole, located in Easton’s North District next to Tiffany & Co. Your family’s first 5×7 is only $5, or take a candid photo with your camera. Photos begin after the Grand Illumination.
Reserve your time to see Santa in advance! Both reservations and walk-up appointments will be available, however; reservations are strongly encouraged. Make your reservation today!
Monday – Saturday: 10AM – 8PM with breaks at 1:00 – 1:45PM and 4:45 – 5:30PM
Sunday: 11AM – 6PM with a break at 2:00 – 3:00PM
December 24: 9AM – 5PM
The Worthington Mall is undecided on their plans but check back often for updates!
Various Photo with Santa Locations:
Dates: Santa arrives at Cabela’s (1650 Gemini Pl) on Saturday, November 6, 2021, to kick-off the holiday season.
Time: Store hours
- Reservations must be made in advance.
- There’s also a mailbox for Letters to Santa.
Cost: Free (they even print a photo for you to take home.)
Dates: November 19, 2021- December 23, 2021
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: Santa is located in North America in the Battelle Ice Bear post.
Dates: November 19, 2021- January 2, 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.
Website: Santa’s House at Cross Creek Camping
Oakland Nursery (All locations)
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays – November 27, 2021 – December 12, 2021
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Details: Enjoy a socially distanced Santa this year! Reindeer visit December 11 and 12.
Date: November 29, 2021- December 23, 2021
Time: Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday Mornings from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (times vary on Saturdays)
Details: Partners Park is transformed into Santa’s Village!
Dates: December 3, 2021- December 18, 2021
Details: Appointments are available for various Friday and Saturday dates in December. Photos are taken by For His Glory Photography and are $10 for 1 print copy and digital copy.
Home for the Holidays Weekend takes place December 3, 2021- December 5, 2021. There’s a tree lighting ceremony, Dash for Dasher Scavenger Hunt, Parade and carriage rides. Check the Home for the Holidays website for specific times for the activities.
Free Lazarus Santa’s Workshop
Location: Lazarus Building
Date: 2021 decision is still being finalized!
Details: Visiting Santaland at the downtown Lazarus building was a fond memory of many.
Santa in the Caboose at Historical Village at Weaver Park (Hilliard)
Location: Historical Village at Weaver Park
Details: 2021 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! 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 24, 2021- January 3, 2022 (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!