Right Down Santa Claus Lane: 12 Best Places to See Santa in NYC

Santa is pretty much Waldo these days. He’s scattered all over the city and confusing all of the innocent kids.

But we have to hand it to ol' Saint Nick for always spreading that holiday conviviality because us New Yorkers sure don’t have it in us to be cheerful 24/7.

In New York City, you can pretty much find the jolly red suited and white-bearded fellow anywhere: the corner, ice rinks, malls, train stations, theaters, tree lightings and even at your family party.

If you are in search for the man of the season, then keep reading for the 12 best places to see Santa in NYC this year.

1. Macy’s Santaland (151 West 34th Street)

fitdad_mando Ethan had such an amazing time yesterday at Santaland! Love seeing that smile on his face and loved that he and Santa had full convo about cars haha! #daddyandme #santaland #christmas #nyc #love

Meeting Santa is always memorable and Macy’s Santaland makes sure that the memory and experience are incredibly magical. How? Well, at this 13,000-square-foot setup of a North Pole village of course.

Here you’ll be surrounded by live elves, an enchanted forest, animatronic toys and a train display. Yeah. It really doesn't get more real than this, and although the line is typically long, there's plenty to look at while waiting. 


However, if remaining in a line for too long makes you antsy, you can purchase the Express Pass, which enables you to skip most of the line. The admission here is free, but the photo packages come with a price ranging from $20 - $59. Of course, for a smile on the little one’s face, it's priceless!

2. Coca-Cola: Winter Wonderland (253 West 125th Street)

apollotheater 'TIS THE SEASON!! Join us for merry days and brighter nights at #HolidaysAtApollo!

Head over to the historic Apollo Theater on December 19 for an eventful afternoon in the company of -- you guessed it...good ol’ Santa. Apollo and Coca-Cola have partnered together to deliver a festive celebration to remember.

Bring your camera and stick around because there will be tons of holiday-themed activities. The Apollo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with free choir performances, free photos with Santa and even a holiday special, "Amateur Night at The Apollo."

Each show begins with a festive pre-party. You can watch aspiring musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, rappers and spoken word artists. Interested? Then you can snag some tickets for the holiday special here, which start at $20. 

Additionally, in the spirit of giving, there will be a toy and book drive as well.

3. Bloomingdale’s (1000 Third Avenue)

mlsco @whistleandflute @freya_lillie_ @slugsandsnails0 @converse rocking his #boysfashion at #BloomingdalesSanta

Put on your most festive outfit and make your way to Bloomingdale’s to have your picture taken with Santa and his helpers. Similar to Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s also has their own Santaland going on.

Plus, rumor has it that the lines here are shorter, but there’s only one way to find that out, right? Right.

So what are you waiting for? Visit Bloomingdale’s this holiday season to snap a picture with the most popular guy in town.

4. Santa’s Winter Garden (220 Vesey Street)

brookfieldplny Santa just got to Brookfield Place. Discover Santa's Winter Wonderland on the 2nd level next to @clubmonaco men's store and create amazing photo memories with the man in red himself! More info at brookfieldplaceny.com/events/Santa

Have the ultimate photo memories at Santa’s Winter Wonderland. You can capture the magic of the holidays while dining and ice skating at Brookfield Place.

And you can snap a picture at the elfie center with the big man in red himself, or have your picture taken by a professional photographer. The photo packages start at $22, plus, you can snag a free skate rental with a $50 photo package purchase. The deal also includes a $20 card from Shutterfly.

We know, with so much sweetness wrapped in one package, perhaps you should stop reading the rest of this list and just take this one. Right? Wrong. Don’t do that.

5. Staten Island Mall (2655 Richmond Avenue - Staten Island)

artie_frenchie My first visit with Santa! I've been such a good boy this year. I can't wait to see what he brings me!! #holidayfrenchie #santaandpets #christmasfrenchie #frenchiesrule #modelfrenchie

The Staten Island Mall welcomes you and your furry friend to spend time with Santa this year. What furry friend, you’ve asked? Not your teddy, but your adorable pet of course.

That's right, your pets are also welcome to come meet the red suited big guy every Monday, during the evenings this holiday season. 


Just think of how cute a picture of whiskers with Saint Nick would look under the tree!

Don't wait to find out and reserve your spot today. You can also save up to 30% on your photo package here.

6. The Mall at Bay Plaza (200 Baychester Avenue - the Bronx)

aspotoftee 🎶🎄I'll have a bluuuuuueeeee Christmas without youuuuuuu.....I'll have a bluuuuueeeeeeeeee Christmas without youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu🎄🎶 #christmas #xmas #merryxmas #merrychristmas #santa #santaclaus #lonely #lonelysanta #single #singlesanta #singleclaus #bayplaza #bayplazamall #bronx #bronxny #bronxnyc

Where exactly can you find him out in the Bronx? Well, you can certainly stop by the mall at Bay Plaza because guess what? He’ll be there.

Santa sets up his shop at the court center of the mall, so you won't be able to miss him. The photo packages start at $40 but you can also reserve here to save up to 30%.


7. Queens Center Mall (90-15 Queens Blvd - Queens)

marisa_marmar_hebert Sunday Funday with @mattdillon1983 and the one and only Kris Kringle @queenscentermall #familychristmasphotos #MatMar #matmarchristmas #mysantaexperience #christmas2015 #naughtyornicelist #queenschristmas #queenscentermall #xmass #santababy #alliwantforchristmas #whitechristmas #northpole #nycchristmas #

If you didn't know by now, Santa’s favorite place in the world are malls. Most likely that’s where he “purchases” all the presents for those who’ve been nice.

Santa annually makes a stop in Queens as well because, well, who doesn’t want to stop in Queens?


How does he manage to make it everywhere in a flash? Beats us, but you can visit the Queens Center Mall because he’ll certainly be there too. The photo packages here start at $35 and kids get to walk away with a free gift.

8. Skyview Center (40-24 College Point Blvd - Queens)

annemariehsu Quinn meets #Santa! 🎅🏻🎄🎁 #Xmas2015 #babyFitz

You may also find Santa here every day at this enormous shopping center in Queens. Actually, a few days before Christmas on December 19th from 1-3 p.m., Skyview Center will celebrate the holidays with Norman Pors Trio featuring Evelyn Reed.

You can come and listen to some of your favorite Christmas tunes and have your picture taken with Santa Claus as well. The photo packages here start at $30, but Skyview Center also offers a special military discount and a digital download of all the images captured during your visit.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal doesn’t it? Yeah. We think so, too.

9. ABC Carpet and Home (888 Broadway)

kyliewhiting Very serious for her first Santa visit. I think she's hoping to find a set of Santa's jingle bells under the tree this year.

ABC Carpet and Home has been a favorite site for meeting Santa for the past 20 years. You can stop by to visit him at this elegant home goods store.

The best part is you won’t have to wait in line for too long, and the kids can walk away with a free ornamental picture frame which can be a perfect addition to the Christmas tree.

Also, may we add that the lightning here is not that great, so make sure to bring in your own camera that works well with dim lights.

10. Breakfast with Santa (Rockefeller Center)

olivas_momma Breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller center 🎅🏽🌲⛄️

For a finer and more intimate Santa experience, check out Rockefeller Center. Each year, they offer a breakfast with Santa package at both The Sea Grill and Rock Center Café.

Both of these packages come with a terrific deal. Not only will you be able to have breakfast with Santa and his carolers, but you also get to ice skate.

After the kids get to meet Santa and hang out on the ice, they’ll get to take home their own Christmas ornament and photo frame with Santa as well. For more info and to make reservations you can click here.

11. Items of Interest (60 Fifth Avenue - Brooklyn)

itemsofinterestnyc Get your child's Santa photos right on Park Slope at Items of Interest! http://www.itemsofinterest.com/santa/ #parkslope #brooklyn #itemsofinterest #santa #shopsmall #local

Do you live in Brooklyn and don’t want to make a trip to the other boroughs? Great, no worries. Head on over to this Brooklyn home goods and design shop.

Each child has the opportunity to enjoy a 10 minute session with Santa while a photographer snaps away. Plus, you’ll get all of these images sent straight to your inbox just in time for those lovely holiday cards.


The photos with Santa at Items of Interest are $15 and you can schedule to confirm your appointment here.

12. Kings Plaza (5100 Kings Plaza - Brooklyn)

kingsplazamall There is still time to take photos with Santa ! He's here until December 24th. #Santa #PhotosWithSanta #KingsPlazaMall

Finally, we couldn’t forget about our awesome folks once again out in Brooklyn. Santa will be available for photos and a meet-and-greet at Kings Plaza as well. We also hear that there’s rarely a line.

So if you are looking to stray away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kings Plaza might just be everything that you’ve been looking for.

Plus, you can save big and check out all their special offers and hours to meet Santa here.

Check out 7 Incredible Things to Do on New Year's Day in NYC

[Feature Image Courtesy TimeOut] 

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