Christmas is here and that means for many places, Santa is here too! Your kids are sure to want to meet St. Nick this year and you’re sure to want to snap a pic or two for a keepsake. From photo ops, to breakfasts and brunches, to Winter Wonderlands, and even a very special rescue, we’ve rounded up the best places to see Santa in NYC this year and they include some old classics and some new favorites. Read on for more than a dozen places to visit Santa this year in NYC.


photo: Macy's John Mincillo

Macy's Herald Square

Macy's Santa is the quintessential Santa and arrives in town via the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade each year. Guests can see Santa starting the day after Thanksgiving on Nov. 23 and can do so by making a reservation in advance. Day-of reservations can also be made via kiosks at Santaland. New this year is the Santa Express Lane, which allows guest to skip the amble through a holiday wonderland, and high-tail to St. Nick himself. The experience, as always is free, you just have to pay for pictures, should you choose. Santa will be visiting Macy's from Nov. 23-Dec. 24.

8th Floor
151 West 34th St.
Herald Square

photo: ABC Carpet & Home

ABC Carpet & Home

New Yorkers love a well-decorated pad, so it makes sense that ABC Carpet & Home would provide city-dwellers with an opportunity to visit Santa in its chic flagship store. Aesthetically, this is one of the best Santa photo-ops in town. You can head over to the Flatiron District any time between Nov. 24–Dec. 22: Sat 10am–3pm, Sun 11am–3pm for a visit and perhaps a bit of shopping too!

ABC Carpet &Home
888 Broadway



photo: Michael Marquand

Rockefeller Center Breakfast With Santa

Rockefeller is a NYC holiday hub! You can ice skate, see the world famous tree, and also have breakfast with Santa at two of their restaurants. At The Sea Grill guests can enjoy an array of breakfast selections including made-to-order omelets, a crepe station, french toast, and a New York Bagel station. There is also tons of sweet treats as well as a chocolate fountain. Santa and his elves stop at each table for a chat and of course, a photo! Breakfast starts at 8:15 AM; $110-$150 Adults; $70-$95 Children. At Rock Center Café, children can lineup for pictures on Santa's lap and then head over to the Candy Bar Experience where they can fill up souvenir bags to take home. Breakfast starts at7:15 am, 8:45am & 9:15 a.m.; $65-$125 for Adults; $45-$85 for children. Skating is included with breakfast so make sure you take full advantage and get the most bang for your buck! Make your reservations here.

Rock Center Café
20 West 50th St.
Midtown West

The Sea Grill
19 W 49th St.

photo: Bloomingdale's


If you want to avoid the madness and crowds of Herald Square, Santa will be greeting guests on the Upper East Side at Bloomingdales. Starting November 23 and running through Dec. 23, you can see Santa at the Holiday Shop on the 6th floor of the famous department store. Please note that Santa "takes lunch" daily between 1-2pm, so be sure to avoid those times as you will be out of luck. Monday-Saturday the hours are 10am-1pm, 2-5pm and Sundays 11am-1pm, 2-5pm.

Holiday Shop on 6
1000 Third Ave. at 59th St.
Upper East Side

The Apollo

Coca-Cola Winter Wonderland at The Apollo will happen on Saturday Dec. 15, this year. Starting at 2pm kids and their families stop for pictures with Santa as well as hear some music from local choirs. It's a great family event and donations of books and toys will be accepted. The event is free.

The Apollo
253 West 125th Street

photo: Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place

You can make it a fun-filled day of holiday activities at Brookfield Place. Before or after your visit with Santa, you can go ice skating, do some shopping, or grab a bite to eat. New this year is a special activity center just for kids. Also, it should be noted that Brookfield Place has partnered with Autism Speaks to provide a Sensory Friendly Santa on Dec. 9 from 8:30-10am. Also, dogs can get in on the action too, with the special Santa Paws event on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, from 6:30-7:30pm.

Photo packages start at $29 and Santa will be at 230 Vesey St, Level 2.

Brookfield Place
230 Vesey St.
Battery Park City

American Girl Cafe

Kids can bring their American Girl dolls for a very special picture with Santa. This year Santa will be stopping by the store starting Dec. 2. Tickets are $30/person and include a meet and greet with Santa as well as breakfast. Be sure to bring your own camera (cell phones will due) as pictures aren't provided. Check the website for date and times and to book your reservation.

American Girl Store
75 Rockefeller Plaza


New York City Fire Museum

New York's Bravest come to the rescue yet again as they "save" Santa from atop of the New York City Fire Museum on Sunday Dec. 2, at 11:30 a.m. Once St. Nick is safe inside he will pose for pictures with kids and families. Christmas carols will be performed live by John Clacher’s Fire House Band on the 3rd floor. It is free to watch the rescue outside of the Museum, and admission to the Museum and to sit with Santa inside the Museum is $10 for adults and $5 for children. This event is so fun and a true New York experience!

New York Fire Museum
278 Spring St.
Hudson Square

photo: Fatherly

Fatherly at The Playroom

Meet Santa and take in the best toys of the year as determined by Fatherly. A day of free music and dance performances, arts and crafts, story time and playing with toys like LEGO bricks and littleBits is topped off by a free photo with the man in the red suit. 

Sun. Dec. 9, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The Playroom
140 West Broadway

Wonder Photo Shop

On Saturday Dec. 8, kids (and their pets) can line up for a FREE photo with Santa. The event is first-come, first-served and only one photo per family will be permitted. Each family will leave with one INSTAX photo with Santa. Photos with pets are from 10-12pm and children-only photos are from 12-5pm.  Attendees can also enter for a chance to win a prize package containing an INSTAX SQ 6 Instant Camera and INSTAX Square Film.

FUJIFILM Wonder Photo Shop
176 5th Ave.

photo: Big Apple Portraits

Big Apple Portraits

If you are looking for an extra special way to celebrate Christmas this year, you can schedule your very own photo session with Santa at Big Apple Portraits. And this Santa won't just sit there for a traditional picture, he will run and play and pose with your family, making for some really fun and memorable photos. Families can choose from Mini or Deluxe Sessions which start at $135. The next session is on Dec. 9 and must be booked in advance. Be sure to check out the website for some really awesome Santa shots.

143 W. 72nd St. , 2nd Fl.
Upper West Side
Online: newyorksanta



photo: Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

Starting at 1pm kids and families can enjoy music, food, games, and of course pictures with Santa who arrives on horseback. After his grand entrance, Santa will read a story to the children, followed by pictures and some one-on-one time. Children can also decorate a tree and feed the horses. Tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for children. Before Dec. 1, tickets for children cost $4.

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
5816 Clarendon Rd.

Aviator Sports

Enjoy a full buffet and more, during this special brunch with Santa at Aviator Sports on Sunday Dec. 16 at 9am or 12pm. Promising to be "bigger than ever this year," the menu includes eggs, pancakes, and muffins, and Southern delicacy's and an oatmeal bar. Included with your ticket is one photo, and kids can decorate cupcakes and take part in various craft projects. And parents, you're going to want to take note, there will be a DJ and a bar serving $15 bottomless mimosas. The event does sell out, so be sure to book in advance.

Tickets: $34/adults; $32/kids 3 -12, free, kids 2 and under

Aviator Sports
3159 Flatbush Ave.
Floyd Bennett Field

photo: Greenpoint Beer & Ale

Greenpoint Beer & Ale

Enjoy a special Town Square's Santa Brunch at this local Greenpoint hang. On Dec 2, Santa will be on hand at this popular event (it sells out quickly) to feast, take some pictures, and have some serious Christmas fun. There will arts and crafts and live music as well. Guests are encouraged to bring a toy to donate to the NYPD Holiday Toy Drive. Tickets cost $15 online, $20 at the door. $5 online for infants, $10 at door.

Greenpoint Beer and Ale
7 N. 15th Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Online: Click here


Queens Center Mall

If mall Santas are your thing, head over to Queens Center Mall for a photo and a free gift. This year Santa HQ’s new Elf Academy invites guests to come and stand in front of the Magic Mirror to be transformed into Santa’s Elf, kids can also create a customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a selfie! And don’t forget to try Elf-Ray Vision and the Naughty or Nice Meter too. You are able to make reservations in advance, although they are not required.

You can see Santa now through Dec. 24, check the website for times.

Queens Center
90-15 Queens Blvd
Elmhurst, Queens

Steinway Street in Astoria

Bring your own camera to snap a pic with Santa at this FREE event. Kids will also enjoy face-painting, balloon twisting, and a free gift from the big man himself while supplies last. 

Sun., Dec. 9, Noon-4 p.m.
Sol Dance Center
30-16 Steinway St. 


Ridge Hill Mall

Just about a 40 min drive north, is the Ridge Hill Mall, and this year kids and families can visit old St. Nick at Santa's Cottage, located centrally in the Town Square. The cottage features several interactive elements and pictures with Santa in his library. From now until Christmas Eve, from 10am-9pm Mon-Sat and 10am-7pm on Sundays you can lineup to see Santa. It can get pretty packed, so Ridge Hill offers a FastPass option to be able to skip the line, which you can reserve in advance.

Ridge Hill
1 Ridge Hill Blvd.

— Bethany Quinn


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