Is it even possible to get a picture with Santa in 2020? The answer is yes! Santa might outdoors, he might be wearing a mask, and he’ll definitely be a fan of social distancing—unless, of course, you take that photo with him virtually. Still, if your family needs a pic with Santa here’s where to find him and still be Covid safe. For more ideas on things to do with kids in NYC during the holidays, head here!
Santa Cookie Car Experience
Santa-on-demand + cookies? Is there anything better? Thanks to dessert brand Baked in Color, Santa will be traveling around the New York Metro area gifting sweet holiday treats and posing for socially-distant DIY photos.
He's on the road from Dec. 10-25, by appointment only. Price is $60 per visit including treats.
Click here to book your Baked in Color Santa visit!
Santa at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Santa is back at the Winter Village at Bryant Park! From December 17 through December 23, where families can say hello to Santa and get a holiday photo from a safe social distance!
There are two ways to snap a photo. Families can bring their own camera or cell phone, or a Christmas elf will take a photo that can be downloaded from the Santa’s Corner at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Flickr page.
It’s free to sign up, but you must make a reservation. Click here to to sign up. Reservations are open daily from 12:24 p.m.-1:05 p.m.
Santa at the Rink at Rockefeller Center
It's unclear if Santa is posing for photos formally, but he is lacing up his skates and taking to the ice. He'll be dropping by the Rink at Rockefeller Center daily from December 18-24, 1-5 p.m. Tickets are going fast, so hop to it!
45 Rockefeller Plaza
Macy's Santaland at Herald Square
Yes, like everyone else, Santa's online now. While it's not ideal, this year's workaround does have its advantages. For starters: it's free!
Visits with Santa will run November 27 to December 24, exclusively online.
You do not need a reservation for this brand new, interactive and personalized on-demand virtual experience. (And, another bonus: before getting the kids involved, a grownup can pick a Santa that looks more like the kids he's greeting!)
Santa's Corner at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is back for another season! The iconic winter experience features the only free admission skating rink in NYC, as well as Holiday Shops curated by Urbanspace.
Santa typically stops by for free holiday photos at "Santa's Corner," but details on those dates are still forthcoming for 2020. Check back here for info!
Winter Village at Bryant Park
Sixth Ave. & W 42nd St.
Big Apple Portraits
Private photo sessions with Santa from Big Apple Portraits are happening outside this year! This Santa is high energy and playful—you can even tie him up in Christmas lights if you want! Sessions are a quick 10 or 15 minutes, must be booked in advance, and start at $135. Next session date is December 12.
143 W. 72nd St. , 2nd Fl.
Upper West Side
Hudson Yards Virtual Santa Station
Ok, this is cheating a little bit, because this is a virtual Santa—but Hudson Yards is hosting a free, augmented reality trip to the North Pole and Santa's Workshop.
Download the Membit APP and head to Level 3 of The Shops. There, kids can "walk through mounds of snow, stroll along candy cane lanes, pose for pictures alongside animated polar bears, elves, penguins, Rudolph," and more. Then, step inside an open-air phone booth, and enjoy a special video chat with Santa Claus through the Membit APP. (Membit is available for download on iOS devices and the exclusive Hudson Yards geolocation holiday channel will appear when guests arrive at The Shops.)
10th Ave. & 34th St.
St. Nicholas Day Celebration at Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
You can't take a photo with Sinterklaas here (there's a family photo booth for snaps) but you can see him arrive on horseback and tell a story! This holiday event takes place entirely outside with social distancing so wear warm clothes and a mask!
St. Nicholas arrives on horseback around 2:30PM. He will tell the traditional tale of "The Bakers Dozen" and children are invited to sign the Red Book. Sip hot cider, try your hand at colonial games, create a holiday pomander, decorate a Dutch clog for Sinterklaas, and dress the tree for the tree lighting that will close the day as the sun goes down.
Dec. 5, 2-4:30 p.m.
Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum
5816 Clarendon Rd.
Town Square's Santa Brunch
A tentative date of December 6 has been set for this annual community event. In the past its included brunch with pancakes, ham, arts & crafts, and most importantly, face time with Santa himself. Elsa makes an appearance sometimes, too.
Sun., Dec. 8, time and cost TBD
Polish & Slavic Center
176 Java St.
Queens Center Mall
Santa will be at the Queens Center Mall for socially-distant, contactless, masked visits daily, through December 24. Visits with Santa are free (photos are not), and it's highly recommended that you make a reservation. Do that here. (No visits on December 7.)
90-15 Queens Blvd.
Vander-Ende Onderdonk House 40th St. Nicholas Day Celebration
The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House on the border of Bushwick and Ridgewood is celebrating its 40th St. Nicholas Day Celebration! Come out to sing carols, enjoy a hot cup of apple cider and a cookie, receive a seasonal craft & goody bag, and of course-visit with St. Nicholas himself! Tickets are by reservation for timed entry; click here for tickets.
The event will be primarily outdoors, with visits inside the House Museum to take a photograph with St. Nicholas and see the holiday decorations. Dress warmly and bring a mask. Rain Date Sun., December 6.
Sat., Dec. 5, Noon-5
The Vander-Ende Onderdonk House
1820 Flushing Ave.
Ridge Hill Mall
The Ridge Hill Mall is about a 40-minute drive north of the city, and you can get a photo with Santa here, with lots of safety precautions in place. Kids do not sit in Santa's lap, and both children and St. Nick wear face masks. (But the kids can still let him know what they would like for Christmas.) Social distancing is required, and reservations are highly recommended; click here to make one. Find Santa at 127 Market Street, across from Uniqlo.
Nov. 27-Dec. 24
1 Ridge Hill Blvd.
— Jesseca Stenson