Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, new closures occur at the last minute due to Covid-19. We highly recommend that you call ahead before you pack your kids (and all those snacks, and diapers…) and haul them across town. Stay safe! 

2020 has definitely made the naughty list, but Santa is still coming to town for a visit and to snap photos with all his favorite girls and boys. We’ve found plenty of places around San Diego where you can celebrate the holidays and mingle with Kris Kringle at a safe distance. We even found a spot where you can get a photo with the Grinch! Read on for where to take your camera and your wish list to get photos with Santa.

Mingle with Kris Kringle at Westfield UTC

Westfield UTC is welcoming guests to safely experience their favorite traditions with friends and family, including that special visit with the big red elf. ​Kris Kringle himself will be available next to Anthropologie. Face coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older, physical distancing practices will be followed (including following social distancing in queues and physical barriers where space doesn’t allow for 6 feet of separation). Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged to promote social distancing and contact-less payments and there will be an increased focus on disinfection and sanitation, including the addition of hand sanitizer in high traffic areas.

There are three photo packages available. Pricing ranges from $39.99 - $49.99. 

Santa is available now through Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

More details.

Visit Santa in His Secret Garden

Every Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 20th from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. you can stop by to see Santa in his Secret Garden at The Forum Carlsbad. Find St. Nick behind the Christmas Tree between lululemon and Paper Source. Santa will be inside a giant Snow Globe for social distancing. The Winter Fairy from Royal Entertainers will be on hand to welcome guests every Sat., Dec. 5-19. Bring your cameras, masks and social distance. There is no cost to Visit Santa at The Forum.

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Say Hello to Santa at Old Poway Park

Don’t miss your chance to visit with Santa at Old Poway Park on Dec. 19! Stop by to drop off your letters to the jolly fellow, pick up holiday crafts, and have a socially distanced visit with Santa (pre-registration required for Santa visits).  Santa visits will be done with the safety of all in mind and following all public health protocols, while providing the most memorable experience possible for you and your family. To encourage physical distancing during the in-person visits with Santa, Santa will be sitting on the train and the families visiting with him will be on the ground (6 feet away). 

Reservations are set up to provide time in between visits. This will minimize wait times for families and enhance social distancing efforts. All guests will be required to wear a face mask. Register for a Santa visit here.

More details.

See St. Nick at Seaport Village

Capture the magic of the holiday season in a photo with Seaport’s resident Santa Claus. Families can stop by Santa’s new location by the food court (previously Wyland Gallery) to strike a pose with jolly Kris Kringle. Enhanced safety measures, including plexiglass and sanitation protocols, will be implemented to assure the well-being of all guests. Cost is $40 for a flash drive with captured photos. Santa’s schedule can be found here; no appointment necessary.

More details.

Santa & Mrs. Claus Reign Supreme at Del Mar Highlands Town Center

Get into the holiday spirit with a family photo with Santa at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center this Christmas. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there all throughout the holiday season, with their friend Delmer the penguin! There will not be a photographer onsite, but all photos are free! 

Note: Dates may change due to inclement weather. Check Del Mar Highlands' Facebook & Instagram pages for updates. Santa's visit times vary by day.

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Join the Grinch at The Grinch's Grotto

Celebrate the holiday season with a twist by visiting the Grinch’s Cave at Westfield UTC. Your party will meet The Grinch and interact with him right in his cave, as well as pose for a photo. Your admission includes a free 6x8” printed photo with a perfectly playful Grinch catch phrase. With over 20 sayings to choose from, you can customize your own Grinch holiday memory. Admission also gets you a collectible Grinch ornament.

Each ticket allows admission for up to 5 guests to meet the Grinch as a group. This ticket secures your individual time to meet the Grinch and experience his cave. In order to follow Covid-19 guidelines and keep to the schedule, please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. Late arrivals are not guaranteed.

Click here for tickets.

––Beth Shea


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