Santa is Back in Town! Where to Get Santa Photos in San Diego

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Jolly Old St. Nick is back in town this year to visit and snap photos with all his favorite girls and boys (albeit with all the proper precautions in place to keep everyone healthy and safe). We’ve found plenty of places around San Diego where you can celebrate the holidays and mingle with Kris Kringle. Read on to see where to take your camera and your wish list to get photos with Santa.

Visit Santa in His Secret Garden

Every Sat. and Sun. through Dec. 19th 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. The Winter Fairy will be on hand to welcome guests. Bring your cameras! 

Safety measures will be in place throughout the visit. Guests will have the option to have children stand next to Santa or be socially distanced by sitting on a bench in front of Santa.

Pro Tip: Skip the line and book your visit online!


It’s a Pawty at Westfield UTC

Santa is available for photos and he’d love to meet your favorite four-legged pal. Westfield UTC invites families to enjoy the time-honored tradition of taking their photo with the man in the big red suit, capturing the precious moment to be remembered for years to come. This year, Santa will be located near Macy’s and the Children’s play space. Families are encouraged to make a reservation. Safety measures will be in place throughout the experience. Guests will be given the option to have children stand next to Santa or be socially distanced by sitting on a bench in front of Santa More information can be found here. 

Special Santa Paws Event is scheduled for Dec 6, 4-8 PM; Dec 13, 4-8 PM. More info here




Say Hello to Santa at Old Poway Park

Don’t miss your chance to visit with Santa at Old Poway Park on Dec. 11 from 3:30 to 8:30 pm! This free event will take you back in time with caroling, live music, horse-drawn hayrides, and so much more. Purchase tasty holiday treats, finish your Christmas shopping at the craft boutique, or board the Poway Midland Railroad for a night-time ride around the park. Children of all ages will enjoy the annual lighting of the community Christmas tree at 5:15 pm. followed by Santa’s arrival, free crafts and model trains.

Free shuttles to and from the event will be available from two locations: Poway City Hall parking lot, located at 13325 Civic Center Drive, and Poway Adult School parking lot, located at 13626 Twin Peaks Road. Shuttles will run throughout the event, beginning at 3 p.m. and leaving Old Poway Park for the last trip at 9 p.m. Admission is free. 

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.  Cost is $40 for a flash drive with captured photos. Santa’s schedule can be found here; no appointment is necessary.

More details.

Del Mar Highlands

#TisTheSeasun 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, welcoming boys and girls and posing for photos! This year, you can enjoy #TisTheSeasun decor throughout the outdoor shopping center which includes a larger-than-life igloo, interactive and singing Christmas tree as well as lights for as far as the eye can see!

Check Del Mar Highlands’ Facebook & Instagram pages for updates. Santa’s visit times vary by day.

More details

Santa Cares at The Shoppes at Carlsbad

Children within all spectrums of special needs and their families are welcome to visit Santa during one of two “Santa Cares” days at The Shoppes at Carlsbad. The event takes place before the mall opens from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. for a sensory-friendly, less hectic event to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit and photos with Santa.  This unique opportunity is specially designed to create a comfortable and inviting environment so all children can feel comfortable with Santa. Reservations are encouraged. 

––Aimee Della Bitta & Beth Shea


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