Where, Oh Where Is Santa Claus?

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It’s December. Officially Christmas season for those of us who celebrate one holiday at a time. Wink, wink.

You’re probably threatening your kids with talking about Santa’s visit later this month and really starting to get in the spirit, which means “The Visit” is front of mind.

Dare we attempt it again with our now-one-year-older-toddler who screamed bloody murder last year? Or, how do we take advantage of our smiley, Santa-adoring six-year old to get that perfect picture for the mantel (without the crowds dampening the spirit)?

Make an informed holiday decision! We’ve made it easy for you.

The Usual Suspects // Mall Santas:

Hulen Mall: located in the lower level center court. I’ve heard great things about this Santa, and if you go early in the month on a weekday, the wait time is next to nothing. Pet and family portraits (on a special family set) are also available. Bonus: you can reserve your spot online if you’re worried about a line. Prices vary by photo package purchased.

Ridgmar Mall: located on the lower level in the Kids Court. Guests receive a free gift with their visit. Check website for specific times. Prices vary by photo package purchased.

The Parks at Arlington: Adventure to Santa takes families on a magical (4D virtual) sleigh ride to the North Pole with the help of Shrek and his friends. This unique experience is only available at select locations across the country! Prices vary; reservations recommended. Check website for additional information.

North East Mall: located in Center Court. Each child visiting Santa receives a magnetic photo frame, while supplies last. Appointments available online. Prices vary by photo packaged purchased.

Santa imageDon’t want to hit the mall during prime shopping season? You have lots of other options:

Sundance Square: Visit Santa outdoors in front of a 60’ tree! Open Wednesday-Sunday starting at 11:00 a.m. Closing times vary; check website for details. $10 donation benefits Fort Worth Sister Cities International Scholarship Fund; taking photos with your personal camera is also allowed.

Christmas in the Stockyards: December 5, 12:00-5:00 p.m. only. Bring your own camera for pictures with Cowboy Santa! Free.

Log Cabin Village—Holidays at the Hearth: December 5 only, 1:00 -4:00 p.m. Snap a photo with a historic St. Nick and take advantage of holiday music and activities while you’re there. Cost is regular Village admission plus $5 for a photo with Santa and a $2 craft fee if you would like to make an ornament.

Central Market “Selfies with Santa”: December 12, 11:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. only. Located in the Café seating area downstairs. Each child participant will be treated to a complimentary cookie! Bring your own camera. Free.

Cowboy Santa at Will Rogers: located in the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall at Best of the West through December 12. This Santa is old-school cowboy complete with cowboy hat, red velvet western suit, gold bolo tie, and Christmas-themed boots. You can’t get more “Fort Worth” than that. Dates and times vary; check online for full schedule.

Gaylord Texan’s Lone Star Christmas: Santa photos located in Lone Star Atrium. Times vary, check website for details. Packages start at $34.99.

Bass Pro Shops—Santa’s Wonderland: located in Grapevine. Free crafts, games and activities, a free carousel (!!!), as well as a free 4×6 photo with Santa and free personalized digital Christmas Card. (Word to the wise, go early in December.)

Main Street Santa—Grapevine: 705 S. Main St., located inside the North Pole Neighborhood. Appointments recommended.

Arlington Christkindl Market—Santa Haus with St. Nick: located near Globe Life Park. This annual event runs until December 23 and features authentic German cuisine, beverages, entertainment, arts, crafts, and holiday gifts. Santa is open for visitors Monday – Thursday, 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Fridays and Sundays, 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; and Saturdays 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This Santa has a traditional German-rustic feel and is a unique experience! Admission and parking are free.

In addition to the Santas above, there are tons of Breakfast with Santa events; check out the FWMB 2015 Guide to Holiday Happenings for more info on those.

And finally, if you can’t make one of these locations or have a kiddo who detests seeing the Big Guy (but of course is still enamored with the idea of him), there’s also the 23rd annual A Phone Call from Santa program benefitting The Warm Place. December 15-16, 6:30-8:30. $20 – must be purchased ahead of time.

Happy Santa-ing! Tell him we said hello.

Kelly has called Fort Worth home since April 2006 when she moved here to start her life with her then-fiance. Married for 8.5 years, they have a fiery, curly-headed three-year old daughter (January 2012) whose personality matches the size of her hair when she wakes up (BIG). Kelly is a full-time mom and wife and works at home as a freelance graphic/web/communications designer. In her kid-free time, she can be found crafting just about anything, unwinding with a glass of wine and a magazine, meeting girlfriends to catch up, or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with her husband.



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