Santa Claus is coming to town! This guide will help you capture a timeless memory with a photo with Santa and the family. Enjoy the smiles, and sometimes the tears that comes with meeting Santa for the kids. This year, venues are coming up with creative ways to carry on those traditions. With COVID precautions in place, some locations have been creative in managing this process so we have categorized the events into in-person and virtual! Remember to check events for registration information and details!
P.S : Have you seen our list of where to dine with Santa for 2021? Check it out for even more holiday fun!
This article is sponsored by Orland Square Mall and Western Springs Business Association.
Where to See Santa in Chicago’s Western Suburbs and at Home!
Please note that many of these events require pre-registration. Be sure to click on each link for additional information, including any fees.
Santa Events Spanning the Season
Family Photos with Santa (Wheaton)
November 6, 2021 , 10:00 am –2:00 pm
Time to do a good deed for as part of giving back for the holidays. In exchange for a photo with Santa, make a donation to Wish Upon a Rescue at this event. This event is pet-friendly.
Santa at Bass Pro Shop (Bolingbrook)
November 6 – December 24, 2021
Walk up or make reservations while you are at the store.
Santa Photo Experience at Orland Square Mall (Orland Park)
November 12 – December 24, 2021
Families return year after year to the Santa Photo Experience at Orland Square Mall to interact with their classic Santa for timeless photos. With his authentic white beard and dressed in red, white and a hint of gold, Orland Square’s jolly Santa helps families create memories that will last a lifetime. The Santa Photo Experience is located in the lower level H&M wing and is open 11/12-12/24. Visit the News & Events page at www.OrlandSquare.com for daily hours.
Photos with Santa at Oakbrook Center
November 18 – December 24, 2021
Reservations are encouraged.
Contactless Photos with Santa at Fashion Outlets (Rosemont)
November 18 – December 24, 2021
Visits with Santa are free, photo packages available for purchase.
Lincoln Park ZooLights (Chicago)
November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022 , 4–10 pm
Tickets are available online for $5 with 5 free nights available. Santa will be socially distanced and available for pictures through December 23, 2021 from 4 – 9.30pm.
SantaLand (Macy’s Chicago)
November 26 – December 24, 2021
Make a reservation online 5 days in advance of your visit.
Photos with Santa at WNDR Museum (Chicago)
Saturdays and Tuesdays, November 27 – December 21, 2021
Interactive light-up Santa experience with Santa’s LED sleigh and photos with Santa for $25 in addition to general admission.
Santa’s Craft Corner (Wheaton)
November 27, December 4 & 11, 2021 | 10:00 am – 2:00pm
Visit Santa at the Cosley Zoo. Crafts and refreshments will be included.
Moms Of Western Burbs “Photos with Santa” (Wheaton)
November 28, 2021 , 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
This event supports a charity every year. This year, a toy drive will be done for the Teen Partner Connection organization. Please refer to the event information for more details.
Celebration of Lights festival (Batavia)
November 28, 2021 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
A jam-packed event over the course of two hours. Santa will arrive at 5:30 to share a treat with kids under 10. This is a free event.
Santa Sundays at Museum of Illusions (Chicago)
Sundays from November 28 – December 19, 2021 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
In addition to photo ops, children receive a special holiday treat at the end of their visit.
Santa’ s Naperville Workshop (Naperville)
November 29 – December 23 | 5:00 pm– 8:00 pm
Santa will be working out of his workshop at the Riverwalk cafe. Resident and non-resident registration opens up November 16th and 18th respectively. Please refer to the website for registration links when live.
Festival of Lights Opening Night & Kris Kringle Market (Bloomingdale)
December 3, 2021 | 3:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Get into the holiday spirit with 5 hours of festivities. Santa will visit between 4 – 6.30pm. Refer to the event agenda for all other activities.
Winter Wonderland and Photos with Santa
December 4, 2021 | 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Tower Green, along Hillgrove Avenue
The WSBA’s Winter Wonderland is back again this year on Saturday, December 4th from 12:00 – 5:00pm! Make your way to the Tower Green by 12:30pm to see Santa arrive on the firetruck! This event will also feature photos with Santa, holiday music, hayrides around the Tower Green, a petting zoo and the village tree lighting at 5:00pm! A huge thank you to our Headline Sponsors McNeily & Company and @properties Western Springs!
There will also be additional opportunities for photos with Santa on the following dates: Sunday, December 5th, Saturday, December 11th and Sunday, December 12th. Visit www.westernspringsbusiness.com to make your reservation. (no walk-ups allowed) Photos will be taken in front of the Santa House at the Tower Green.
You can also pre-purchase your luminaria kit to ‘Light up Western Springs’ on Tuesday, December 24th. Kits can be purchased online at a discounted price for pick-up at Winter Wonderland or any weekend Santa is at the Tower Green.
Santa at the Gazebo (Aurora)
December 4, 11 , 18, 2021| 1:00pm – 3:00pm
This is a free event with an option for downloadable professional photos. Pets are welcome.
Santa Gretna Station Visits (Carol Stream)
December 4 , 2021| 9:00 am – 5:00pm
Expect an open-air sleigh ride to see Santa at the North pole to be held at Central park. Registrations required.
Joyful Traditions 2021 (Villa Park)
December 4 , 2021| 4:00 pm – 8:00pm
This annual event has been running for 23 years. Get free photos with Santa and a chance to ride in a trolley while enjoying festive decorations.
The Santa Trolley (Oak Park)
December 5 and 12, 2021 | (Multiple time slots available)
Kids are going to feel like they are boarding a train to the North Pole through the Santa Trolley. Games, songs, entertainment, and more are part of the agenda for the day.
Pictures with Santa (Hinsdale)
December 5 – 6, 2021| 9:00am – 12:00pm
Only for Hinsdale Residents. Maximum of 30 families per day so register register in advance to see Santa and Mrs. Claus for a picture at Burlington Park.
Santa Express (Wheaton)
December 5, 11 and 12, 2021 | 9:15 am and and 11:15am
Special train rides organized by Kidz Kingdom and DuPage County Historical Museum. Seats are limited.
Woodland Santa’s Holiday Workshop (St. Charles)
December 6, 2021 | 10:00am – 11:30am
Santa will arrive in style, pulled by his huskies. Children will enjoy a day of hanging out with Santa, making an ornament, and getting an opportunity to have a photo with Santa.
Santa’s Dinner Dash (St. Charles)
December 10, 2021 | 4:00pm – 7:00 pm
Enjoy a family dinner, coloring books, and frosted cookies. Then, meet Santa while you pick your dinner up.
Polar Express Pajama Party (Glen Ellyn)
December 11, 2021 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Each child registered will receive a small gift from Santa. Families will board the train and La Grange and stop at Naperville where a treat and drink will be served.
Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Downers Grove)
December 12, 2021 | 9:00 am – 3:15 pm
Come by for free photos with with Santa and Mrs. Claus at this Downers Grove Park District event, “Candy Cane Lane.”
Sensory Sensitive Cookies with Santa (Oak Park)
December 15, 2021 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm (3 different sessions)
Register in advance for your one-hour session at this event designed for families who have a member with sensory sensitivities! Photo opportunities with Santa will be available in the Cheney Library.
Santa Stocking Deliveries (Oak Brook)
December 15, 2021| 6:00pm – 8:00 pm
Delivery is limited to Oak Brook Park district boundary. Imagine your child’s face when receiving a stocking full of presents from Santa!
Visit from Santa (Villa Park)
December 18, 2021 | 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Only for Villa Park residents, Santa will pop by for a short time to meet kids and read their wish lists and grab photos with the kids.
An Evening with Santa (Morris)
December 18, 2021 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Princesses, Santa, and Mrs. Claus are expected to join families for a fun evening. There will be a live demo using chainsaws of ice carving along with other surprises that are currently unannounced.
Father Christmas (Oak Park)
December 18, 2021 | 10:00 am – 1:00pm (3 different sessions)
A Victorian-themed event that lets kids travel back in time to visit Father Christmas at Pleasant home. Register in advance
Santa on the Stoop (Glen Ellyn Residents Only)
December 18 and 19 2021| 1:00pm – 4:30pm
Santa is going to spend up to 5 mins by your door porch for a short chat with your kid and to drop off a present just for them.
Deck the Green (Burr Ridge)
December 19, 2021 | 5:00pm – 7:00pm
New event for 2021, all visitors will get a chance to see Santa and kids will have photo opportunities with the man himself. He will be on a sleigh, allowing kids to come up and chat with him and pose in front of it, all while keeping social distancing in mind. Admission is free.
Santa Drive By (Hoffman Estates)
December 20, 21 , 2021 | (Multiple time slots available)
Santa will not be stopping for photos, but will stop by to see your kids through the windows and to drop off small gifts. Registrations are needed for this event. Limited space.
Storytime with Santa (St. Charles)
December 20, 2021 | 6:15pm – 6:45 pm
Santa will read Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas while kids sip on hot chocolate. Sing-alongs will be included during the 30-minute timeslot.
Holiday Express (Oak Brook)
December 21, 2021| 4:00pm onwards
Expect an open-air sleigh ride to see Santa at the North pole to be held at Central Park. Registrations required.
Santa’s Village Santa for You (Comes to Your House)
Santa comes along with his house that is delivered curbside for you. Great option for large parties and events.
Virtual Santa Visits
SantaLand (Macy’s Chicago)
November 26 – December 24, 2021
2021 – Santa’s visits are also available in physical Chicago stores but the virtual option remains . Games, videos, elves, and a Santa selfie at the end. No details have been released for in-person Santa meetings.
Santa on the Line (Oswego)
December 15, 2021 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Registration closes December 9. Parents will fill in an online survey that will help shape Santa’s conversation with your child.
Virtual Visit with Santa Claus (Virtual)
Now – December 31, 2021
Each visit with a Santa Claus online video session starts with up to 10 minutes of chat time. Be prepared to sing a Christmas song with Santa.
Zuhoo Experience with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Virtual)
Now through December 24, 2021
Personalized calls with Santa or Mrs. Claus is sure to put a smile on your child’s face.
Bedtime Stories with Santa (Virtual)
December 22, 2021 | 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Organized by the Park District of Oak Park, this virtual session has the perfect time slot for the big man himself to read a bedtime story to your child.
To All a Goodnight: A Fantastical Christmas Eve with Mr. and Mrs. Claus (Virtual)
December 24, 201 | 6:00pm
Presented by Find Black Santa and The Black Santa Houston, this one-hour virtual event will feature interactive games, a sing-a-long with Mrs. Claus, and storytime. Register for tickets in advance as spots are limited.
Dates to be announced
Contactless Photos with Santa at Yorktown Center (Lombard)
Annual event. Currently no information updated as of publishing.
Please check their website for more information.
Want to enjoy more activities with St. Nick? Check out the polar express, holiday express, and Santa trolleys. So keep your eyes out for all the Santa sightings to come!