Where to Take Your Kids for Free Photos with Santa

While some Christmas traditions may come and go, getting a photo with Santa is a staple of the holiday season. With three children under 6, our family photos lately have one child with a blank stare, one looking to the side, and one with an adorable “can we get this over with?” smile. At these events, stop to see Santa and get a FREE photo. (Some places will provide the camera, and others ask you to use your own.) Don’t forget your wish list!


2019 Free Photos with Santa in Chicago’s West Suburbs

Events Spanning the Season

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro (Bolingbrook)
Now through December 24, 2019
Free photo with Santa, games, crafts, and activities that celebrate the season.

Holiday Lights at Lilacia Park (Lombard)
Weekends starting December 8, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Holiday light shows, decorated trees, a giant gingerbread house, free visits with Santa and other holiday characters, and complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.

Visit with Santa (Downers Grove)
Weekends through December 22, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Visit with Santa in his little house!

Special Events

Holiday Tree Lighting at Waiola Park (La Grange)
December 3, 2019 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Holiday entertainment, a special visitor from the North Pole and live reindeer.

Pumpkin Patches and Pumpkin Farms in the Chicagoland Area

Tree Lighting in Wilder Park (Elmhurst)
December 5, 2019 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Holiday entertainment, visit from Santa, children’s activities in Wilder Mansion, live reindeer, and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa.

Christmas Walk  (Clarendon Hills)
December 6, 2019 | 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Santa will visit with children after his arrival while his elves serve hot cocoa and cookies.

Winter Wonderland and Hope for the Holidays (Romeoville)
December 6, 2019 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Admission is one non-perishable food item and activities include children’s entertainment, inflatables, crafts, a picture with Santa (for the first 400 children), and more.

Holiday Walk and Festival of Windows (Forest Park)
December 6, 2019 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Live window displays, face painting, horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa and his reindeer will be at this annual Holiday Walk.

Holiday Market (Tinley Park)
December 6, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, December 7, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, December 8, 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Enjoy a heated tent with crafts, food, and entertainment. Outdoor activities include horse and carriage rides, bonfire, and ice carving. Head inside the train station for a free photo with Santa.

Winter Wonderland (Lombard)
December 6, 2019 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Santa will be available to take pictures, listen to your wish list. Light refreshments will be served.

October 2020 Family-Friendly Events

Santa’s Pit Stop (Orland Park)
December 7, 2019 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Bring your camera to capture a picture of your child’s visit with Santa. No fee or pre-registration necessary.

Winter Market (Tinley Park)
December 7, 2019 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Pictures with Santa, vendor fair, bake sale, balloons, and crafts.

Christmas on the Farm (West Chicago)
December 7 and 8, 2019 | 1:30 – 3:30 pm
Learn about Christmas celebrations in history, and stop to for a photo op with Santa in his sleigh.

Winter Wonderland (Western Springs)
December 7, 2019 | 2:00 – 7:00 pm
Visit Santa, take a carriage ride, and stop into local business for great deals and complimentary treats.

Once Upon a Christmas (Lisle)
December 7, 2019, 3:00 – 8:00 pm and December 8, 2019,  11:00 am – 4:00 pm 
A visit from Santa and a few of his reindeer; blacksmithing, ice carving and brick oven baking demonstrations; trolley and wagon rides, tree lighting ceremony, live entertainment and more.

Holiday Walk (La Grange)
December 7, 2019 | 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Petting zoo, pony rides, kiddie train, carolers, ice sculptures, trolley rides, Christmas Tree lighting and visits with Santa at Village Hall.

Joyful Traditions Family Fun Festival (Villa Park)
December 7, 2019 | 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Tree lighting, trolley car rides, photos with Santa, tasting tent, build your own s’mores, horse-drawn wagon rides and strolling carolers.

Local Haunted Hayrides, Walks, and Drives for Halloween 2020

Stories with Santa (River Forest)
December 14, 2019 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Stories, crafts, and photos with Santa upstairs by the fireplace.

Santa’s Workshop (North Berwyn)
December 14, 2019 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Write a letter to Santa, take a picture, or do other holiday crafts.

Santa Spectacular (Burr Ridge)
December 14, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be arriving to the Burr Ridge Village Center by helicopter!

Stories with Santa (Glen Ellyn)
December 14, 2019 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Holiday stories followed by photos with Santa and his LIVE reindeer.

Snow Much Fun (Westmont)
December 21, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Enjoy a wagon ride, visit with animals, and don’t forget to visit Santa in his workshop.

Looking for more chances to catch Santa? Check out where to see Santa in the near western suburbs. Also, for your four-legged friends, we’ve also sniffed out where to get pet photos with Santa.

About the Author

Katie Mayle
Katie is a mother of two girls and a baby boy (ages 6.5, 5, and 1.5). A Joliet native, she and her husband moved back to his hometown of Naperville after the birth of their second daughter. Her three kids keep her family very active, and she is grateful for the countless indoor and outdoor opportunities available to families in the western suburbs. She looks forward to sharing family-friendly fun with the parents of young children.

1 Comment on "Where to Take Your Kids for Free Photos with Santa"

  1. Cantigny Park (Wheaton) will have free photos with Santa this Saturday, Dec 3, at Celebrate the Season. Hours are 4 to 7 pm. The festival is free; parking is $5 per car. Mistletoe Market is also this Saturday, from 1 to 7 pm.

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