Taking the kids to meet Santa (and capturing the moment on camera) is a time-honored holiday tradition. But nothing gets you out of the Christmas spirit faster than waiting in long lines or shelling out big bucks to do it. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of local holiday events where the kids can meet and greet the big guy while you snap a few priceless photos—for free! Read on to find your perfect Santa photo op.
Free Photos with Santa in Chicago’s Western Suburbs
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro (Bolingbrook)
Now through December 24, 2017
Free photo with Santa, games, crafts, and activities that celebrate the season.
Visit with Santa (Downers Grove)
Weekends through December 17, 2017 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Visit with Santa in his little house!
Holly Days Opening Ceremony (Westmont)
November 25, 2017 | 3:45 – 6:45 pm
Photos with Santa’s elves and reindeer, followed by Santa’s welcome parade and the lighting of the Village Christmas tree. Then, visit with Santa and enjoy treats in the Westmont Centre.
Christmas Walk (Clarendon Hills)
December 1, 2017 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Santa will visit with children after his arrival while his elves serve hot cocoa and cookies.
Holiday Walk and Festival of Windows (Forest Park)
December 1, 2017 | 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.
Christmas Walk and Festival of Trees (Western Springs)
December 2, 2017 | 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Visit Santa, take a carriage ride, and stop into local business for great deals and complimentary treats.
Santa Suite at Swissotel Chicago (Chicago)
Beginning December 2, 2017 | 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tour the whimsical Santa Suite, featuring a magical display of 12 Christmas trees and a special table set for Santa and his guests. Then, enjoy complimentary snacks and giveaways.
Once Upon a Christmas (Lisle)
December 2, 2017, 3:00 – 8:00 pm and December 3, 2017, 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.
Joyful Traditions Family Fun Festival (Villa Park)
December 2, 2017 | 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Tree lighting, trolley car rides, photos with Santa, tasting tent, build your own s’mores, horse-drawn wagon rides and strolling carolers.
Hometown Holiday (La Grange)
December 2, 2017 | 3:00 – 9:00 pm
Petting zoo, pony rides, kiddie train, carolers, ice sculptures, trolley rides, Christmas Tree lighting and visits with Santa at Village Hall.
Holiday Lights at Lilacia Park (Lombard)
Weekends starting December 2, 2017 | 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.
Holiday Tree Lighting at Waiola Park (La Grange)
December 5, 2017 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Holiday entertainment, a special visitor from the North Pole and live reindeer.
Tree Lighting in Wilder Park (Elmhurst)
December 7, 2017 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Holiday entertainment, visit from Santa, children’s activities in Wilder Mansion, live reindeer, and complimentary cookies and hot cocoa.
Winter Wonderland (Lombard)
December 8, 2017 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Santa will be available to take pictures, listen to your special wishes, and share in the
holiday spirit. Light refreshments will be served.
Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus (Burr Ridge)
December 9, 2017 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Santa will be in the Community Room, behind Barbara’s Bookstore.
Hometown Holiday Block Party (Elmhurst)
December 16, 2017 | 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Live music, free kiddie train and visits with Santa at City Centre Plaza. Adult beverages are available for purchase. The Explore Elmhurst Holy Trolley runs from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Santa’s Bedtime Stories (Woodridge)
December 17, 2017 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
A special treasure hunt followed by Christmas stories, family photos and cookies and milk with Santa.
Stories with Santa (River Forest)
December 19, 2017 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Stories, crafts, and photos with Santa upstairs by the fireplace.
Stories with Santa (Glen Ellyn)
December 10, 2017 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Holiday stories followed by photos with Santa and his LIVE reindeer.
Winter Festival at Burr Ridge Village Center (Burr Ridge)
December 9, 2017 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Live reindeer, pony rides, treats, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Barbara’s Bookstore.