Free Photos with Santa for Kids in the West Suburbs

Indoor ActivitiesOutdoor Activities

This is the 2021 guide you need to for free photo opportunities with Santa this Christmas season. Some of these are drop-in opportunities, while others require you to register in advance, so be sure to click the links provided in order to register if need be. These visits with Santa will leave kids smiling with holiday cheer . . . and make for photographic memories that last for years to come!

2021 Free Photos with Santa in Chicago’s West Suburbs

Events Spanning the Season

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro (Bolingbrook)
Now through December 24, 2021
Make a reservation online for a free photo with Santa and a to-go craft kit that celebrate the season. Tip: Check daily to see spots open up as cancellations happen. Reservations are limited, so secure your spot today.

Lincoln Park ZooLights (Chicago)
November 20-24, 26-30, December 1-23, 26-31 2021 and January 1-2, 2022 | 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets are available online for $5 with 5 free nights available. Families can take a photo with Santa at the Helen Brach Primate House nightly from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. through December 23.

Holiday Lights at Lilacia Park (Lombard)
November 20-24, 26-30, December 1-23, 26-31 2021 and January 1-2, 2022 | 4:00pm – 10:00pm
Free visits with Santa, plus a magical Elf hunt!

Santa’s House (St. Charles)
Every Saturday and Sunday from November 27 – December 19, 2021 | 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Stop by the East First Street Plaza for photos with Santa. Kids can also drop off letters to Santa in the North Pole before taking photos.

Special Events

Santa at the Gazebo (Aurora)
December 4, 11 and 18, 2021 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Available only on the first three Saturdays of December, visit Santa for a free digital photo. Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance only on December 4.

Once upon a Christmas (Lisle)
December 4, 2021 | 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Socially distanced photos with Santa will be available before the event main parade between 2-4pm.

Photos with Santa (Wheaton)
December 4, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm
Organized by EXIT Realty Redefined, enjoy a free photo with Santa. Donations for Wish Upon a Rescue will be open at this event in exchange for a Free photo.

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.

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. 

Photos with Santa (Melrose Park)
December 5, 2021 | 10:00am – 2:00pm
Organized by Cobblestone Realty, enjoy a free photo with Santa. Hot chocolate, coffee and pastries will also be served.

Pictures with Santa (Berwyn)
December 11, 2021 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Organized by RE/MAX Partners, this is the 5th Annual Photos with Santa. A professional photographer will be there to share free photos digitally. Must register in advance.

Winter Fest (Willow Springs)
December 27, 2021 | 3:00pm – 8:30pm
First ever winter fest event in Willow Springs. Free photos with Santa will be available at the event. There’s even fireworks at 8.30pm.

Looking for more chances to catch Santa? Check out our list for where to see Santa in the near western suburbs. It includes in-person and virtual visits!

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  • 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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