We’re just a few weeks away from Christmas this December—and that means Santa is getting ready to stop by Chicagoland and pay a visit. While there are many festive things to do this holiday season, from watching the Nutcracker to ice skating at Maggie Daley Park, paying a visit to Santa in Chicago is usually on the top of the list for your little ones. Whether you want to grab brunch with Old Saint Nick or check to see if you’re on the naughty or nice list, here are some places to do it!
1. The 900 North Michigan Shops
Nothing says holiday quite like a magical visit with Santa at 900. The halls have been decked and festooned with holiday decor, bringing the magic spirit.
For photos with Santa, a vintage sleigh has been nestled amongst a cluster of cherry pines, aglitter with hundreds of tiny holiday lights while whimsical woodland creatures frolic about in a blanket of fresh-fallen snow. Visits with Santa this year will be by reservation only, 11-6 pm daily, and cost $50.
Dates: Nov. 19—Dec. 24
Address: 900 N. Michigan Ave., Level 3
2. Fashion Outlets of Chicago
The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s winter wonderland. Santa will be there until December 24th, located in Center Court, near the Food Court. A visit with Santa is always free, and photo packages are available for purchase.
Dates: Nov. 19—Dec. 24
Address: 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont, IL 60018
Santa is heading to Gallagher Way! Numerous events are happening at Gallagher’s Winterland, such as live music in the lodge and holiday movie nights with showings like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Even better, as part of the festivities, kids can take free photos with Santa in his workshop every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Dates: Nov. 25—Dec. 23
Address: 3635 N. Clark St.
The iconic ZooLights returns, transforming Lincoln Park Zoo into a sparkling zoo wonderland. Santa will be making a handful of visits throughout the holiday event beginning Nov. 17 and also making an appearance on Dec. 14 for the “Adults Night Out: Holidaze” event alongside a DJ in the Pepper Family Wildlife Center.
General admission for Zoolights is $5, and the Holidaze tickets are $15. Tickets to free admission Mondays will be released the Tuesday prior at 11 am each week.
Dates: Select dates, Nov. 19—Jan. 1
Address: 2001 N. Clark St.
Celebrate Christmas with a visit from Santa at Macy’s and gaze upon one of the prettiest Christmas trees in Chicago. You can secure your spot on Santa’s nice list! Reservations are required at Macy’s, can be made up to five days in advance, and are open each day at 6:30 am.
Dates: Select dates, Nov. 11—Dec. 24
Address: 111 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602
6. Water Tower Place
The Water Tower Place is bringing the sweet joy of the Holiday season to Michigan Avenue, turning the Mag Mile into the Merry Mile.
Make even sweeter memories with your little elves with a special visit to the Sweetest Santa on the Mile. While the candy-filled photo pop-up is free for all to enjoy, Santa photos are available for an additional fee.
Dates: Nov. 18—Dec. 24
Address: 835 N. Michigan Ave., Level 7
7. The Ashburn at the Lowe’s Hotel
While we love a photo op with Santa, it becomes extra special when you sit down for a meal with him. The Ashburn, located inside the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, hosts a Brunch with Santa on Saturday, December 16 from 10 AM – 1 PM. You and your little elves will get to enjoy live holiday music, a cookie decorating station, a photo opportunity with Santa, and a delicious breakfast
Dates: Dec. 16
Address: 5300 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018
8. Summer House
Santa Claus is coming to town at Summer House! On December and December 22, the big man is leaving the North Pole and stopping by Summer House to hear what’s on your little one’s wishlist!
Say hi and visit Santa in Chicago and stay for brunch, which is available on both Sunday the 17th and Friday the 22nd. Enjoy a Cali-Mex Breakfast with Breakfast Tostadas and Mexican Hash Browns alongside brunch staples like Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes and Crispy Strawberry Waffles.
Dates: Dec. 17, Dec. 22
Address: 1954 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614