He’s here, he’s here! Santa Claus has made it to town and mall, by boat, by train, and by firetruck. And though it may seem like Christmas is sneaking up on us (especially if you’re like me and still have some Halloween decorations floating around), there’s still plenty of time to get in a visit with the big guy in red. Here’s where you can plan for a visit with Santa around Baltimore to share your wishlist with this old familiar friend.
where to see santa in baltimore
Santa’s Place at Harborplace
Santa has a new home on the harbor–a holly jolly harborplace home to be exact. Don’t panic when you notice that the traditional Christmas cottage in the Inner Harbor has been replaced by the Pandora Ice Rink. Santa has relocated to inside of the Light Street Pavilion, but you can expect the same holiday charm and photo opportunities in this new venue. Check the schedule before you go–and schedule your visit around Santa’s 2 breaks to minimize your wait time. From now through December 10, hours are noon to 7 p.m. with a break from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Starting December 11 through December 23, Santa is on duty 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with breaks from noon to 12:45 p.m. and again from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. Santa heads back to the North Pole at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. MORE
The Shops at Kenilworth
A popular Santa photo opp in Baltimore County is at the Shops at Kenilworth. Special events include pet photos with Santa through December 14 as well as a Saturday morning breakfast with Santa and magic show for $10 a person at 8:30 a.m. on December 12th and 19th. Contact Ashley’s Sweet Beginnings to reserve your spot. Don’t worry about long lines–even after a long wait, the promise of a visit at the beloved train garden downstairs and a cupcake or some macaroons downstairs at Ashley’s Sweet Beginnings are often enough to keep impatient visitors in line. MORE
For 31 years, Santa Luke has been charming visitors young and old at the Mondawmin Mall. Santa Luke is African-American, but as he explained in a Baltimore Sun article two years ago, “Santa Claus is color blind.” And it’s not the color of his skin that has been drawing legions of Santa Luke’s fans for over 3 decades—it’s his kindness and easy-going nature with kids that keep people coming back each year. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. until December 11 when Santa welcomes friends until 8 p.m. on all days except Sunday (ends at 6 p.m. on December 13 and 7 p.m. on December 14). Type-A planners can even book a reservation for a sitdown with Santa ahead of time as long as you’re planning on purchasing a photo, too, through the My Santa Experience program. MORE
Other Malls Around Town
Santa has already made himself comfortable at the local malls around Baltimore. Check the website for hours, coupons, reservations (not required), and special events including pet nights and family portraits for The Mall in Columbia, White Marsh Mall, Towson Town Center, Westfield Annapolis, Harford Mall, and Arundel Mills.
Other Santa Sightings Around Town
Santa is stopping by Hunt Valley shopping center at Greetings & Readings from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays December 12 and 19. Come early for storytime at 11 and stick around for the Santa visit and to ooh and aaah over the 40-foot-tall tree outside on the square.
So your kid is afraid of Santa, but what about the ice queen Elsa? Perhaps she can use those icy powers to detract your little one from big fears of the man in red at the B&O Railroad Museum. Train rides are available with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even Frosty during select times on weekends until December 20. There’s also a roster of special guests including the Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kristoff from the Frozen gang as well as the LEGO man. While you’re there, check out the special holiday train displays in the Roundhouse and other special events that are part of the Magical Holiday Express.
Santa returns this year to the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. Visit on December 12, 13, 19, or 20 and enjoy a ride on an authentic car accompanied by Santa with your admission fee (adults are $10, children under 12 are $8). A classic holiday train garden and tree decorated with hundreds of LED lights add to the festive atmosphere.
Just when you thought you couldn’t love Hampden’s Play Cafe any more, Santa is stopping in for a visit on Tuesday nights in December until December 15. Stop in between 6:30 and 8:30 for a bite to eat before heading down the street to explore the miraculous lights on 34th Street. Save room for ice cream at The Charmery, a must-eat stop on any Baltimore holiday tour.
Hoppin Santa? Reserve a free 30-minute jump time at Towson’s new trampoline park Rockin’ Jump on Thursday December 10 between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. We know his reindeer can fly, but let’s see how Santa holds up on on the X-Beam or Dunk Zone. We’re not sure how you’ll fare if you engage in a game of dodgeball with Santa–proceed with caution if you intend to stay on the Nice List.