Whether you’re ready for him or not, Santa Claus is coming to town…and soon. If pictures with Santa are part of your annual holiday traditions, you likely have a favorite spot to pose with the big guy in red. Here’s our round-up of spots around Baltimore where you can visit with Santa and friends.
Where to See Santa in Baltimore
Santa’s Place at Harborplace
Santa paraded into town, past this year’s Waterfront Partnership Ice Rink, to his glittering home on Harbor on November 21st. He sticks around until he’s needed at the North Pole for some important business on December 24. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm. And remember that even Santa needs to take a snack break and use the bathroom, so bring along something to keep the holiday spirits high even when the lines are long.
The Shops at Kenilworth
The Santa Experience at the Shops at Kenilworth begins Saturday November 22 and runs through December 24. Check the website for regular hours which change on weekdays and weekends and include a midday break. After you visit with Santa on the second floor of the shopping center, leave plenty of time to enjoy the holiday train garden. The kids will love playing I-spy on a hunt for their favorite characters as part of the railroad scene. There are dedicated times for photos with pets, a weekend breakfast and magic show with Santa, and a Sensory-Friendly photo session for children with special needs and their families on Sunday December 7 from 9:30 to 11 am. The crowds are low because the mall isn’t open to the public yet, the music is off, the lights are dimmed, the photos are complimentary, and the train garden will be running, too.
Santa Luke is celebrating his 30th anniversary of bringing holiday cheer to the Mondawmin Mall. Santa Luke is African-American, but as he explained in a Baltimore Sun article last year, “Santa Claus is color blind.” And it’s not the color of his skin that has been drawing legions of Santa Luke’s fans over the past 3 decades—it’s his kindness and easy-going nature with kids that keep people coming back each year. Celebrate Santa’s arrival with a parade on November 22 at 2 pm, or stop by throughout the season to meet this long-time Kris Kringle.
Other Malls Around Town
If you haven’t noticed, Santa is already making visits at all of the local malls. Check the website for hours, coupons, and special events for The Mall in Columbia, White Marsh Mall, Towson Town Center, Westfield Annapolis, and Arundel Mills .
Other Santa Sightings Around Baltimore
Civil War Santa and Mrs. Claus stop in for a weekend visit at the B&O Railroad Museum from November 28 through November 30. Train rides are available with Santa, Mrs. Claus, or even Frosty (perfect if you have a Santa-phobe who may cozy up to a giant snowman instead) during select times on weekends throughout December until December 21. While you’re there, check out the special holiday train displays in the Roundhouse and other special events that are part of the 6-week Magical Holiday Express: The Giving Train celebration.
Visit with Santa amidst hundreds of colorful poinsettias at the Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory on December 7 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm and December 13 from10 am to 12 pm.
The Downtown Partnership Annual Monument Lighting is a tradition for many Charm City Families. It takes place this year on Thursday, December 4, 2014. Now in its 43rd year, the Monument Lighting will feature local entertainers, children’s activities, a visit from Santa, and a spectacular fireworks display and laser show. A holiday village featuring food and crafts vendors will open in Mount Vernon’s West Park at 5pm. Kids can get their picture taken with Santa, get their face painted, and enjoy arts & crafts. Stage entertainment begins at 6pm with Jon and Reagan from the MIX Morning show on 106.5. At approximately 7:45pm, a special Celebrity Lighter will flip the switch that lights the Monument and starts the fireworks display.
Santa on a zip line? Reach new heights and soar through the sky (with no help from magic reindeer) at Santa’s Soaring Adventures at Terrapin Adventures on November 22, 23, and December 13 at 11:45 am and 1:45 pm. Tickets are $30 for this adventure and include access to the 22 elements on the Terrapin Explorer Course and a photo with Santa.
(cool) tip for furry and feathered family members: Many places offer special times and dates when you can bring along the family pet for a picture with Santa. Check the venue’s website or call for details.