Traditions at Christmas are what childhood memories are made of. Drinking hot cocoa while decorating the tree, cookie decorating with family or friends, cooking family recipes, staying in pajamas all day on Christmas day are all fun activities to do during the holiday season. But for your kids, the most important thing is where to see Santa. Seeing Santa is usually the kick off for our Christmas cheer and this year when things look oh so different, a visit with Santa could be just the thing to jump start your Christmas Spirit, too. The places on this list are accommodating socially distanced visits with Santa and enhancing safety and disinfecting measures so that everyone can have a safe and healthy holiday season. A virtual visit with Santa is also a great way to go for those not wanting to venture out in crowds!
Where to See Santa in Orlando
Here is where to take the kids to see Santa in Orlando.
Central Florida Zoo
Go Wild with Santa at Central Florida Zoo. Santa himself will make a stop at the zoo on Saturday December 12, from 10AM-12PM & 12:30PM-2PM. Meet Santa in the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center for socially distanced photo opportunities. Have your kiddos bring their letters to Santa to drop in his mailbox, too. Kiddos can participate in a Candy Cane Hunt. Take a card from the discovery center with clues on where to find the candy canes throughout the zoo. Once all the candy canes have been found you must unscramble the letters to find the code word. Show the code word for a special treat. All guests are required to wear masks at all times during your visit.
Location: 3755 W. Seminole Blvd. Sanford, FL 32771
Cost: This event is included with your single day admission or annual pass. Single Day Admission Cost: Ages 2 and under Free, Ages 3-12: $13.75, Adult 12+:$19.50 Ages 55+: $15.95
Crane’s Roost Park
The City of Altamonte Springs along with Duke Energy are happy to host Light up the Holidays Santa Tuesdays. Make a reservation, bring your camera, and enjoy a socially distanced visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus this holiday season. The event is free, and there will be no photographer on site, so be sure to have your camera ready to capture your special moment. Visitors 2 and up are required to wear face masks and remain socially distanced from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Registration is required, please limit group sizes to 6, and visits to 2 minutes per party. Food and beverage will be available to purchase.
Location: Under the Plaza Tower at Crane’s Roost 274 Cranes Roost Blvd, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Hours: December 8, 15, and 22 6:00PM-8:00 PM. Please arrive 15 minutes early to hold your reservation.
Kids will love the Baby Alive Baby grows-up doll. It turns from a baby to a toddler. I don’t know how they do it but it is pretty amazing!
Related Post: Christmas in Orlando Holiday Guide (2020)
Mall at Millenia
Mall at Millenia has teamed up with Imagination Theatre for an absolutely beautiful photo experience with Santa this year. Reservations are required for your Santa Photo Experience and can be made up to a week in advance. All guests 2 years old or older must wear a face mask the entire visit, as well as during the photo’s. The photo session is contactless and Santa will be sitting a good distance away from visitors. Guests must maintain a 6 foot distance from others not a part of your party. Only immediate family will be given a reservation, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc. must have a separate reservation. Have your kiddos bring their letters for Santa and mail them off in Santa’s Mailbox.
You have 3 options to choose from for your photo session with Santa:
Instant packages are $24.95, and their professional photographer takes 1 photo and prints images for you to take with you.
Choose one of the following options:
Two 5×7 photos
Two 3×5 and Four Wallets
One 5×7 and Four Wallets
Candid Sessions are $44.95 and their professional photographer takes a variety of poses, you will receive a flash drive and download the pictures at home.
Each additional sibling is $5.00
Add a family picture for $9.95
Take your own photos
A donation of $10 to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is requested. No professional photos will be taken. A maximum of 3 still-photos per family are permitted.
Location: 4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
Mall Hours: Monday-Saturday 10AM-9PM Sunday 11AM-7PM
Lights! Camera! Santa! At Florida Mall is happening now during mall hours. Book your reservation early for a socially distanced photo op with the big guy himself.
Details haven’t been given on photos or packages.
Location: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809
Hours: 15 minute time slots from 12PM- 6:45PM
Meet Santa and tell him what’s on your Christmas List this year at Gaylord Palms.
Along with all of their Christmas activities this year, Gaylord Palms teamed up with DEI for socially distanced photos with Santa. Reservations must be made in advance, no box office, no date changes or refunds. The option to purchase ticket insurance is available. Workers and guests are required to wear masks during the photos as well.
Packages start at $35.
Elf Package – $35 for three 6×8 photos.
Christmas Package – $50 Digital Only
Santa Package – $65 Three 6×8, Four Wallets, Frame, Ornament, Digitals
Location: 6000 W Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746
Hours: 15 minute time slots from 10AM-6:45PM
Visit Horsepower Ranch in Geneva for any of their 3 options to visit with Santa!
Mini Photo Shoot
December 4-6, book a fun and exciting mini photo shoot with Santa! The photo shoot will have 3 scenes. They will include Santa and a horse, back of a 66 Antique truck, antique piano, and Christmas tree. Time slots are filling up fast!
Cost: $75, includes 10 minute session, 1- 5×7 photo, and 5 digital downloads.
Pre-Registration is Required for all events listed above.
Join Santa on Sunday December 13, from 10AM-4PM for a Christmas Luau complete with hula dancers, fire performers, hayrides and more. Don’t forget the big guy himself who will arrive in style on a Clydesdale drawn carriage.
Cost: $5 admission fee, Additional activities like the petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, and more available for purchase with all experiences at Horsepower Ranch.
Activity tickets are $1 each, and each activity has a different monetary value.
Location: 280 Campbell Ranch Run, Geneva, FL 32732
Breakfast with Santa
On December 20, enjoy a Ranch Style Breakfast with Santa, you’ll get 1-5×7 photo print out (digital not available at this event) of your visit with Santa. You can also pet and visit with their ponies from the comfort of your seat. Breakfast tickets will be sold in 2 hour increments, starting at 8am for the safety and comfort for everyone.
Cost: Kiddos under 2 are free, ages 2-10 are $15.00, Adults $20.00.
Related Post: Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs
The Santa Workshop Experience that we know and love that was once at Millenia Mall has now moved to ICON Park and expanded it’s space for a more magical and socially distanced experience. Santa and his elves have been working hard to turn ICON Park into a SANTA-tized Winter Wonderland. For a safer experience Santa will sit behind a plexiglass barrier, next to the kiddos without having direct contact, but still enjoying conversation and interaction.
Every child who participates in The Santa Workshop Experience will receive a free ticket to ride The Wheel at ICON Park. Additional tickets can be purchased with a 50 percent discount for all of Santa’s guests. Feel free to take your own candid photos with Santa along with the Professional photographer. Christmas guests can also enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus and cookie decorating. Show your reservation to the driver of the train, and catch a ride straight to The Santa Workshop Experience.
Location: 8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11AM- 8PM, Friday – Sunday 10AM- 8PM
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops has always been a magical event. Complete with an arts and crafts station, interactive toys, shopping, and of course SANTA. This year things are different, but you won’t miss out on all the magic. Kiddo’s can tell Santa their wish for Christmas and take a picture with him while he sits behind his Magic Santa Shield. While there won’t be any shared experiences like the toy stations this year, kids can still mail their letter to Santa, take home a free craft kit and of course the free 4×6 photo. Reservations with Santa are required, up to 7 days in advance. Extra precautions are being taken such as, cleaning the acrylic divider after each visitor, temperature screenings, hand sanitizing stations, and masks will be worn by workers as well as patrons.
Location: 5156 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Dates: Now – December 24, 2020
Every weekend Santa and Mrs. Claus make a special appearance at Wekiva Island’s Winter Wonderland. Don’t miss out on a socially distanced outdoor visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus Fridays from 7PM-9PM, Saturdays from 2PM-7PM, (except Saturday Dec. 19th when they leave early due to the VIP party that evening) and Sundays from 2PM-7PM. Reservations are not required, the event is free but Wekiva Island has a $2 per person entry fee. Please check their events calendar for specific times and other events like their Breakfast with Santa, December 13, from 9AM-12PM, hour time slot reservations available. Reservations are required for Breakfast with Santa. Limited space available. Tickets are $9.95 per child and $12.95 per adult. Enjoy Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, and bacon. Coffee and orange juice also included.
Location: 1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779
Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
The 3rd Annual SantaFest will be held at Loop West, an open aired shopping mall in Kissimmee. Take a socially distanced photo with Santa and visit Santa’s workshop for kiddo’s to decorate their own ornament and write their letters to Santa. A live DJ, Balloon Artist, Stilt Walkers, and treats and hot chocolate make this an even more magical family experience. Pictures with Santa and Caricature Sketches are available in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy or a $5 cash donation to benefit the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Osceola County.
Location: 2613 W. Osceola Pkwy, Kissimmee, FL 34741
Date: December 19, 2020
Time: 1 to 4pm
Related Post: 20 Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids
Virtual Santa Experiences
Is getting out and visiting Santa too much for your family? We totally get it! Check out the virtual experiences!
JingleRing for a virtual visit with Santa and go beyond your basic zoom call. JingleRing offers diverse cultural preferences as well as multiple language options. You’ll be able to personalize your visit as well as provide Santa with information on your kiddos. Such as what they want for Christmas, maybe the name of their pet, and areas of praise, or areas that need a little work. You’ll receive a video of your exciting visit as well as a group photo free with your JingleRing visit. No app or software needed for JingleRing.
Location: Comfort of your own home.
Cost: Starts at $24.95
Visit Macy’s Santaland for a reimagined virtual visit with Santa and his elves. Kiddos will enjoy a personalized interactive experience. Take a ride together on the Santaland Express where Santa’s elves will guide you on a trip to meet Santa. Visit his toyshop along the way and help him pack his sleigh. 3 cultural preferences to choose from.
Make sure to pre-register, you will need to verify your account before you can begin your visit with Santa.
by Abby O’Conner