Santa Claus is coming to town! Visiting Father Christmas is one of our favorite holiday traditions and, luckily, he can be found all over the Columbus area this season. With his reindeer in tow, he will be hosting photo shoots, tree lightings, storytime sessions and so much more!
We’ve rounded up the best places to see Santa this year, from the Columbus Zoo to a historical village, you’ll be able to make family memories you won’t soon forget!
Where: The Mall at Tuttle Crossing
When: November 9-December 24, Times Vary
Santa will have his workshop set up at Tuttle Crossing Mall until Christmas Eve! As he prepares for his trip around the world, his hours might be more limited, so be sure to check his schedule before your planned visit.
Caring Santa will also be paying a visit on December 2 for children that may have sensory, physical or other developmental needs. Reserve your appointment here!
Where: Columbus Cabela’s
When: November 11-December 24, Times Vary
The annual Santa’s Wonderland at the Columbus Cabela’s is a not-to-be-missed holiday event. Not only will you get a free photo with Santa, but you can take home a free craft, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate and participate in fun family-friendly games and activities! See all the available activities here.
Where: Easton Town Center
When: November 16-December 24, Times Vary
Come one come all to visit Santa at the Easton Town Center this holiday season! The first 5×7 photo is only$5 and candid photos with your phone are encouraged and free! This year you don’t even have to wait in line — you can reserve your spot online!
Where: The Columbus Zoo
When: November 16-January 6, Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m.
Photo courtesy of The Columbus Zoo
Wild Lights at the Columbus Zoo continues for its 30th year! Find Santa settled in his Holiday Home located in North America at the Battelle Ice Bear Outpost. He can’t wait to meet the children and hear what is on their holiday wish list! There will be professional photos available for an additional fee. Afterward, check out one of the other incredible features going on at Wild Lights including the 1914 Mangels/Illions Carousel, camel rides and so much more!
Where: The Shops at Worthington Place
When: November 23-December 24, Times Vary
Until Christmas Eve you can also visit with Santa at Worthington Place! Santa’s schedule varies, so make sure to check out his schedule before you go.
If you can’t wait until after Thanksgiving to celebrate Christmas, The Shops at Worthington Place will also be hosting a Sparkle Night where you can watch the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. and afterward visit with Santa, get your face painted and listen to live music!
Where: All Oakland Nurseries Locations
When: November 24-December 16, Saturdays and Sundays 12-3:30 p.m.
Come out and experience the season at Oakland Nurseries. At the Columbus and Delaware locations, after visiting with the jolly man himself, check out the unique Santa Wonderland and experience lights, music and plush characters!
Where: Westerville Community Center
When: November 25, 6-7:15 p.m.
Get your photo with Santa as he swims in the pool with the lifeguard elves! This unique holiday experience will provide you with a fun and unusual holiday photo to display throughout the years! Registration is required.
Where: Partner’s Park
When: November 26-December 20, Excluding December 1 and 8, Thursdays 5-7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.,
Experience a hometown holiday for the whole family! Santa’s Village is set amidst festive lights and decorations with merry music filling the air. Children can visit with Santa for free before participating in other activities! They can also leave their letters to Santa in a special mailbox. There are a ton of other Santa-related events going on at Partners Park this year! Check out this schedule for more information.
Where: The Strand
When: November 30-December 21, Times Vary
Bring the family together to experience Christmas in Downtown Delaware! The festivities start off with the Home for the Holidays Weekend. On Friday, watch the tree lighting before visiting with Santa and some of his reindeer. On Saturday there will be a Dash for Dasher Scavenger Hunt, where you and your family can scour downtown and follow Santa’s clues to find Dasher. Then, finally, on Sunday come out and watch the Holiday Parade!
Santa will also be available at The Strand from December 1-21 on Fridays and Saturdays to visit and take photos. There will also be free gifts for each child while supplies last!
Where: Grandview Heights Library
When: December 8, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
For a more relaxed holiday celebration — visit Santa at the Grandview Heights Library! Take a photo with Santa and participate in fun holiday activities. Then, children will be able to make a craft and visit with Rosie the Comfort Dog from Atonement Lutheran Church. Tickets can be picked up from the Youth Services Desk.
Where: Hillard Historical Village
When: December 9, 3-6 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Hillard Historical Village
Get your photo taken with Santa from the 1800’s! This kid-friendly holiday event features a horse-drawn carriage ride, live music, refreshments, and beautiful lights. This historical take on Christmas will provide your family with endless fun and memories.
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!
If you are interested in other festive events going on in the area this season — check out our list of 21 Essential Columbus Holiday Events You Should Mark on Your Calendar.