Here’s a list of Santa photo opportunities. They include free and paid Santa pictures. Some of the Santa photo ops are at Christmas festivals and other holiday events featuring an appearance by Santa Claus. Most of the free opportunities for pictures with Santa are BYOC: bring your own camera.
You’ll also find a list of unique settings for pictures with Santa, even underwater (it is the Puget Sound region, after all). The big red guy gets around.
There are of course many places with professional photographers taking your photo with Santa at shopping malls and many other locations throughout the Puget Sound region. Professional Santa photos start around $25. Lines at the busiest malls are generally shorter early: early in December, early in the week, and early in the day. So plan accordingly around nap times and mealtimes, especially when young children are in tow.
We found Santa in locations from Stanwood to Puyallup. All that, and toys, too. We’re indubitably impressed.
2019 free Santa photo ops
(For many of these free and candid Santa photo ops, it’s usually BYOC = Bring Your Own Camera.)
Pike Place Market in Seattle. Saturday, November 30, 2019, 11am-5:30pm. Celebrate the holiday season at the annual Magic in the Market with BYOC photos with Santa, tree lighting ceremony, festive music and cookie decorating.
Mill Creek Town Center Santa. Saturday-Sunday Dec 1-15, 2019. Daily Dec 16-24, 2019. Visit Santa in his Sleigh at the Mill Creek Santa House at the Town Center Forum next to Brooklyn Bros Pizza. Photos are printed on site. (Last time we checked, no pricing information was available on their website.)
Wintertide Celebration at Everett Performing Arts Center. Thursday, December 5, 2019. 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Meet Santa and take a free photo with him (Santa rolls in via firetruck at 5:30 p.m.) at this free community celebration complete with shopping, live music, and more.
Watson’s Greenhouse in Puyallup. Santa visits Fridays, December 6 & 13, 2019 from 11:30am-3:30pm.
Macy’s Santaland in downtown Seattle is open from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Photo prices start at $20.99. Be one of the first 100 Cardholders to flash your Macy’s Credit Card at the Star Rewards station at 9am on December 7, 2019 and receive a complimentary photo with Santa! Fine print: Event subject to change or cancellation. Must be a Macy’s Credit Cardholder to receive and have card present to qualify. While supplies last and time permits. Offer non-transferable, one offer per household, and not for resale. More info: https://l.macys.com/downtown-seattle-in-seattle-wa
Ivar’s Acres of Clams in Seattle at Pier 54. Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, from 12 – 3 p.m. Strike a pose with Ivar’s Ivar’s beloved Dancing Clam is getting a jolly new look as “Santa” Clam, adorned with festive holiday garb for children and families to take a holiday photo. The following Monday, Ivar’s posts all photos on Ivars.com for free digital download – perfect for holiday cards – and kids will receive a free holiday treat. Reservations recommended: https://www.ivars.com/ivarsreservations or call 206-624-6852 or reserve here.
Evergreen Beauty College Santa photos. December 7, 2019 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at Evergreen Beauty College. Get your FREE professional Santa Photos, with warm drinks, the first 25 families in line will also receive some fun giveaways. Where: Evergreen Beauty College Renton Campus (1222 Bronson Way N, Renton, WA 98057) & Everett Campus (802 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98208).
Xfinity Store Free Santa Photos at Bellevue Square. December 7, 2019 from 2 – 7 pm. Visit Santa and his helper elf and take free photos.
Holiday Open House with Santa December 8, 2019. 1:00 p.m. – 4:00p.m. at Alderwood Manor Heritage Museum, 19903 Poplar Way, Lynnwood WA. An afternoon of friendship, coffee, hot cider and cookies. Bring the whole family for BYOC photos with Santa. Donations of canned food will go to the Lynnwood Food Bank.
Admiralty Head Lighthouse open house on Whidbey Island. December 11, 2019 @ 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Get your photo taken with Santa, listen to local live music, take a tour of the lighthouse before it closes for an exciting eight-month renovation.
Free Holiday Photo & Canned food Drive at Rainier Beach. December 13, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Join Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Lambda Alpha Zeta Chapter and take a free photo with Black Santa! Bring the kids, bring the adults, and a selection of canned goods. You will have a holiday keepsake at no charge and together we’ll help stock King County Food Banks.
Free pet photos with Santa at PetSmart. December 14-15 and 21-22, 2019 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your leashed pets to PetSmart for a free photo with Santa. Download the PetSmart app to check into the event for 500 free Treats points and to use fun photo filters during the event! Make sure to use the hashtag #petsmartparties and tag them at @PetSmart for a chance to be featured on their social channels. There are PetSmart stores throughout the Puget Sound region, find your nearest PetSmart location.
Santa Saturday at Hotel Sorrento in Seattle. December 14, 2019 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The jolliest man in red will be visiting the hotel to hear all of your holiday wishes! Stop by for a photo with Saint Nick , BYOC (bring your own camera) and your Christmas list!
Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park Fundraiser. December 14, 2019 @ 3:00 pm-7:00 pm. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and delicious baked goods. Get your photo taken with Santa. Experience the lighted park cabins. Write letters to military service men and women and warm up by the roaring bonfire. Drop off unwrapped toys to a donation box. Get creative and make tree ornaments and other crafts. Local carolers and choirs will serenade you with holiday songs. This family-friendly event supports and promotes the Deception Pass Park Foundation’s mission of resource protection through education. A $5 suggested per car donation will be appreciated. All money raised directly benefits and enhances educational programs in the park. Parking is limited, and carpooling is encouraged.
Anko’s Stores. December 21-22, 2019 from 11-3. Take a free photo with Santa.
- Anko’s Lynnwood, 19500 Alderwood Mall Pkwy, Lynnwood, WA, 98036
- Anko’s Totem Lake, 12520 Totem Lake Blvd NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
- Anko’s Burien, 15840 0 1 Ave S, Burien, WA 98148
Cabela’s November 16 – December 24, 2019. Cabela’s in Lacey and Tulalip and Bass Pro Shop in Tacoma stores offer Free Photos with Santa. Visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot in stores to Pick up a Bass Pass, which is required and provides a time slot to see Santa, allowing you to explore Santa’s Wonderland or shop the store while waiting in a virtual line. Bass Passes are limited and go quicklyeach day.
Special locations for a photo with Santa
(These are all professional photos opportunities, mostly outside of malls and stores, or with a special feature–such as pet photos or Caring Santa. We’ve listed prices where available last time we checked their website.)
Father Christmas at Fort Nisqually Museum in Tacoma. December 7, 2019 @ 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern holidays and experience a real old-fashioned Christmas. Father Christmas (aka Santa, but not Santa) will be available for visits and photos throughout the day. Everyone can join in greeting the yule log with toasts and Christmas carols. Saw off a piece of log to take home for a holiday fire. Join in parlor games, make ornaments, enjoy 19th century Christmas stories around a campfire and learn traditional dances. Tickets available online and at the door: Adult – $10.50, Senior/Military – $9.50, Youth (4-17) – $8.50, Child (3 and under) – FREE. Discounts: Family (2 Adults and up to 6 Youth) – $35. Fort Nisqually Members – FREE.
Asian American Santa at Wing Luke Museum in Seattle. December 7, 2019 from 12PM – 3PM. Requires reservation. Arrive early for your photos with Santa and spend time meeting local artists. You’re sure to find the most unique gifts. Santa photo, $6 for Members, $12 for non-members.
Caring Santa at Tacoma Mall. December 8, 2019 from 8:00-9:30 AM. Caring Santa supports the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.
Santa’s Fly-in at Museum of Flight in Seattle</a. December 14, 2019 from 9:45 a.m. 2:45 p.m. Santa is letting his reindeer rest up for Christmas Eve, so he and Mrs. Claus will fly an airplane to the Museum’s holiday celebration with Caspar Babypants. The Clauses land at 9:45 a.m., and Santa will be listening to childrens’ wishes in the Museum until 2 p.m. Not wanting to upstage Santa, children’s music legend (and current Grammy nominee) Caspar Babypants will perform from 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. There will also be holiday music performed by the Boeing Orchestra at 11:30 a.m. and the Boeing Employee Concert Band at 1:30 p.m. The outdoor event is FREE, while indoor festivities are FREE with Museum admission. General admission tickets: Adult (18-64) $25 Senior (65+) $21, Youth (5-17) $16, Age 4 and under FREE.
North Pole in Puyallup at the Washington State Fairgrounds from November 27 – December 23, 2019 is an immersion experience for kids (and parents) that will stimulate excitement, create learning experiences, and instill the sense of magic into the Christmas season. Santa Photos are taken by Reservation only in a private studio free from distraction and the chaos that accompany shopping centers. So come and see Santa or just play in the beautiful North Pole at the Fair – A Christmas Paradise for Kids! North Pole Admission: $5.00 Ages 2-99, free for Children under 2. Santa photo packages begin at $24.95 and require a $35-$40 reservation that comes with a $20 credit towards your picture purchase.
Issaquah Reindeer Festival at Cougar Mountain Zoo. December 1-23 features Santa at 10:30am – 4:00pm (with breaks throughout the day to check on his Reindeer). Photo prices: $15 for the first photo in a special Reindeer Festival photo folder. $10 for each additional photo or $5 for 3 photos using your own camera. Zoo admission: General (13+, children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult) $14.50. Seniors (62+) $13.50. Child (2-12) $11.50. Under Age 2 FREE.
Seattle Aquarium features Diving Santa November 29–December 2, December 6–9, 13–16, and 20–23, 2019. Noon on Fridays and Mondays. Noon and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Special noon presentation on December 24 (Seattle Aquarium closes at 3pm). Come see Santa diving in the 120,000-gallon Window on Washington Waters exhibit. Bring your camera, take your picture with Diving Santa and stay perfectly dry! Donations will be accepted to help fund Seattle Aquarium DreamNights—evenings dedicated to bringing children who have disabilities, chronic illnesses or special needs to the Aquarium to explore exhibits at their own pace. Or have your photo taken by their professional photographer so the whole family can be in the picture. Aquarium admission: Adult $34.95 (age 13+), Youth $24.95 (ages 4-12) , Child 3 & under FREE. Discount: WA residents save $5 on admission. Free aquarium passes are available to Seattle Public Library cardholders or through the Seattle Community Ticket Program.
Swansons Nursery selected dates November 9 – December 24, 2019. A wonderland of holiday delights including reindeer, holiday shopping, model train village, and holiday yurt photo-op. “Meet the Reindeer” weekdays at 11am and weekends 11am and 4pm. On December 4th and 11th from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm, Santa will make a special appearance at Swansons to spread cheer, candy canes, and even some dog treats! Bonjour photography will be offering Santa photo appointments on specific dates from November 16 – December 23. Appointments fill up fast, so schedule early! Photo prices begin at $32. Visit the Santa Photo Scheduler to make your appointment.
EverettSanta.com November 30 – December 26, 2019 has the most realistic Santa who will dazzle you with his sleight-of-hand magic tricks and charm you with his original Christmas stories. Santa’s workshop is filled with an array of toys including vintage pedal cars and a one-of-a-kind theme guaranteed to charm the young, as well as the young-at-heart. Make an appointment online or by phone. Everett Santa is located at 2829 Wetmore Ave. Prices: Packages starts at $35 per pose. Up to 3 poses for $75.
Malls and Stores
Alderwood Mall Santa in Lynnwood at Macy’s Center Court. Daily from mid-November until December 24. Don’t miss the easiest way to visit Santa—just reserve your time and skip the line! Photo prices: $39.99 – $49.99. Discount: Save $5 on selected packages through December 14.
Arthur & Associates Santa Photos is the reincarnation of the former Frederick & Nelson department stores program. Open daily from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Packages range from $27 to $65. Now serving third and fourth generation visitors, A&A provides both Santa and Easter Bunny photography for the following Seattle area locations. Photo times vary at each location; check their website for details.
- Bellevue Square
- Lake Forest Park Town Center
- University Village
- Redmond Town Center
- Everett Mall
- The Commons at Federal Way
- Renton Landing
Kent Station Santa Photos open Saturday after Thanksgiving through December 23. Santa’s Cottage located on the fountain stage in front of AMC Theatres. Photo packages: $20-$50.
Macy’s downtown Seattle is open from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Meet Old Saint Nick and tell him everything on your wish list. Photo prices start at $21.99. On December 7, 2019 be one of the first 100 Cardholders to flash your Macy’s Credit Card at the Star Rewards station at 9am and receive a complimentary photo with Santa! Fine print: Event subject to change or cancellation. Must be a Macy’s Credit Cardholder to receive and have card present to qualify. While supplies last and time permits. Offer non-transferable, one offer per household, and not for resale. More info: https://www.macys.com/social/santa-land/.
Nordstrom Santa Lane. The guy in red arrives the day after Thanksgiving and is available through December 24. Hours vary at each location and the line often closes early in order to serve all customers by closing time (i.e. go earlier rather than later). Wait times are usually shorter at mall stores in Bellevue Square, Southcenter, and Tacoma Mall than at the flagship store in downtown Seattle. Historically, photo packages begin around $25, but they don’t post prices on their website. So call ahead to confirm before you go. Nordstrom also has racially diverse and ASL Santas; call the main store or your nearest Nordstrom for details.