Christmas is just around the corner and we all know the holiday season is going to look a little different this year.
The simple tradition of taking your child to the local mall and having them sit on Santa’s lap for a photo is not going to happen. Organizations have had to adapt to what’s going on in the world, and they got creative with the Santa experiences! There are still plenty of ways to have a safe and festive visit with Jolly Old St. Nicholas – some in person and some virtually!
NB: The Santa sitch is moving faster than a sleigh pulled by tiny reindeer so this list is subject to change. Last updated November 22 2020.
Places to see Santa live and in-person
November 12-24, 2020, North Vancouver
Park Royal has family portraits with a distanced Santa Park Royal will not be hosting traditional Santa visits this year, but they do have something special planned. They are offering holiday family portraits and socially distanced visits with Santa with The North Pole Picture Co. All appointments are 15 minutes long and by reservation only. There are four different festive backgrounds and Santa will join your family photos on select dates. Prices: Starts at $50
Lougheed Town Centre
November 21 – December 24, 2020
Santa photos are happening at Lougheed Town Centre. Families will be seated at a safe distance from Santa, with a plexiglass barrier in between. And all guest touch points will be cleaned and sanitized between visits. Santa is located in front of London Drugs. Prices: Start at $25
When: November 21- December 24
>> Santa at Lougheed Town Centre
PNE WinterLights – A Magical Journey to Santa
December 11-12, 17-23, 2020 Vancouver PNE Grounds
This is a two-kilometre route through a winter wonderland you can enjoy with your family from inside your car. There are nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights to drive through in your mission to discover Santa and his dancing elves. This is an event you don’t want to miss. Price: Admission for carloads of 4 or less: $39, Admission for carloads of 5 or more: $49
November 28 – December 24 2020
Brentwood Mall will have a magical set up with Santa behind plexiglass. As of November 28 Santa will be at Brentwood Town Centre for socially distanced photos with a plexiglass barrier. There is a a lot of cleaning and sanitizing planned to keep everyone safe. Prices: Start at $25
Holidays at Highstreet
November 21 – December 24.
This year, families and kids have the option to have their photo taken with or without Santa at their new socially-distanced set. Masks are mandatory. They also have Instagrammable backdrops, special guests (think Rudolph & and Frosty) and I L L U M I N A T E, a cool neon art and music installation, running until January 2nd.
Semiahmoo Shopping Centre
Santa will be visiting Semiahmoo Shopping Centre! All photos are by appointment only and must be pre-booked. They are following strict COVID-guidelines. They require face masks to be worn (which can be removed for the photo), temperature checks and the use of hand sanitizer. Your child can bring their Santa list to put in Santa’s mailbox for some extra festive fun. PS: Spot Sammi, the Semiahmoo Elf to receive a special prize!
Glow Langley Drive Thru Santa
The big guy in red will be at the Glow Langley Drive Thru each night. While guests can’t sit on Santa’s knee, he can still recognize good boys and girls inside their cars. Because he’s Santa, after all!
Looking to get up close and personal with the man in red without risking the health of your family? This may the the year that technology saved Christmas. Book a call, write and email or set up a zoom chat with Santa Claus this year. And if all our wishes come true, they’ll be a vaccine next year, and in 2021 Santa will emerge from behind the camera to greet all the little girls and boys IRL.
Kera is a full-time mom with three kids. She lives in the suburbs of Vancouver and recently started Kids Cuddles Coffee, a ‘mommy-news’ blog. She loves going on adventures with her kids all over the Lower Mainland. She has a passion for writing and the news. Before becoming a mom she worked at CBC radio and at a local newspaper. Follow her on Instagram @kidscuddlescoffee