Things to Do

13 Places to Take Photos With Santa Claus This Holiday Season

Saint Nick is back for both up-close and socially distanced pics.

Photo courtesy of The Wharf, Washington, DC.

While Santa largely took a break from lap photos last year, it’s time to get reacquainted. Here’s where to get your pics with Saint Nick. Distancing and reservation policies vary, so be sure to check.

Arundel Mills Mall
7000 Arundel Mills Cir., Hanover
Choose from a myriad of photo packages, with options for digital prints, wallet-sized pictures, and more. You can reserve a spot or walk up. Packages range from $19.99-49.99. Friday, November 26 to Friday, December 24, times vary. 

District’s Holiday Boat Parade
The Wharf, 760 Maine Ave., SW
Not only will this extravaganza have live music, s’mores, and over 60 decked-out holiday boats, Santa will be there for pictures. He’ll be outside by the Wharf’s Christmas tree, and parents can take pictures for free with their own cameras. Saturday, December 4, 6 to 9 PM.

Ellsworth Place
8661 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring
Look for Santa on the second level by the Auntie Anne’s. If you go on Saturday, November 20, free photos will be available but in limited supply. Call 240-505-3283 for pricing and appointments. Saturday, November 20 to Friday, December 24, times vary (Weekend days only through Sunday, December 19). 

Enchant Christmas DC
Nationals Park at 1500 S Capitol St., SE
Nationals Park is being transformed into a maze of lights and a holiday village and market, and the ticket price grants you access to Santa’s Landing, featuring professional photographers. $29-$39 (free for children under 2). Friday, November 26 to Saturday, January 1, 2022; times vary. 

Fair Oaks Mall
11750 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax
There are two options for Santa visits at this mall: you can book a private photo appointment with a sensory-friendly Santa, who will have special needs kids in mind. Or, get a picture of your pup with Mr. Claus. Sensory Santa: Sundays, December 5 and December 12, 10-11:30 AM. Santa Paws: Sundays, November 21, November 28, and December 5, 6-8 PM. 

Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
1100 S. Hayes St., Arlington
You’ll need to book your appointment ahead of time if you want to get a picture with the big guy here. $19.99-$49.99. Friday, November 19 to Friday, December 24, times vary.

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront St., National Harbor
Make sure to buy tickets in advance if you want to get on Santa’s nice list at National Harbor. There are a variety of photo packages, with options for frames, ornaments, and other digital items. $35-$99. Friday, November 26 to Friday, December 24, times vary.

Mall at Prince George’s
3500 East-West Hwy., Hyattsville
Not only is Santa spending the holidays in Hyattsville, he’ll take photos with your pets too, every Monday through December 20. Reservations are encouraged. $39.99. Saturday, November 20 to Friday, December 24, times vary. 

Manassas Mall
8300 Sudley Rd., Manassas
Show up for a walk-in photo session with Kris Kringle, but not early in the week: Santa has Mondays through Wedensdays off. Thursdays through Sundays starting Friday, November 26 to Friday, December 24, times vary. 

Mosaic District
2910 District Ave., Fairfax
Come take family photos with Santa as he returns to this Fairfax development for the holidays. Saturday, November 27 to Thursday, December 23, times vary. 

Potomac Mills Mall
2700 Potomac Mills Cir., Woodbridge
You can sit with Santa or socially distance from him at this mall. There are a variety of photo packages, as well as the option for contactless payment. $19.99-49.99. Thursday, November 18 to Friday, December 24. 

Tysons Corner Center
1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Tysons
This Santa will be vaccinated, so you can take your masks off for pictures if you want, but you can still socially distance too. $19.99-$44.99. Now through Friday, December 24, times vary. 

Westfield Montgomery Mall
7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda
Photos with Santa will take place on the first level Macy’s Court, with options of up-close photos or shots taken on a socially distanced bench. Thera are also sensory-friendly Santa on certain dates (Sundays, December 5 and 12) and pet-friendly pictures (Mondays, November 29 to December 20). $19.99-49.99. Thursday, November 18 to Friday, December 24, times vary. 


Jason Fontelieu
Editorial Fellow