Santa photos have long been a tradition for many families, and while there was uncertainty about how these photos would happen this year, many local area malls and organizations have created unique ways to get photos with Santa while following Covid guidelines. However, as with other events at this time of year, it is important to check often and look for local and provincial updates that may cause a change.
Below is where you can see Santa in the Ottawa area this year for photos.
The Rideau Shopping Centre has cancelled in-person Santa photos completely but will be offering a special virtual photo opportunity. Details haven’t been announced yet, but you can find more information when they become available on the Rideau Centre website.
In the meantime, Rideau Centre has arranged to pull Santa from his busiest season to host a special storytime on Zoom, live, every Saturday night at 6:30 pm. Santa will read a different story every weekend. For the full book line up, visit their website.
Carlingwood Shopping Centre
At Carlingwood Shopping Centre this year, you have your choice of Santa photos or Spooky Santa photos (if your family prefers a special twist on festive photos), but each visit will require an advance appointment. Spooky Santa is only available on Tuesdays and Thursdays (late afternoon/early evenings) with fewer timeslots available. There is an online booking system to make it easy to confirm your spot.
For the photos, guests will sit 2 metres in front of Santa, and masks must be worn by all (yes, even Santa) making these a truly memorable 2020 photo. Packages begin at $20. More information about safety protocols and booking can be found on their website.
Also, new this year is the option to have a virtual Santa photo and Zoom call direct from the North Pole. The sessions can be booked online for $20 and while there isn’t a date to chat with Spooky Santa yet, according to the website this might be coming soon too!
Santa, and Mean Green Santa, return to Billings Bridge Shopping Centre for limited photos this year. There are only 4 sessions being booked per hour (to allow for plenty of time in between for safety measures) and included in the $49.99 price tag are all the digital photos so you don’t have to choose your favourite one.
Holiday sets for the visits have been created and the photographers will snap candid photos as well as posted photos for families.
Sensory sessions can be arranged by requesting them on your appointment form at the time of booking and Monday nights are pet nights!
Upper Canada Village
If the Mall Santa visit isn’t on your to-do list this year, you may be happy to know that Santa will be hanging out again at Alight at Night in Upper Canada Village. While this Victorian Santa will be working in his workshop families can snap socially distanced photos of Santa and the kids can fill him in on their wish lists this year. Alight at Night entry is limited and there are specific dates and times available. It’s already selling out quickly!