Where to See Santa in Calgary
With the holidays just around the corner, it's all about making an impression on the Man in Red. Whether you're just looking for a photo opportunity, or a little something extra, these seasonal spots are your best bet when it comes to the perfect Santa moment for the kids.
Go to: Southcentre Mall
Why? Kids and parents get the full holiday experience when visiting Santa at Southcentre—plus, there's no waiting in line with squirming elves. Just sign in when you arrive at the Enchanted Forest, and you'll be on a virtual line up list, allowing you to enjoy the rest of the spectacular structure. Kids can get creative in the cookie kitchen, then take their sweet treat over to the Magic Pond, where comfy bean bag chairs await so the kids can enjoy a seasonal movie all in an elf-sized arena. Even the path to see Mr. Claus is filled with little nuggets of fun, including a secret tunnel under the tree with magic miniature displays. Shopping and an awesome Santa sighting? Check that off your list.
Go to: BassPro Shops at CrossIron Mills
Why? Visiting Santa in a rustic setting always has charm, but we also appreciate the instant gift—a free 4x6 photo that comes with it. The line-ups can be more manageable than some of the other mall Santa spots, and if they grow too long, the Bass Pass virtually ho-ho-holds your spot in line so you can shop while you wait. If your kids love nature, they can enjoy time watching the giant fish after a visit with the big guy (and if you or Dad are all about the outdoors, you'll be in shopping heaven). There are different events happening on different dates, so be sure to check out the website before you make your plans.
Go to: Sunridge Mall
Why? It's free to get photos with Santa at Sunridge—just snap with your phone, or camera, but be sure to bring some cash as monetary donations are requested for the Children's Cottage Society.
Go to: Market Mall
Why? If you're looking for a little extra time with the big guy, the annual Breakfast with Santa is a fun annual event—tickets are available at Guest Services. They also utilize SMS messages to help communicate their wait times (read: a window of time to shop).
Go to: Chinook Centre
Why? Outside of a visit with Santa, you will be able to get a snapshot with the giant Polar Bear Family, as well as the penguin lanterns, straight from the Illuminasia exhibit at the Calgary Zoo. It's a full winter wonderland.
Go to: Deerfoot Mall
Why? The same Santa is returning this year on November 28 (read: consistency for kids!). It's a classy set up, but more on the simple side for those who want clean and elegant.
Go to: Marlborough Mall
Why? Aside from the usual Santa snapshots, crafts will be available for kids to create on select days. It's also the perfect place to bring a gift for the Toy Angels campaign and share the spirit of giving with your kids.
Go to: Westbrook Mall
Why? Get your shots taken in a more cozy display (kids who love tractors will be happy with this one) and join in a craft or two as well.
Go to: Spruce Meadows Christmas Market
Why? If you've already visited Santa, you'll definitely need to take a jaunt down Reindeer Alley and visit with his reindeer before the big night—be sure not to wake up Rudolph (he needs his sleep!). It's also a fabulous market that really brings out the festive spirit (drive through at night to see the full Christmas light display).