He’s making a list and checking it twice—yes, Santa in NJ is back, and he’s coming to a town near you. Stop by any of these malls, towns, festivals, and villages, where kids can visit with the elves or special characters, share their wish list with Santa, and get memorable photos to keep. From an old-fashioned celebration to an indoor snowy adventure, there are plenty of places in the Garden State to see Santa this season—ho, ho, ho! And if you want more holiday fun, don’t miss the Santa train rides in NJ. (featured photo credit: Short Hills Mall)
(It’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
Where To See Santa In NJ
He’s back! Santa will begin welcoming children of all ages for visits and photos filled with holiday magic. Located in Center Court on the shopping center’s Lower Level, visits to Santa Celebration will begin Saturday, November 11 through Sunday, December 24. Capture the holiday magic with Santa amongst 25 garland-topped light curtains (each adorned with thousands of white, glistening lights) and candy-cane inspired twists cascading from high above. The Santa Celebration will feature an authentic Kris Kringle perched in his grand velvet chair on an elevated platform behind his adoring guests. A bright and cheery, red photo frame will sit in front of the famed wish-fulfiller proclaiming, “Holiday Joy.” Click HERE to make your reservation and for additional photo information and customer service. Reservations will be optional and limited to Monday – Thursday only. Presented by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset.
Bridgewater Commons, Lower Level, and Center Court, 400 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
November 3-December 26, select dates
Magical Encounters does a variety of photos, but their holiday photography is quite a treat. For Christmas, experience their ultimate Santa photography experience with a real-life set complete with all the whimsy and magic specific to the holiday. Meet a true-to-life Santa Claus to interact with for 25 minutes of private uninterrupted time, which creates the perfect holiday cards or photography to hang on the wall for years to come. There is also a Hanukkah and Green Guy Experience available.
62 East Main Street, Freehold, NJ 07728
Santa Special Theme Days at Cherry Hill Mall
November 4-December, select dates
Santa is coming to town with some fun events. Stop by for Santa’s PJ Party, Sports Team Day, Hawaiian Shirt Day, Ugly Sweater Day, or even Santa’s Super Hero Day. Make sure to check ahead for dates and times.
Suite 514, 2000 Route 38, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
This season, the American Dream has been transformed into a NEW Holiday Dreamland with a Santa experience, holiday shopping, new attractions, and festive events. Visit Santa at his new home, American Dream’s Holiday Dreamland, and snap your yearly Santa photo. Find a gift for everyone on your list with over 200 places to shop and dine, including 50+ new stores and 10+ new dining destinations with extended holiday hours. Stroll through American Dream’s snow-covered Winter Wonderland, and while you are there, you won’t want to miss American Dream’s many holiday events for the whole family, including Brunch with Santa, A Toys “R” Us Wishlist Workshop, HO_HO Holiday Fun At The Aquarium, Theme Skate, Winter Wonderland Night, and the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Holiday Bricktacular.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
November 4-December 24
Head over to the Bass Pro Shops for an exciting visit with Santa in NJ. Kids will experience the magic of Santa’s Wonderland and receive a free 4×6 keepsake photo. Reservations are recommended for your visit.
Bass Pro Shops, 30 N Christopher Columbus Blvd., Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Photos with Santa at Deptford Mall
November 9-December 24
Round up your crew to snap a photo with St. Nick and visit Santa’s Toy Shop. Don’t miss Sensory Friendly Visits with Santa on December 3, Pet Photos with Santa on November 13, 20, 27, and December 4, and look out for PJ Jams with Santa and the Fairytale Princess and Holiday Shows with Mrs. Claus and Friends. Pre-booking is recommended
Deptford Mall, 1750 Deptford Center Road, Deptford Township, NJ 08096
Santa at Menlo Park Mall
November 9-December 24
Dress up the kids for that festive photo and yearly magical moment with Santa. Experience milk and cookies with Santa on November 11; Caring Santa ® will greet special needs visitors for a private experience on December 3, and don’t miss those pet photos on November 26-December 10.
Menlo Park Mall, 55 Parsonage Road, Edison, NJ 08837
Santa’s Flight Academy at The Mall at Short Hills
November 9-December 24
Bring your littles to learn the sled ropes and join Santa’s Flight Crew at Short Hills Mall. Children will help Santa in NJ guide his sleigh and help him deliver gifts all around the world. When you meet up with the big guy, your kiddos can be a part of an immersive photo experience where they can dance in Santa’s magic mirror and during a magical snowfall party in Santa’s sleigh. And don’t miss the Sensory Santa event on December 3 and Santa Paws on November 12.
The Mall at Short Hills, 1200 Morris Tpke., Short Hills, NJ 07078
The Santa Experience
Select dates available
At this private photography studio, your kids will creatively pose with the most photogenic Santa in NJ to create a memorable keepsake for years to come. From different scenes and setups to one-on-one time with the Big Guy and delicious cookies, your kids will feel the magic and be mesmerized by meeting Santa in a private Christmas wonderland.
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Photos with Santa at Freehold Raceway Mall
November 9-December 24
The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit to Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Located at Lower Level, Zara Court, a visit with Santa is always free, and photo packages are available for purchase. There will be events throughout the month, like Pets Nights and Santa Cares, for a sensory-friendly experience.
Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 US 9, Freehold, NJ 07728
Santa Arrives at Westfield Garden State Plaza
November 10-December 23
Ho ho ho—Santa will arrive by firetruck accompanied by a drone show on November 11, followed by food trucks and lots of holiday fun. Skip the line by making a reservation before your visit. Pet Parties are most Mondays, PJ Parties are every Tuesday, Baby’s First is every Wednesday, and Ugly Sweater Parties are every Thursday.
Westfield Garden State Plaza, One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
Pictures with Santa at Willowbrook
November 10-December 24
Santa will hold court by Bloomingdale’s Exhibit Court at Willowbrook, where kids can share their wish lists, and you can purchase photos. After, pick up something sweet at the charming candy shop, Lolli & Pops.
1400 Willowbrook, Wayne, NJ 07470
DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
November 17-December 23
Have your crew ride aboard a train through millions of Christmas lights and then do a meet and greet with Santa and his elves in his workshop. Don’t miss the Holiday Movie tent, taking a photo with your favorite snowman, and the Toy Market and Walkthrough Holiday Village.
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
Santa Photos at Cumberland Mall
November 17-December 24
Capture the magic of the holidays through the eyes of your little ones with a picture with Santa. Dress up for Santa’s Arrival on November 17.
Cumberland Mall, 3849 S. Delsea Drive, Vineland, NJ 08360
Santa Photo Experience at Newport Centre
November 17-December 24
Bring the little ones and see their eyes light up when they see Santa Claus this holiday season. Starting November 17, Santa will be available for photos with the kids. Reservations are recommended, and you can also book a day with Santa and Fido.
30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Santa at The Quaker Bridge Mall
November 17-December 24
Santa arrives on November 17 just in time for the tree lighting that day, too. Look out for Caring Santa days and book your Santa experience photos ahead of time to secure your spot.
3320 US-1, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights Spectacular
November 17-December 31, select dates
Stroll under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters, then stop by Santa’s workshop to take a picture with the man himself. Check the schedule before you go—Santa has to make quick trips back to the North Pole and isn’t always on the property. Celebrate the season of giving with donations, which are always appreciated.
Turtle Back Zoo West Orange, NJ 07052
Collingswood Holiday Events
November 18-December 22
Spend the season celebrating, starting with a Holiday Tree Lighting and Ice Carving on November 24 and a Holiday Parade on November 25. Make sure you get your list to Santa (he’ll be around every weekend) and spend several nights of December watching live performances, listening to live music, and strolling along the sidewalk admiring the festive lights.
Collingswood, NJ 08108
The Mills at Jersey Gardens
November 22-December 24
Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ups are welcome to see Santa at The Mills at Jersey Gardens. With reservations, your kiddos will get a magical phone call from the man in the red suit.
651 Kapkowski Road, Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Orchard of Lights at Demarest Farms
November 22-December 30
Start your engine and explore 32 acres of holiday light displays at Demarest Farms. You can also warm up by the fire pit with s’mores, enjoy hot cocoa and treats in the retail farm market, and take pictures with Santa while listening to Santa’s reindeer singing.
Demarest Farms, 244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Skylands Stadium Light Show & Christmas Village
November 22-December 30
Visit Santa’s Workshop in the Christmas Village at Skylands Stadium, featuring a photo station with Mr. Claus and Champ, the life-size polar bear statue. Enjoy delicious drinks at the snack bars while the kids roast marshmallows over the fire pit to make s’mores. And don’t miss the 1-mile Lightshow.
Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Place, Augusta, NJ 07822
Breakfast with Santa at Congress Hall
Begins November 24
Breakfast with Santa returns to Congress Hall when this holiday family favorite starts after Thanksgiving in the Grand Ballroom. Kids and adults will love the delicious breakfast buffet, and don’t forget to dress up in your holiday best for photos with Saint Nick by the poinsettia tree.
Congress Hall, 200 Congress Pl., Cape May County, NJ 08204
Avalon’s Thanksgiving Weekend
Kick off the holiday season in Avalon with a whole weekend of activities. On Friday, there will be a 5K run and 1.5-mile walk and Festive Friday activities with live music, children’s performances, and character appearances. Santa will also be there for the tree lighting. On Saturday, take a photo with Santa, enjoy bounce houses, carnival rides, and obstacle courses, and cozy up with lots of cocoa.
Avalon, NJ 08202
Santa Claus is Coming to MarketFair
November 24-December 24
Grab the little ones and meet Saint Nick at MarketFair. Reservations are strongly recommended but not required.
MarketFair, 3535 US Highway 1, Princeton, NJ 08540
Visit with Santa at Johnson’s Corner Farm
November 24-December 23
Get ready to snap a ton of photos with Santa Claus at this event which features their famous Light Show on the Lake. Take a lighted hayride, decorate a cookie, or roast a s’more on an open fire.
Johnson’s Corner Farm, 133 Church Road, Medford, NJ 08055
Holiday in the Park
November 24-January 1, select dates
Hit your favorite theme park at night to see it completely decked out in colorful lights and mingle with the couple of the hour, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Ride the roller coasters—plenty of smaller ones perfect for your kiddos—and enjoy the street entertainment all over the park. Finish the night with a festive treat, like a cup of hot chocolate, yummy cider, and fried s’mores.
Six Flags Great Adventure, 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson Township, NJ 08527
Santa’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at Cape May County Zoo
Can you keep a secret? Rumor has it that the zebras at the Cape May County Zoo brought Rudolph and his crew in through the back gates. Come see for yourself, and while you’re there, take your photo with the jolly man in the big red suit. Catch a holiday performance by “Elves Gone Wild,” check out the ice sculpture demonstration, and enjoy some character appearances while you are there.
Cape May County Park & Zoo, 707 US 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Santa-by-the-Sea at Pier Village
You can kick off the holiday season by taking photos with Santa next to a 24-foot tree. After the tree is lit, enjoy shopping while looking at the window displays, enjoying the festive cheer, and listening to the Christmas Carolers.
Pier Village, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Breakfast with Santa at the Inn of Cape May
November 25-December 16, select dates
Share a delicious breakfast with family and friends and welcome special guest Santa Claus as he visits the Inn of Cape May and stops at each table to greet guests on select dates leading up to Christmas.
7 Ocean Street, Cape May, NJ 08204
Vinter Wonderland Stories with Santa
November 25-December 23
Celebrate a successful harvest at Renault Winery with a charming and festive experience for all ages. Santa Claus comes to town to read a holiday story while the kids can enjoy milk and cookies. The kids can also color and take photos with the big guy.
72 Bremen Ave., Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Santa’s Arrival in Morristown
Begins November 26
Come down to The Morristown Green and take in the magic of the season. Visit and take Santa pictures in NJ to make this holiday season one to remember. Santa’s rooftop arrival starts on November 26.
The Morristown Green, 10 N. Park Place, Morristown, NJ 07960
2023 Weihnachtsmarkt German Christmas Market of New Jersey
Who says you need to fly to Germany to experience an authentic Weihnachtsmärkt? Sussex County Fairgrounds is home to the largest annual Christmas market in the state and the only German Christmas Market in the US, complete with a carousel, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Your littles will enjoy a special visit from St. Nicholas, Mrs. Claus, and the elves.
Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822
American Dream Santa Photo Experience
Visit Holiday Dreamland and take that magical photo with the man in the red suit. Book a spot early, and don’t forget your list.
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Noyes Holiday Market and Gingerbread Village
Holiday shopping, food, handcrafted and vintage goods, and more. Throughout the event, there will be live music, arts and crafts activities for children and adults, pictures with Santa, and shopping from local artists and makers.
The Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, 2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Westwood Home For The Holidays
Get ready for the holiday season with the return of Westwood’s beloved Home For The Holidays celebration, which features a parade, live music, and tree lighting. The parade will begin at 6 PM and will include a visit from Santa.
Winterfest Market in Haddonfield
The shopping season is here. Shop in the outdoor market, listen to holiday music, and let the kids explore the different holiday activities. Children will also get a chance to give their list to Santa and take a photo.
51 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Twp., NJ 08108
Holiday Wonderland and Christmas Market
Stop by this lively festival with vendors, fire pits, and an ice sculpture artist. There will be live entertainment, shopping, and plenty of opportunities to take a family photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Heritage Park, 49 West Bay Ave., Manahawkin, NJ 08050
Santa in the Park in Hopatcong
The tree lighting and a visit from St. Nick are at dusk, but come earlier to explore the holiday market. There will be free hot chocolate, prepackaged cookies, and ornaments for the kids.
Modick Park, 28 Hopatchung Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843
Sea of Lights Indoor Holiday Lights Spectacular
December 9-28, select dates
Where else can you see an actual diving Santa Claus but at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach? The Indoor Holiday Lights Spectacular includes treats, crafts, pictures with Santa, games, and entertainment.
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Santa’s Hideaway Adventure at Ocean Resort
Take an adventure that transports you from the Atlantic City Boardwalk to the North Pole, where you’ll find Santa’s Secret Hideaway. Meet the man himself after exiting this magical elevator experience. Then shop for holiday gifts at The Shop at Santa’s Hideaway Adventure.
500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Where will you be seeing Santa in NJ this year?
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