The Best Places to Visit Santa in Los Angeles

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Photo courtesy of Westfield

Santa Claus is coming to town, and we’ve got his itinerary. From Grinchmas™ at Universal Studios Hollywood to photo ops with Santa at Westfield and more, Santa is making numerous stops throughout Los Angeles right up until Christmas Eve. Here are some of the places where you and your family (including pets) can enjoy a meet and greet with Kris Kringle.

Family photo with The Grinch at Grinchmas in Universal Studios Hollywood

Family photo with The Grinch™ at Grinchmas™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

Grinchmas™ - Universal Studios Hollywood (Nov. 28 - Dec. 29, 2019)

Get in the festive spirit with spectacular holiday experiences at Universal Studios Hollywood! Surrounded by holiday decor, you can celebrate Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, enjoy the most Who-tacular Grinchmas™ celebration ever, and end your day at Universal CityWalk, where you can enjoy world-class shopping, dining, and movies at the state-of-the-art Cinema.

Snap a selfie with The Grinch™ and Max for holiday memories that will last a lifetime, then enjoy the spectacular lighting of the spectacular 60-foot Seussian tree. Listen to cheery Christmas carols from the Who-ville singers, then decorate ornaments – prepare for messy fingers! Enjoy Martha May Who-vier and the Who-Dolls’ big holiday revue before settling in for story time with Cindy Lou Who.


Westfield Century City (Nov. 29 - Dec. 21, 2019)
Santa arrives at Westfield Century City on Friday, November 29 and will be available to strike a pose while answering all your questions about the North Pole till December 21. Please note that Santa takes breaks to feed his reindeer every day from 1pm-2pm and 4pm-5pm and will be too busy to pose for photos at this time. Reserve your Santa photo Fast Pass today at the Westfield Century City website.

Westfield Topanga & The Village (Through Dec. 21, 2019)
Celebrate the holidays and share your Christmas wish list with Santa himself at Westfield Topanga. Take home a keepsake photo for the whole family to treasure forever. Walk-in visits are welcome and all guests who take their photos with Santa before December 14 will receive a special gift! Bring your Santa photo receipt to Concierge to redeem. Want to skip the line? Make your reservations today.

Westfield Santa Anita (Through Dec. 24, 2019)
Make the season extra merry and bright with a memorable Santa visit at Westfield Santa Anita. Photos with Santa are on a non-reservation check-in system that is first come, first-served. When a line forms, customers will receive a text to come back in line when their spot is ready. Get your Santa photos taken in November and get a free polar bear plush from Miniso (while supplies last) PLUS free Circus Vargas Kids Tickets with purchase of Santa photos.

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High five for Santa at The Grove | Instagram by @yvettemachado

Santa at American Girl - The Grove (December 2019)

The ever-popular American Girl at The Grove is hosting Santa for special brunch and dinner experiences throughout the holiday season. Whispering her wishes is an exciting holiday tradition, and a special pose with St. Nick is the perfect photo opportunity! These festive events includes one 5x7 keepsake photo per girl, plus a delicious brunch or dinner to enjoy during your visit. Pricing is $32 per person for dinner and $25 for brunch. 

  • December 6: Santa Dinner (5:30-6:30pm)
  • December 8: Santa Brunch (8:30-9:30am)
  • December 13: Santa Dinner (5:30-6:30pm)
  • December 15: Santa Brunch (8:30-9:30am)

On Sunday, December 22 American Girl is hosting Santa Brunch at 8:30am, followed by a noon performance of The Nutcracker at the world-famous Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Pricing is $80 per person, including parking at The Grove. Transportation and parking at the Dolby is not included.

For more info and to book your reservation, visit the American Girl website.

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Photo courtesy of The Paley Center for Media, Facebook

It's Holiday Time in Paleyland - The Paley Center for Media (Nov. 23, 2019 - Jan. 5, 2020)

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills celebrates the joy of the season with a special family-friendly experience. "It’s Holiday Time in PaleyLand" features screenings of beloved classic holiday TV programs from the Paley Archive, along with family holiday activities and a visit with Santa. Starting Saturday, November 30, visit with Santa and take a photo on weekends and select weekdays from 11am - 5pm. Families can also enjoy special holiday activities like arts & crafts, dreidel games, plus free hot cocoa!

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Mrs. Claus at Six Flags Magic Mountain | Instagram by @asap_teresa221

Santa's Cottage at Holiday in the Park - Six Flags Magic Mountain (Through Jan. 5, 2020)

Renowned as the “Thrill Capital of the World,” Six Flags Magic Mountain lights up the season during its annual holiday extravaganza, Holiday in the Park. With more than two million lights and seven uniquely themed areas, the park will transform into a spectacularly lit winter wonderland for guests to enjoy this holiday season. Now open through January 5, Holiday in the Park begins each day at 5 p.m., signaled by the first falling snow of the evening.

One of seven Holiday in the Park themed areas, Santa’s Cottage is home to the jolly man with the white beard and red suit, along with crafts with Mrs. Claus and her merry elves. Visit Santa in his new home next to Bugs Bunny World every Holiday in the Park operating day beginning at 1pm until December 24.

Paw-fect Pics with Santa at Glendale Galleria

Paw-fect Pics with Santa | Photo: Glendale Galleria, Facebook

Macy's Court at Glendale Galleria 

PHOTOS WITH SANTA (Through Dec. 24, 2019)
Create magical memories, make the holidays special, and take care of those wish lists—all in one place! Santa Photos at Glendale Galleria are brought to you by Lifetime. Share your favorite holiday snapshots using #ItsAWonderfulLifetime #LifetimeSantaSweeps and tag @LifetimeTV for a chance to win up to a $2k shopping spree courtesy of Lifetime. For official rules visit:

PAW-FECT PICS WITH SANTA (Mondays through Dec. 16, 2019)
Paw-fect Pics with Santa are back at Glendale Galleria! Santa is available for pet photos from 5pm to close at Macy's Court every Monday through December 16. Dogs and cats only please. Make your FastPass reservation at the Glendale Galleria website.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" & "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" - Westwood Village (Dec. 7, 2019)

The family-friendly outdoor movie series, Cinema Under The Stars, is back to kick off the holiday season in Westwood VIllage with a special double feature of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." The screenings and holiday event will take place on Saturday, December 7 along Broxton Avenue between Weyburn and Kinross. Moviegoers should bring their own chairs and blankets, along with friends and family to enjoy these fan-favorite holiday flicks in a unique outdoor setting under the stars.

There will be free pictures with Santa Claus, a holiday-themed photo booth, live music, kids crafts, hot cocoa and more. The event is free and open to the public. Pre-show event starts at 4pm. "Rudolph" starts at 5:30 followed immediately by "Christmas Vacation."

Holiday Tree Lighting Sled-tacular - Downtown Culver City (Dec. 5, 2019)

Celebrate peace, good will and the holiday season at the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Sled-tacular, taking place from 5pm-8pm on Thursday, December 5 in Downtown Culver City. See Santa Claus as he makes a very special visit all the way from the North Pole! Local businesses will provide hot cider, hot cocoa, cookies and other festive treats that are sure to make everyone feel merry. Come early to enjoy sledding and other activities new to the event this year. Stay afterwards for dinner at one of Downtown Culver City’s many restaurants, or take a stroll down the boulevards.

The Holiday Tree Lighting Sled-tacular is taking place at Town Plaza - located at the intersection of Culver Boulevard and Van Buren Place (next to the Culver Hotel and ArcLight Cinemas).

Surfer Santa at Holiday Cheer on the Pier

Surfer Santa at Holiday Cheer on the Pier | Photo: Santa Monica Pier, Facebook

Surfer Santa at Holiday Cheer on the Pier (Dec. 8, 2019)

It's a beachside spin on a holiday classic thanks to Pacific Park, which is hosting a visit from Surfer Santa in a one-of-a-kind photo op. Surfer Santa will be at the landmark Santa Monica Pier on Sunday, December 8 from 11am to 5pm at Central Plaza (next to Pier Burger and the iconic Route 66 sign). The photo op with Surfer Santa is free, open to the public, and part of Holiday Cheer on the Pier, taking place November 27 - January 6.

Santa Claus in the Captain's Quarters at Queen Mary Christmas

Santa Claus in the Captain's Quarters at Queen Mary Christmas | Photo: The Queen Mary, Facebook

Breakfast with Santa at The Queen Mary

Breakfast with Santa | Photo: The Queen Mary, Facebook

Queen Mary Christmas (Nov. 29, 2019 - Jan. 1, 2020)

The Queen Mary invites one and all to embrace the holiday spirit at Queen Mary Christmas, taking place on select dates from November 29 to January 1. Start your adventure at the outdoor North Pole Village with ice skating at the True North Ice Rink circling a 26-foot Christmas tree, then jump aboard the QM Express Train or the Grand Carousel for more festive fun. Enjoy strolling performers, gingerbread house making, stocking decorating, or a sweet treat or libation as you watch live entertainment on the outdoor stage before climbing aboard the Queen Mary to take in the dazzling decor.

The merriment continues aboard the ship, where you’ll find Mrs. Claus reading stories to little ones and Ol’ Saint Nick hosting meet-and-greets in his Captain’s Quarters. The Queen Mary’s 4-D Theater will screen a special 4-D version of The Polar Express movie, complete with hot cocoa smells and snow flurries for a magical movie experience.

On select Saturday mornings, enjoy breakfast with Santa himself and hear him read a Christmas story. This event brings families together to celebrate the holiday season in a fun and welcoming environment. Participants enjoy a warm breakfast along with the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Santa. The festive holiday breakfast takes place from 9am to noon in a Historic Salon aboard the Queen Mary. Pajamas welcome!

Tickets to Queen Mary Christmas start at $29 for General Admission ($22 for kids 4-11), with options for VIP Admission, Breakfast with Santa, Date Night Package, Reindeer Peak Cabanas, Ghosts of Christmas Passed, and the Holiday Dinner Show.

South Lake Avenue Holidayfest 2019

Photo: South Lake Avenue Holidayfest, Facebook

Holidayfest on South Lake Avenue - Pasadena (Dec. 7, 2019)

Pasadena’s South Lake Avenue kicks off its annual Holidayfest at noon on Saturday, December 7 with family friendly activities throughout the District. Presented by the South Lake Business Association, Holidayfest includes:

  • Complimentary Admission
  • Photos with Santa
  • Holiday Activities & Characters
  • In-Store Specials and Promotions
  • Live Music and Carolers
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Holiday Crafts for the Kids
  • Ample Parking (free and paid)