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The Best Ways to Video Call & Take Pictures with Santa This Year in NY

The Best Ways to Video Call & Take Pictures with Santa This Year in NY

These are the best ways to video call Santa this year, along with where to take pictures with Santa in the New York area.


UPDATED NOV. 19, 2020: This holiday season will look so different from any other we’ve celebrated, so it’s only normal that you’d want to ensure your children have the best Christmas possible—and that means seeing Santa to make sure he knows what’s on your child’s wish list! While the iconic Macy’s Santaland has gone virtual in an effort to keep everyone safe, there are plenty of places in the New York metro area that have socially distant and safe ways to meet and take pictures with Santa!

But if seeing Santa in person isn’t on your wish list this year, your child have a Zoom call or video chat with Santa to share their Christmas wish lists, get holiday wishes from jolly ol’ St. Nick in pre-recorded video messages, and more! Plus, when you have a video call with Santa, you can still receive a copy of your annual photo. So schedule your visit with Santa (many places require reservations, head out to cut your own Christmas tree, stop by to see some amazing Christmas light displays, and support local artists by shopping at a holiday market!

7 Ways to Video Call Santa in 2020

Macy’s Santaland at Home
This year, Macy’s is bringing Santaland to your home, with a customized, interactive experience for up to three children at a time! Santaland elves at the North Pole-bound train station kick off the interaction with a special greeting and lead the way through Santa’s Village and Workshop. Kids will meet Santa at the end through an interactive video where they will be able to share their holiday wish list and snap a selfie with Santa. The best part is, unlike when you can visit Santaland in person, reservations aren’t needed—it’s a fully on-demand experience! Nov. 27-Dec. 24; on-demand; free.

Jingle Ring Virtual Santa
Kids can have a live, virtual visit with Santa from the safety and comfort of home! You can even participate in a storytime with Santa or Mrs. Clause or have Santa send your child a personalized, pre-recorded message. Santa can communicate with children of all abilities: Santa knows ASL, and you can book a sensory-friendly session. Plus, you can choose preferences for ethnicity, language, and faith for a fully customized experience. $24.95 live, virtual visit; $19.95 personalized, pre-recorded message.

Santa Claus is Coming to Zoom
While the holidays look different this year, the magic of the holidays can be shared with a Santa Zoom call! You can schedule an 8-minute video call with Santa for your children, and share some basic info with Santa beforehand so he’s ‘in the know’ to create a one-of-a-kind experience. After the call, you’ll receive a screenshot photo of your kids with Santa as a keepsake of this unique holiday season. $25 per person.

Personalized Santa Videos that Benefit Holtsville Ecology Site
Parents or loved ones can purchase a personalized video message from Santa for the kids in their life. Simply fill out a brief questionnaire about the child or children, and Santa will email them a one-of-a-kind video message! What’s more? All proceeds from the video sales will go directly to the feeding and care of the more than 100 animals that live at Holtsville Ecology Site. $25.

Santa Cameo
Typically a platform for fans to get pre-recorded videos from their favorite actors, musicians, comedians, and athletes, Cameo also has various Santas (there’s even a puppet Santa!) participating in the message service. You can preview videos of all the Santas available to choose the one you like best (or simply the one that fits your budget)! $25-$75.

Call Santa’s Hotline
If your child would rather not video with Santa (hey, sometimes we’d rather not be on camera either!), you can call Santa’s Hotline to hear a special greeting from the man in the red suit and your child can leave a message with all the items on their Christmas wish list. And when you call on a mobile phone, you’ll receive a text with a recording of your child’s wish list to share with family and friends. 1-605-303-4000 (standard calling and messaging charges may apply).

Mail a Good-Old-Fashioned Letter to Santa
Okay, so this isn’t actually a virtual chat with Santa, but your child can write a letter to Santa, and they’ll receive a note from Kris Kringle himself (well, technically you…but it comes from the North Pole). All you have to do is place your child’s letter in an envelope addressed to Santa Claus, North Pole; write a personalized response to your child's letter and sign it "From Santa"; insert both letters into an envelope addressed to the child with the return address of SANTA, NORTH POLE; ensure a First-Class Mail stamp is affixed to the envelope; place the complete envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address it to:

  • North Pole Postmark
    Postmaster
    4141 Postmark Drive
    Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

Just make sure to send the letter by Dec. 7 to ensure it gets to Santa’s helpers in Anchorage in time!

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in 2020

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Manhattan

North Pole Express in NYC
WHEN:
Through Jan. 3, 2021: See website for schedule
WHERE: TopView, Sixth Avenue, between 47th and 48th streets, Midtown
AGES: All
WHAT: Meet with Santa, one of his elves, and our Express Conductor; enjoy Christmas carols and storytelling; take in stunning sights of Christmas lights above the crowd...there's so much more for you to discover on the North Pole Express! 
WANT TO GO? $49 and up. 212-664-0300. topviewnyc.com.

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Brooklyn

Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Nov. 20-Dec. 24, Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm; Sunday, 12-6pm; Dec. 24, 9am-5pm
WHERE: Staten Island Mall, 2655 Richmond Ave., Staten Island
AGES: All
WHAT: Visit and have your photo taken with Santa at the Staten Island Mall! Face coverings for you and Santa may be required during your contactless visit based on current state regulations. Reservations required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 718-761-6666. statenislandmall.com.

FREE Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 4-24, see website for schedule
WHERE: Kings Plaza Shopping Center, 5100 Kings Plaza, Mill Basin
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa and his elves have made every effort to provide a memorable and contact free experience. A visit with Santa is always free and available without a reservation (though reservations are recommended) as social distancing requirements allow.
WANT TO GO? 718-253-6842. kingsplazaonline.com.

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Queens

FREE Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 4-24, see website for schedule
WHERE: Queens Center, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa and his elves have made every effort to provide a memorable and contact free experience. A visit with Santa is always free and available without a reservation (though reservations are recommended) as social distancing requirements allow.
WANT TO GO? 718-592-3900. shopqueenscenter.com.

FREE Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 4-24, see website for schedule
WHERE: The Shops at Atlas Park, 8000 Cooper Ave., Glendale
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa and his elves have made every effort to provide a memorable and contact free experience. A visit with Santa is always free and available without a reservation (though reservations are recommended) as social distancing requirements allow.
WANT TO GO? 718-326-3300. shopatlaspark.com.

St. Nicholas Day
WHEN:
Saturday, Dec. 5, 12-5pm
WHERE: Vander Ende-Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave., Ridgewood
AGES: All
WHAT: Celebrate St. Nicholas Day at the Onderdonk House. Seasonal crafts, caroling, mulled cider, and of course a visit from St. Nicholas himself. Timed entry. Outdoor event. Please purchase tickets in advance, this is a limited capacity event! (Rain date Sunday, Dec. 6).
WANT TO GO? $10. 718-456-1776. onderdonkhouse.org.

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Westchester County

Lights. Camera. Santa!
WHEN:
Nov. 20-Dec. 24; see website for schedule
WHERE: The Westchester, 125 Westchester Ave., White Plains
AGES: All
WHAT: This Santa photo experience is socially distant, and Santa, his helpers, and all guests are required to wear masks. Reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 914-421-1333. simon.com/mall/the-westchester.

Santa Visits and Photos
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24, Monday-Saturday, 11am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm; Dec. 24, 9am-5pm
WHERE: Ridge Hill, 27 Market St., Yonkers
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa is coming to town, with safety in mind! Pre-purchase your photo package and schedule your contactless visit with Santa. The health and safety of guests and staff is top priority. Reservations to visit Santa are strongly encouraged.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 914-207-2900. ridgehill.com.

Cross County Center Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 2-24, Monday-Saturday, 11am-3pm and 4-8pm; Sunday, 11am-2:30pm and 3-7pm; Dec. 24, 9am-1pm and 2-5pm
WHERE: Cross County Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers
AGES: All
WHAT: This year, Cross County Center is taking every precaution to create a healthy, safe, and comfortable environment for families. Santa will be featured in a new, custom space that allows for social distancing and a touch-free experience. You’ll be able to capture a magical photo of your family inside Santa’s workshop. And, while Santa is building toys, kids can watch from a safe distance, which will all be featured in the photo! Face coverings are required for the staff, Santa, and all guests. Hand sanitizer will be located at all entrances and exits for customers. Thorough cleanings with CDC-approved products and procedures will be made throughout the day. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made through the center’s website. There will be limited time for walk-up guests.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 914-968-9570. Crosscountycenter.com.



Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Rockland County

Santa IS Coming to Town
WHEN:
Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6, and Dec. 9-24; see website for schedule
WHERE: Palisades Center, 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack
AGES: All
WHAT: There will be plenty of fun and magic, as well as a focus on the health and well-being of everyone. Reservations are strongly encouraged with walk-up visits available as space allows throughout the day. Please visit bit.ly/2UnTIgt to reserve your session today!
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 845-348-1000. palisadescenter.com.

Christmas in the Village
WHEN: Dec. 5- 13, Saturday-Sunday, 1-6pm
WHERE: Museum Village, 1010 Route 17M, Monroe
AGES: All
WHAT: Spread some Christmas cheer and enjoy a snack bar with yummy treats and food, an art show with specialty boutique items, socially distanced photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus (visitors must be on line by 5:30pm to get a photo), and kids' games and scavenger hunts for all! Plus, enjoy a face painter, garden maze, evening lights, a Christmas Mask Competition, and more! Spaces are limited, so be sure to buy your tickets in advance online now!
WANT TO GO? $5; free for children ages 3 and younger. 845-782-8248. museumvillage.org.

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Bergen County, NJ

Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Nov. 20-Dec. 24, see website for schedule
WHERE: Paramus Park, 700 Paramus Park, Paramus
AGES: All
WHAT: Meet and have your picture taken with Santa! Face coverings and reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 201-261-6108. paramuspark.com. 

Socially Distanced Santa
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24, daily, 11am-7pm
WHERE: Garden State Plaza, 1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus
AGES: All
WHAT: All family members must wear a mask; Santa will be wearing one too. Reservations required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 201-843-2121. westfield.com/gardenstateplaza.

Lights. Camera. Santa!
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24; see website for schedule
WHERE: The Shops at Riverside, 1 Riverside Square, Hackensack
AGES: All
WHAT: This Santa photo experience is socially distant, and Santa, his helpers, and all guests are required to wear masks. Reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 201-489-0151. simon.com/mall/the-shops-at-riverside.

Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 3-24, Monday-Saturday, 11am-7pm; Dec. 24, 11am-5pm
WHERE: The Outlets at Bergen Town Center, 1 Bergen Town Center, Paramus
AGES: All
WHAT: In an effort to create a touch-free experience and to accommodate varying levels of visitor comfort, customers will be able to reserve a spot to take a picture with Santa. This year, for the safety of visitors and himself, Santa will be stationed behind a picturesque 2-D snow globe shaped plexiglass with a bench in front for visitors to sit on and snap a holiday photo.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 201-845-4050. bergentowncenter.com

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Nassau County

Lights. Camera. Santa!
WHEN:
Nov. 20-Dec. 24; see website for schedule
WHERE: Roosevelt Field Mall, 630 Old Country Road, Garden City
AGES: All
WHAT: This Santa photo experience is socially distant, and Santa, his helpers, and all guests are required to wear masks. Reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 516-742-8001. simon.com/mall/roosevelt-field.

FREE Port Holiday Magic on Small Business Saturday
WHEN:
Saturday, Nov. 28, all day
WHERE: Port Washington
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa will ride a fire engine at 12pm. Businesses throughout Port Washington have special offers for their customers. Outdoor musical entertainment in various locations. Holiday-themed backgrounds for perfect selfies, including an old-fashioned sleigh and an inflatable snowman.
WANT TO GO? 516-883-6566. portwashingtonbid.org/portholidaymagic.

Photos with Santa
WHEN:
Dec. 4-24; see website for schedule
WHERE: Green Acres Mall, 2034 Green Acres Mall, Valley Stream
AGES: All
WHAT: Santa wouldn't miss this visit for anything! Rest assured, he and his elves have made every effort to provide a memorable—and contact free—experience. Advanced reservations available.
WANT TO GO? Meeting Santa is free, photo packages available. 516-561-1157. greenacresmallonline.com/SantaPhotos.

Santa (Re)Imagined
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24, Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm
WHERE: Sunrise Mall, 1 Sunrise Mall, Massapequa
AGES: All
WHAT: Make your wish list and reserve your time to visit with the big guy in the red suit. Face coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older. Reservations required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 516-795-3550. sunrisemallny.com.

Where to Take Pictures with Santa in Suffolk County

Lights. Camera. Santa!
WHEN:
Nov. 20-Dec. 24; see website for schedule
WHERE: Smith Haven Mall, 313 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove
AGES: All
WHAT: This Santa photo experience is socially distant, and Santa, his helpers, and all guests are required to wear masks. Reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 631-724-8066. simon.com/mall/smith-haven-mall.

Merriest Moments at Tanger Outlets
WHEN:
Nov. 21-Dec. 19, Saturdays, 2-5pm
WHERE: Tanger Outlets Deer Park, 152 The Arches Circle, Deer Park
AGES: All
WHAT: Enjoy strolling entertainment, family activities, socially distant photos with Santa in his workshop, and more!
WANT TO GO? $10 per photo with Santa. tangeroutlet.com/deerpark.

Holiday Winter Wonderland
WHEN: 
Nov. 21-Dec. 20, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
WHERE: White Post Farms, 250 Old Country Road, Melville
AGES: All
WHAT: White Post Farms has created two safe outdoor environments in which you can take your own pictures: one with Santa and one in a winter wonderland scene. Bring your Santa Letter for the North Pole mailbox along with a self-addressed stamped envelope and Santa will answer your letter. Admission includes petting zoo, bird aviaries, monkey barn, and visit with Santa. Pony rides, train rides, and feed for animals and birds are available at an additional cost.
WANT TO GO? $19.95. 631-351-9373. animalpettingzoo.com.

Lights. Camera. Santa!
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24; see website for schedule
WHERE: Walt Whitman Shops, 160 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station
AGES: All
WHAT: This Santa photo experience is socially distant, and Santa, his helpers, and all guests are required to wear masks. Reservations are required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 631-271-1746. simon.com/mall/walt-whitman-shops.

Aglow: A Holiday Experience at Mulford Farm
WHEN:
Saturday, Nov. 28, 4-8pm
WHERE: Mulford Farm, 10 James Lane, East Hampton
AGES: All
WHAT: For one night only, Mulford Farm will be transformed into a holiday wonderland from the days of yore. Enjoy a self-guided tour of historic Mulford Farm, caroling at the Hedges-Edwards barn, meet Santa Claus on his sleigh, take a selfie with your friends and family at the magical "Winter Wonderland' and bring home take-away children's crafts. Hot cider and Hamptons Aristocrat cookies included. To purchase your timed tickets, please visit the East Hampton Historical Society's Events page. Pre-registration is required. No drop-ins permitted.
WANT TO GO? $10; $5 children ages 16 and younger. 631-324-6850. easthamptonhistory.org.

Santa Brunch
WHEN:
Dec. 6, 10am, 12pm, and 2pm
WHERE: Long Island Aquarium, 431 E. Main St., Riverhead
AGES: All
WHAT: Celebrate the season at the Long Island Aquarium's annual Santa Brunch! Enjoy a delicious buffet brunch in the beautiful Sea Star Ballroom, make a special take-home holiday keepsake and don't forget the camera to capture a family photo with Santa! Then spend the day in the aquarium. It's family fun for everyone! Reservations required. All prices plus tax.
WANT TO GO? $54.95 ($49.95 members); $26.95 ($23.95 members) children 3-12; $5 children 2 and younger. 631-208-9200. longislandaquarium.com.

Santa (Re)Imagined
WHEN:
Nov. 27-Dec. 24, Monday-Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 11am-7pm
WHERE: Westfield South Shore, 1701 Sunrise Highway, Bay Shore
AGES: All
WHAT: Make your wish list and reserve your time to visit with the big guy in the red suit. Face coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older. Reservations required.
WANT TO GO? Photos: $39.99 and up. 631-665-8600. westfield.com/southshore.

 

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Katelin Walling

Author:

Katelin Walling is the Editorial Director for NYMetroParents. She can often be found reading, knitting, or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby.

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