Santa Claus is coming to your town. He’s a busy guy, but Kris Kringle always makes time to visit the children of southeast Michigan. Check out Metro Parent’s roundup of the best places to catch Santa in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. You’ll find him in several spots, including southeast Michigan malls and downtowns and at the many holiday parades and festivals in the region. Be sure to ask about photo package costs, as those are usually an added expense.
- 2015 Santa hours: 6-8 p.m. Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 6-7, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 8-12, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 13-14, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 5-19, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 20-21, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 23-25, closed Nov. 26, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 27-29, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 30; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 1-3 and 7-10; 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5, Dec. 11 and Dec. 14-17; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6; 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 13; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 18; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 19 and Dec. 21-23; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 20; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 24; closed Dec. 25 (Note: Santa generally takes a lunch and early-dinner break; check ahead for times)
- Address: 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-769-9610
Parents can make an appointment online to avoid the lines. A $10 deposit, which will be applied toward your photo package, is required to reserve your appointment. If you book a reservation with Santa for a date prior to Nov. 27, you’ll receive a free multi-image CD with a $39.99 photo package purchase. Santa will visit with four-legged friends from 6:30 till 8 p.m. Nov. 8, 15 and 29. Caring Santa, geared toward guests with special needs and their families, will be available 8:30-10 a.m. Nov. 22 and Dec. 6. Also consider Breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m. Dec. 12.
- 2015 Santa hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21-Dec. 24. Additional hours TBD.
- Address: 1800 Vernier Road, Harper Woods
- Phone: 313-371-1501
Santa takes his post to hear those holiday wishes through Christmas Eve.
- 2015 Santa hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 7-Dec. 15; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 16-23; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 24. Santa will not be available on Thanksgiving Day.
- Address: 18900 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
- Phone: 800-992-9500
This Santa visit will be an experience to remember. Santa’s Ice Palace at the Fairlane Town Center features an ice dome with falling snow, a light show and displays. Visitors will receive a commemorative holiday cookie plate. You can also meet the Ice Princess and take photos on the Ice Throne on weekends.
- 2015 Santa appearances, available after these play show times: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5; 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6; noon Saturdays, Dec. 12, 13, 19 and 29.
- Address: 108 E. Main St., Northville
- Phone: 248-349-0522
- Cost: $17/kids, $20/adults
Enjoy lunch, watch a holiday-themed play and then enjoy a question and answer session with the cast. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras as Santa will make a special appearance!
- 2015 Santa hours: 8-10 a.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19
- Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
- Phone: 248-541-5717, ext. 9
- Cost: $30/ages 15-plus, $25/ages 14 and under; this cost includes zoo admission and parking (less for members)
At this zoo tradition, eat a buffet-style breakfast with Santa Claus and a few of his animal friends in the zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. Photos with Santa are available for purchase. This is a popular event, so be sure to reserve your seat now!
- 2015 Santa hours: Museum is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; weekend days are busiest.
- Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
- Phone: 313-982-6001
- Cost: Free with museum admission: $20/adults, $15/ages 5-12, free/under age 4; $5/vehicle parking
It’s a chance to see a great museum and meet with Kris Kringle! After, write a letter or thank-you note to him and have it mailed to the North Pole in a special Lego mailbox. Be sure to admire the incredible Christmas tree and other holiday displays.
- 2015 Santa hours: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19
- Address: Wolcott Mill Metropark, 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray Township
- Phone: 586-749-5997
- Cost: $5/person, $7/park vehicle entry fee
Enjoy a visit with Santa in the mill, make some holiday crafts and take a trip into the past while admiring some historic holiday displays with scenes from the 1840s-1960s. Enjoy a cup of hot mulled cider or hot chocolate and hang out by the bonfire, too.
- 2015 Santa hours: TBD; call for details (event on Saturday, Dec. 12)
- Address: Schiffer Park, West Nine Mile Road and Planavon Street, Ferndale
- Phone: 248-546-1632
Santa makes a special appearance at Ferndale’s one-day Holiday Ice Festival. Get a free photo with Mr. Claus; then check out the rest of the festival, including ice sculptures, sleigh rides, live reindeer and holiday music.
- 2015 Santa hours: parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20
- Address: Downtown Northville
- Phone: 248-349-7640
Bring the whole family for a night of dazzling lights and parade floats at this year’s lighted parade; Santa will be sticking around immediately after the parade for those who want to say hello and have their wishes heard.
- 2015 Santa hours: 3-5 p.m. Nov. 23
- Address: Stagecrafters Baldwin Theatere, 415 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak
- Phone: 248-246-3280
The Holiday Magic Parade delights all of downtown Royal Oak at 2 p.m. After Santa has made his way through the parade, he visits with his fans.
- 2015 Santa hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19
- Address: Kerrytown Market & Shops, 407 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-662-5008
Come visit Santa at Kerrytown. Susan K., creator of Humans of Ann Arbor Project, will take photos or you are welcome to bring your own camera. Come back the following week for your free print.
- 2015 Santa hours: 4-10 p.m. Dec. 4, noon-10 p.m. Dec. 5
- Address: West Fourth Street between Walnut and Main streets, Rochester
- Phone: 248-656-0060
Inspired by the open-air holiday markets of Europe, the Kris Kringle Market is a great opportunity to shop for special gifts, enjoy fresh foods and hot drinks and of course for a visit and photo with Mr. Claus.
- 2015 Santa hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Sundays Nov. 7-Dec. 10; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday Dec. 11-23; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 20; and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 24
- Address: 14000 Lakeside Circle, Sterling Heights
- Phone: 586-247-1590
Come out to visit Santa when he arrives at Lakeside Mall this holiday season! Parents who reserve a time online get a discount on photos.
- 2015 Santa hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays (breaks 1:30-2 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m.), noon-6 p.m. Sundays (breaks 2:30-3 p.m.); 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 24
- Address: 37700 W. Six Mile Road, Livonia
- Phone: 734-462-1100
Enjoy the many shops and eateries after your visit with Mr. Claus. Find him conveniently located in the food court, and be sure to take advantage of a variety of photo packages. Pet photos with Santa available 6-9 p.m. Nov. 9, 16, 23 and 30 and Dec. 4 and 14.
- 2015 Santa hours: noon-3 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 (Saturdays and Sundays)
- Address: 50165 Eight Mile Road, Northville
- Cost: A donation to help feed the animals of Maybury Farm during the winter months
- Phone: 248-374-0200
Bring your camera for a photo with Santa and his sleigh as Maybury Farm welcomes St. Nick with a warm fire at its welcome center. Parents can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies while they visit the gift shop full of jellies, jams, honey (from the farm) and other Michigan-made holiday gifts.
- 2015 Santa hours: Nov. 7-Dec. 17: noon-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays (breaks 3-4 p.m.), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays (breaks noon-12:45 p.m. and 3:45-4:30 p.m.), noon-6 p.m. Sundays (breaks 2:30-3:15 p.m.); Dec. 18-23: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Sundays (breaks noon-12:45 p.m. and 3:45-4:30 p.m.); Dec. 24: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (breaks 1-1:45 p.m.); closed Thanksgiving, Nov. 26; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 24 (break 1-1:45 p.m.)
- Address: 412 W. 14 Mile Road, Troy
- Phone: 248-585-6000
Santa meets kids at Oakland Mall throughout the holiday season on the lower level near JCPenney. A variety of photo packages are available.
- 2015 Santa hours: 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Nov. 29 and Dec. 5, 13 and 20
- Cost: $15.95/adults, $10.95/kids under 11, free/2 and under. $25 deposit reserves your spot (applied toward bill)
- Address: 2369 Joslyn Court, Lake Orion
- Phone: 248-391-5700
Explore the brightly-decorated village before your Breakfast with Santa at King’s Court Castle. Kris Kringle will walk around and interact with the children. Bring your own camera to take pictures. Then stop by Aldridge’s Always Christmas, which offers a large selection of holiday decorations and collectibles from around the world.
- 2015 Santa hours: 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 5
- Address: 6445 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield
- Phone: 248-855-3330
Your child will want to check out Toyology in the mall before heading off to have breakfast with Santa at this West Bloomfield shopping hub.
- 2015 Santa hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
- Address: BLAC Detroit/Metro Parent Office, 22041 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Phone: 248-398-3400
Kids of color will get the opportunity to see a Santa that looks just like them. Bring your child to the BLAC Detroit/Metro Parent office for a free photo opportunity with the man in red. Kids can chat with Santa and tell him all about their holiday wishes.
- 2015 Santa hours: Opens Nov. 27; Continuing dates and times TBD
- Address: Santa’s House in Kellogg Park, South Main Street and West Ann Arbor Trail, downtown Plymouth
- Phone: 734-453-1540
Santa steps into his special seasonal house to hear good boys’ and girls’ wish lists. Sponsored by Hines Park Lincoln and the Plymouth Community Chamber of Commerce.
- 2015 Santa hours: 5-8 p.m. Fridays, 1-8 p.m. Saturdays, 1-7 p.m. Sundays Nov. 28-Dec. 22 (except during Reindeer Days at the Heritage Park Petting Farm: noon-8 p.m. Dec. 12 and noon-7 p.m. Dec. 13)
- Address: Heritage Park Activities Building, 12111 Pardee Road, Taylor
- Phone: 313-571-0413
- Cost: $3/general (cash only), free/under 3; $8/photos with Santa
Here you’ll find hundreds of animated characters, 23 magic forest scenes and more. Proceeds benefit Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry.
- 2015 Santa hours: 7-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8
- Address: Nordstrom, 17310 Hall Road, Clinton Township
- Phone: 586-226-0330
Swing by to visit the jolly guy and share those holiday wish lists.
- 2015 Santa hours: 8 a.m.-close daily Nov. 14-Dec. 24
- Address: 2800 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
- Phone: 248-643-6360
Come welcome Santa at 8 a.m. on Nov. 14. He will be there daily till Christmas as part of a truly grand display complete with his icy castle. (Note: Call the mall for closing times; may vary as the holiday draws near.)
- 2015 Santa hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 19
- Address: Kercheval Avenue between St. Clair and Neff streets, Grosse Pointe (across from the CVS)
- Phone: 313-886-7474
Santa is here to hear wishes four Saturdays in a row in “Santa’s Workshop.” Bring a camera to capture the moment. You can make holiday cards for children at St. John Hospital, too.
- 2015 Santa hours: 1-5 p.m. Nov. 21-22, 27 and 29, Dec. 6 and 13; 1-6 p.m. Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 20; 4-8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11; 3-8 p.m. Dec. 18; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 22-23; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 24
- Address: northeast corner of Walton and Adams roads, Rochester Hills
- Phone: 248-375-9451
Santa will make his Village of Rochester debut at the annual Village Tree Lighting from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20, where over 850,000 lights help families celebrate the holiday season. Kris Kringle then makes additional appearances throughout the season. Free visit; take your own photos.
- 2015 Santa hours: all mall hours (see holiday mall hours) with breaks 12:30-1 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 1-1:30 p.m. Sundays; exceptions: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 27 (breaks 12:30-1 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m.); 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 24 (breaks noon-12:30 p.m.) (entire visit runs Nov. 6-Dec. 24)
- Address: 27500 Novi Road, Novi
- Phone: 248-348-9438
You and your kids will be amazed at the Ice Palace at Twelve Oaks Mall featuring graphics of the entire Peanuts gang enjoying a snow day. There is a 30-foot globe with falling snow, a light show and activities for the whole family.
- 2015 Santa hours: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 1
- Address: Waterford Township Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford
- Phone: 248-674-5441
Singalong carols, craft-making and roasting s’mores are all part of this fun and free event in Waterford. Of course you’ll want to make sure to visit with St. Nick! Food concessions available for purchase.
- 2015 Santa hours: one hour after the mall is scheduled to open and one hour before the mall is scheduled to close (see holiday mall hours), Nov. 14-Dec. 24
- Address: 35000 W. Warren Road, Westland
- Phone: 734-425-5001
Don’t miss this special appearance from a man all the way from the North Pole. Loads of photo package options available for purchase.
- 2015 Santa hours: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 28; 4-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2-8 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays Nov. 29-Dec. 24 (Note: Dec. 24 hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
- Address: Lincoln Park Bandshell, 3240 Ferris Ave., Lincoln Park
- Phone: 313-381-2833
- Cost: $1/admission, $3/digital photo, $5/two photos (free photos if you bring your own camera)
Lincoln Park’s annual Winter Fantasyland gives kids a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, plus enjoy more seasonal fun.
This post has been updated for 2015 by Jessica Schrader