One of the best parts of the holiday season is watching the wonder and excitement that light up a child’s eyes as they meet Santa Claus. Here are the five best places in Minnesota for kids to visit Santa and for their parents to capture the memories with photos.
Eden Prairie Center
8251 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Dates: Mon. through Sat. 10 a.m. 9 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Christmas Eve 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check website for break times.
Santa has a plush reindeer toy to give to every child who visits until his bag runs out. Professional photographers will catch the magic moment of your child sharing gift wishes with Santa and make photo packages available for purchase. Parents may also take photos once the photographer is finished. Avoid the wait by making a reservation. Simply text “Santa 058” to 57682, or click on the link above. Find Santa in the Sears Court on the Lower Level.
1178 Burnsville Center
Burnsville, Minnesota 55306
Dates: Mon. through Sat. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kids get to share Christmas wishes with Santa, and parents may purchase photos to forever remember the time when their children’s lives were serene, simple and magical. Find Santa on the lower level in Macy’s Court. Be aware that you will not find Santa when he is taking a break to feed his reindeer Mondays through Saturdays at 1 to 2 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. or Sundays at 2 to 3 p.m.
9020 Hudson Road
Woodbury, MN 55125
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 19 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 20 11 a.m. to 5p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join in impromptu interaction with Santa in a fresh and dynamic way. Catch Santa strolling in and out of Woodbury Lakes’ shops, taking selfies and listening to whispered wishes from the little ones. You will not find Santa at the lit-up tree because of his popularity in the stores. Avoid waiting your turn at Santa’s photo set and picture-taking operation. Avoid having to choose photos and prices. Bring your own cellphone or camera and capture all the images you want.
Macy’s Breakfast With Santa
12th Floor – Skyroom Restaurant
700 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 9 a.m.
Price: $21.95 Adults, $14.95 12 and under (kids under 1 are free)
Visit and take photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, snow fairies, balloon artists and face painters. Enjoy a full menu breakfast buffet of bacon, scrambled eggs, French toast with Stonewall Kitchen Syrups, vegetable strata, hash brown potato casserole, Kellogg’s cereal, fruit, granola parfaits, various baked goods, milk, juice and coffee. Enjoy Macy’s Breakfast with Santa on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m., also at Ridgedale’s Lakeshore Grill Restaurant second floor Women & Children Store and Southdale’s Lakeshore Grill Restaurant on the lower level by the Ruby Tuesday entrance. Call ahead for details.
Kids’ Breakfast With Santa
1928 University Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 789-7297 ext. 1
Date: Dec. 19 with reservations 9 a.m. to noon
Price: $24.95 Adults, $17.95 Children 10 and under
“What is unique about this annual event is children get to spend serious quality time with Santa,” owner Bill Kozlak said. Enjoy face painting and balloon twisting all the while. Kids will love the menu choices like mac and cheese, hash browns, waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit and Jell-O, croissants, bagels, caramel rolls, holiday cookies and juice boxes. Check out the life-sized holiday display in Jax’s outdoor dining area decked out with reindeer, sleigh and holiday décor. Please call ahead.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.