Santa is coming to Minnesota again in 2013. Here are five great venues for kids to visit Santa. See last year’s list of Santa sightings at “Best Places To Visit Santa In Minnesota.”

(credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

(credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Snack with Santa
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd.
Apple Valley, MN 55124
(952) 431-9200

Dates: Weekends through Sun. Dec 22, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.

No waiting in line here as Santa strolls from table to table to visit and pose for pictures you take with your own camera. Meanwhile, kids occupy themselves with snacks from the Call of the Wild restaurant, available craft activities or coloring sheets. Enjoy the music, fun activities and a special gift for each kid. After visiting with Santa, take a stroll around the zoo to say hello to all of the animals. This limited-seating Santa event is for members only. Register in advance online.

Santa’s Workshop
Landmark Center
75 W. 5th St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 292-3225

Date: Dec. 15, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

Santa and his reindeer will be at Landmark Center for a fun Sunday afternoon picture-taking opportunity. Kids may craft gift items, listen to holiday storytelling and festive music, enjoy complimentary hot cider and cookies or fill goodie bags with holiday treats from the Holiday Sweet Shop. More delicious treats are available for purchase from Ruhland’s Strudel Haus.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Making Spirits Bright
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318
(952) 443-1400

Dates: Weekends through Dec 22, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. to noon & 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Santa will be posing for pictures in the balcony of the candy-themed Arboretum Restaurant. See the Bachman’s donated 20-foot live poinsettia tree, the 12-foot seed sculptures and the life-sized candy-themed board game. While you are there, let the kids holiday shop on their own with volunteer adult supervision. Also, plan on taking the kids to seasonal stories in the Great Hall every weekend at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Macy’s Santaland
Eighth Floor
700 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 375-2200
Dates: Through Dec 24, 2013

The perennial favorite in the Twin Cities is Santa and the Santaland Holiday Display at Macy’s store on Nicollet Mall. Every kid in town must have gone up to the eighth floor at one time or another to see Santa and his elves, get a picture and view the fantastic realistic displays. The display this year is “A Day in the Life of an Elf.” The Toy Shop and the Candy Shop will be there again this year along with fresh gingerbread man cookies at Mrs. Claus’ Bakery.

(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Santa at Mall of America
Mall of America
60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 883-8800

Date: Through Dec 24, 2013

The Mall of America offers a few ways to get pictures taken with Santa. You can schedule an appointment. To schedule an appointment for a more intimate setting for your children, go to Appointments will be available daily now through December 24, 2013. Bellows Specialty Photography offers for-purchase DVDs plus premiums like 16″x20″ portraits printed on-site. Santa is located on Level 1 next to Macy’s. You can also stop by at your convenience to visit Santa in the Sears Court from now through Christmas Eve. You can purchase photo packages of Santa receiving your kids’ gift wishes. Check online for Santa’s daily schedule.

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, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at