It’s tough to get through the holiday season without bringing the little ones to see Santa. And who would want to miss out on seeing the excitement on their little faces and getting everyone in the holiday spirit. But what I can do without is paying an arm and a leg for one picture for which my kid was shuffled through Santa’s lap like cattle are herded. You know what I mean, that typical “mall Santa” experience. What I love is that it’s possible to see Santa in a much more festive environment, where my kids actually have a few minutes to talk with Santa, and I can actually take FREE pictures myself and make as many copies as I want.
Many area farms, garden centers, and other places offer just that. Where my family goes is a beautiful nursery where Santa is surrounded by real pine trees and boughs of holly.
Here are a few of the best spots to see the big man himself while saving some cash. If you know of one I’ve missed, please let me know. Also, I’ll be adding more as I learn about them, so check back.
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Don’t forget to bring your own camera because at most of these locations the picture is FREE because you take it yourself.
Here are the places in the Boston area where you can get FREE pictures with Santa:
Downtown BID Holiday Market, Santa Claus will be outside of Macy’s on Summer Street each weekend leading up to Christmas. It is free to tell Santa what you want for Christmas — just bring your own camera for photos. Santa Claus will be on Summer Street outside of Macy’s from noon to 2 pm and 3 to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays through December 23rd.
Smolak Farms in North Andover. They hold a Santa’s Workshop from 10am to 3pm on December 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th. In addition to being able to take pictures with Santa, there are games, crafts, cooking decorating, and ornament making. You can take your own pictures with Santa for FREE.)
At Verrill Farm in Concord you can snap your pix while your little ones talk to Santa and then enjoy some cider and cookies as well. Santa will be there Saturday December 3rd from 3 :00 to 5:00pm.
Weston Nurseries in Chelmsford provides warm apple cider, cookies, and marshmallow roasting for before or after your child visits with Santa (and you take pictures) in their magical winter forest. Santa will be available December 4th and 11th from 10:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton provides warm apple cider, cookies, and marshmallow roasting for before or after your child visits with Santa (and you take pictures) in their magical winter forest. Santa will be available December 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th from 10:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:00pm to 3:00pm. While you can take your own pictures, in the past, the nursery will also visitors with a 5×7 photo with a $5 donation to the Jimmy Fund Walk.
Now through December 24th, you can get a FREE 5×7 picture with Santa, with the ability to buy additional packages, at Bass Pro Shop at Patriot Place in Foxborough. Until December 7th, he’s there from 5:00 to 8pm Monday-Friday, 10am to 8 pm on Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sundays. After December 7th, he’s there from 10am to 8pm Monday-Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays (10-5 on Christmas Eve). In addition, there are crafts and games to make and play.
Jordan’s Enchanted Village in Avon will let you snap your own picture after they pose your kids and take their picture (which you are under no obligation to buy). Santa is there until December 24th, Mondays -Fridays from noon to 6 pm, Saturdays from 11am to 7pm, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm, and 11am to 4pm on December 24th.
For the first time ever, CambridgeSide Galleria will be offering a FREE photo with Santa. From November 25 through December 24, every family who visits with Santa Claus will receive two FREE 4” x 6” Santa photo prints and a digital download of a single image. Additional photos and Christmas merchandise is available to purchase. Santa will be there Monday – Saturday, 10am to 8pm, Sundays 11am to 6pm and Christmas Eve, 8am to 5pm.
Plus the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan is in our area on weekends this month and you can get FREE pictures with Santa. You can check the schedule here–I found its easiest to zoom into Massachusetts on the map and click on the pins to find location. The nearest location is Norwood on December 18th, but it will also be in Lowell, Wilmington, and some other surrounding towns.