Santa Claus is coming to town! We’ve scoped out the best places to visit with Old Saint Nick around Dallas-Fort Worth this 2018 holiday season. From photo ops at shopping malls to full-on winter wonderlands, there are plenty of options for your family to meet the Big Guy before he heads back to the North Pole. Explore our Santa Finder so that you can plan for your family to make the most of this magical time of year.
Did we miss one of your favorite makeshift North Poles around North Texas? Let us know on Facebook, or email our editors.
Bass Pro Shop at Cabela’s
Only in Texas would Santa set up shop in a hunting and fishing store. Bass Pro Shop at Cabela’s in Allen is offering holiday crafts, arcade games and other activities through Dec. 24. Entry is free, but a visit with Santa requires a Bass Pass to book a specific time slot. Arrive early to beat lines, or plan on picking up some gifts for Dad while you wait.
Hours: 10am-8pm Monday-Saturday; 10am-5pm Sunday; 10am-5pm Christmas Eve
1 Cabela Drive, Allen
Collin Creek Mall
Meet Mr. Claus at this Plano shopping destination (and maybe scoop up some last-minute presents at the same time). Your family can meet Santa at his HQ near the Children’s Playground daily through Dec. 14. On Tuesdays through Dec. 18, bring your furriest family member to pose in the family photo. Santa will pose with your pup between 5-7pm those nights.
Hours: 11am–7pm Monday–Saturday; 12–5pm Sunday
811 N. Central Expressway, Plano; 972/422-1070
Fairview Town Center
Santa’s Winter Woods is an appointment-only winter wonderland (you’ll find it near to the Container Store, a different kind of wonderland). The pet-friendly experience is complete with indoor snow, a Christmas market, refreshments, art fashioned by local kids at The Goddard School and, of course, one Mr. Santa Claus. Visit the website to book a session and to learn more about the festive happenings at Fairview Town Center.
Hours: 1-6pm Monday-Friday; time varies throughout December
102 Fairview Station Parkway, Fairview
Walk through a winter wonderland at the Hilton Anatole’s Peppermint Park. After visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, your merry crew can explore the elves’ workshop, make ornaments and gooey Grinch slime and participate in a sing-along with smores in hand. Pro tip: There is a letter-making station at the park, so kiddos don’t have to rush to get their wish lists done prior to your visit. Peppermint Park is open to the hotel guests and general public alike. Admission to the park is $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids ages 3–17 and free for littles under three.
Hours: 5–9pm Friday-Saturday through Dec. 15; daily Dec. 20-23
2201 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas; 469-442-1919
Play Street Museum Allen
Kids can get some quality time with Kris Kringle at the Allen outpost of Play Street Museum. On Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16, stop by for A Sweet Time With Santa. After bounding around the aviation-themed interactive play space, littles will share some milk and cookies with Santa before settling in for story time. (The Man in Red will read the holiday classic, The Night Before Christmas). On your way out, your kid will receive a sticker activity book as an early present from Mr. Claus. $50 per child. Inquire about Sunday’s event, hosted by Well Dressed Wolf who will provide special dresses for kids 12mo-4T to wear when they pose for photos with Santa. $50 per child.
Hours: 2-3:30pm on Dec. 15; 9-10:30am, 11:30am-1pm, 4:30-6pm on Dec. 16
950 W. Stacy Road, Suite 100, Allen; 972/737-3256
Play Street Museum McKinney
Your child’s friends will be green with envy if they miss out on a Who-liday Party at Play Street Museum’s farm-themed outpost in McKinney. Grinch-themed fun, like making slime and a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is planned on Sunday, Dec. 16. $11.50+tax per child.
Hours: 12-2pm, 3-5pm on Sunday, Dec. 16
3851 S. Stonebridge Drive, Suite 400, McKinney; 469/362-8624
Richardson City Hall
Sneak a peek into life at the North Pole with a visit to Santa’s Village, which features 16 magical mini home dwellings (like Santa’s Library and Mrs. Claus’ Bakery). After posing for photos, kiddos can enter the homes to take part in fun activities set up inside. Richardson City Hall will also host live performances by local choirs, dance teams and school bands. Plus, hot chocolate and snacks to keep you and the kids fueled. Admission is free with required tickets, available at the Richardson City Hall, Huffines Recreation Center and Heights Recreation Center.
Hours: 6–9pm on Friday–Sunday
411 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson; 972/744-4100
Santa has set up shop inside of a Dallas Cowboys cottage for appointment-only photo ops through Christmas Eve. Book your appointment online for a maximum group of five. For $40, you will receive a 5×7 photo; additional photo sheets begin at $9.95.
Hours: 4-8pm Monday-Thursday, 3-8pm Friday, 12-8pm Saturday, 12-6pm Sunday (11/26-12/8); 3-8pm Monday-Friday, 12-8pm Saturday, 12-6pm Sunday (12/9-12/16); 12-8pm Monday-Friday, 12-8pm Saturday, 12-6pm Sunday (12/17-12/23); 10am-5pm Christmas Eve
9 Cowboys Way, Frisco
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
It’s a veritable winter wonderland at the Arboretum this time of year, thanks to its installation 12 Days of Christmas. Wander the festively decorated grounds until you reach the Ann Stuart Courtyard for a photo with Old St. Nick, who will be on site through Dec. 23. A donation to the Arboretum will get you a keepsake Santa photo to take home.
Hours: 6-9pm Wednesday; 12-4pm Saturday-Sunday
8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615
Firewheel Town Center
Book your appointment with Santa and then scope out his new digs between Buckle and Old Navy, now through Dec. 24. Be sure to bring your furry family member on Dec. 9—between 6:30-8:30pm, Santa will pose with pets.
Hours: 11am-8pm through 12/9; 10am-8pm 12/10-12/16; 9am-8:30pm 12/17-12/23; 8am-6pm Christmas Eve
440 Coneflower Drive, Garland
The Galleria Mall
Do some last-minute holiday shopping and snag a family photo with Santa all at once through Dec. 24. After meeting Mr. Claus, you can take in the world’s largest indoor Christmas tree and light show, and maybe even lace up for a spin around the mall’s beloved ice rink.
Hours: 10am-9pm Monday-Saturday; 11am-7pm Sunday; 8am-6pm Christmas Eve
13350 Dallas Pkwy, Dallas; galleriadallas.com
Half Price Books
Visit the Dallas flagship location of Half Price Books for a walk-in only experience with Santa Dec. 7-23. The Man in Red will be stationed next to the entrance, ready to greet and meet local literary littles and their families (dogs are welcome, too!). Families are welcome to snap their own pictures, but the HPB team will also provide printed photos for each visit. Donations are welcome, and will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.
Hours: 5-9pm Friday (Dec. 7, 14); 1-5pm Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16); 7-10pm Friday-Sunday (Dec. 21-23)
5803 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas
NorthPark’s Old St. Nick is a seasoned (har, har) seasonal professional, donning the red suit for over a quarter-century. Now through Dec. 24, Gather around Santa’s home located near Macy’s for story time sessions. After telling tales from the North Pole, Santa opens the doors to his cottage for families to pose for photos. Professional photography available, or snap your own photos.
Hours: 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday; 12:30-5pm Sunday; 10:30am-2pm Christmas Eve
8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas
NorthPark’s La Duni
Just across the mall from NorthPark’s designated Santa, your family will find another Kris Kringle. Visit La Duni on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Sunday, Dec. 16 for Breakfast & Storytime with Santa Claus Clayton. Mom and Dad will enjoy a prix fixe menu for $28, while kids 10 and younger will get a deluxe french toast dish for $16.75. Babes on the nice list will also receive a special “Christmas treat” from the Man in Red. Call to make a reservation.
Hours: 9am breakfast; 9:45am story time
8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas; 214/987-2260
For a meeting with Santa that’s just a tiiiiny bit closer to the North Pole, travel up 470 feet to the Geo-Deck. Aside from giving your kids a chance to visit with Santa and chat all about their Christmas wishes while getting a glimpse of Dallas’s sky-high views, the tower will host arts and crafts and delectable treats to keep your little ones entertained as they wait for their turn to talk Old Saint Nick. Mr. Claus will make appearances at the tower on Saturdays in December through the 21st. Admission to the Geo-Deck is $17 for adults $8 for children ages 4–12 and free for littles under three.
300 Reunion Blvd. East, Dallas; 214/712-7040
On weekends through Dec. 23, stop by for a photo with St. Nick and get some shopping done all in one trip. (The flea market mecca hosts vendors that sell everything from handbag and accessories to food and home appliances). So after checking off items on your gift-giving list, take your kids to pose for a photo with Mr. Claus. Photos are free of charge, however donations are accepted, all benefiting the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Admission to the market is free. Parking is $4.
2602 Mayfield Road, Grand Prairie; 972/647-2331
Bass Pro Shop
Only in Texas would Santa set up shop in a hunting and fishing store. Grapevine’s Bass Pro Shop is offering holiday crafts, arcade games and other activities through Dec. 24. Entry is free, but a visit with Santa requires a Bass Pass to book a specific time slot. Arrive early to beat lines, or plan on picking up some gifts for Dad while you wait.
Hours: 10am-8pm Monday-Saturday; 10am-5pm Sunday; 10am-5pm Christmas Eve
2501 Bass Pro Drive, Grapevine, 972/724-2018
Grapevine Mills Shopping Center
Head to Santa’s Village (you’ll find it in the courtyard near the Converse store) for a photo session with the Man in Red. On Dec. 2, the shopping mall will host a Caring Santa event for children with special needs.
Hours: 10am-9pm Monday-Saturday; 11am-7pm Sunday
3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy., Grapevine
While the Big Guy will be hanging at the shopping center through December, the Dec. 15 event Cookies with Santa can’t be missed! Swing by the mall the next day from 7:30-8:30pm for pet photo night with Santa.
3880 Irving Mall, Irving
Head to the Lewisville location of their bowling alley and arcade game center on Saturday, Dec. 15 for Breakfast with Santa. From 9-10:30am, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult buffet meal ($15.95). Be sure to bring a camera to snap photos. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.
2070 S. Stemmons Fwy., Lewisville
Play Street Museum Irving
Your child’s friends will be green with envy if they miss out on a Who-liday Party at Play Street Museum’s college-themed outpost in Irving. Grinch-themed fun, like making slime and a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, is planned on Sunday, Dec. 16. $11.50+tax per child. Swing by a week later for a gingerbread party, where kids can snack on gingerbread cookies while they decorate their (not edible) paper mache “gingerbread” houses.
Hours: 10am-12pm, 1-3pm on Sunday, Dec. 16; 6-8pm on Friday, Dec. 21
901 MacArthur Park Drive, Suite 130, Irving; 972/543-0911
Fort Worth Stockyards
Santa’s sleigh rides through DFW wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Cowtown’s famed Stockyards. Experience a full day’s worth of holiday-themed events like cattle drives, parades, plus the main attraction: one-on-one time with Santa. Don’t miss storytime with Mrs. Claus, taking place every hour between 12:15-3:15pm. The western-holiday themed events take place Fridays & Saturdays through Dec. 24.
Hours: All-day events take place between 11am–10pm. Photos with Santa are at noon–5pm.
2501 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth; 817/624-4741
Golf Center of Arlington
On Dec. 15, your kids can tell Santa all their wishes for Christmas this year, sing along to holiday tunes and enjoy the merriment of the season at Golf Center of Arlington. On your way out, be sure to scoop up cookies and cocoa for the ride home. Admission is $10 for your first kid, plus $5 for siblings. Purchase your tickets online.
1301 Northeast Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington; 817/469-9005
North East Mall
Book your appointment online to skip the line to see Santa, now through Dec. 24. Be sure to bring your furry family member on Dec. 9—between 7-8:30pm, the Big Guy will pose with pets.
Hours: 10am-9pm Monday-Friday; weekend times vary; 8am-6pm Christmas Eve
1101 Melbourne Road, Hurst
The Shops at Clearfork
Pose for a photo with Santa with a $10 donation to the Fort Worth Zoo. After meeting with Mr. Claus, kids will receive an assortment of Santa’s favorite snack (cookies, of course) . Pets are welcome to take a photo and will be gifted a bandana following the photoshoot. Cookies and bandanas are both given while supplies last. Santa will set up shop at the shops through Christmas Eve. Visit the website for a full list of hours and dates.
5188 Monahans Ave., Fort Worth; 817/985-3773
Visit Santa at his makeshift North Pole in Sundance Square now through Dec. 23. The $20 admission price gets you a photo and benefits the Fort Worth Sister Cities International Youth Program. After meeting the Man in Red, take in the sparkling sights of the 65-foot-tall tree at the center of the square.
Hours: 11am-9pm Friday and Saturday; 11am-7pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
201 Main St., Fort Worth