One of the many things Charlotte does well is Christmas… so if you celebrate it and have kids, you know seeing the big guy in the red suit is a must-stop on the crazed holiday train – but, it shouldn’t feel like just one more thing to worry about.

Fear not Scoopers, we have ten places for you to make an appearance with Santa this weekend and yes, the list includes places where your fur babies can say cheese too.

PS While not with Santa, but because it’s a beautiful keepsake – an image of a different kind, you can book in advance AND it only takes five minutes to complete – The Milky Way is hosting third generation silhouette artist, Erik Johnson, Saturday, December 15. Get on it – register is requiredthis will sell out.

Cocoa with Santa
Cornelius Art Center

Meet Santa, and make ornaments, paintings and much more. You can also mail a letter in Santa’s Mailbox through December 14. Make sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and Santa will reply.

Northlake Mall Santa

Capture holiday memories with Santa in Tinsel Town, nestled in the Grand Court, Tinsel Town offers a festive atmosphere for photos. Skip the line and make a reservation using Santa’s Fast Pass. Sensory sensitive times are also available.

Breakfast With Santa
Matthews Community Center

Bring a camera and take your picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus, enjoy breakfast, a performance in the theater, and make a take-home holiday craft. Best for ages 2-8. Registration required. ($)

Breakfast With Santa Birkdale
Red Rocks, Birkdale Village

Join Santa, up close and personal, for a hot buffet breakfast at Red Rocks Cafe at Birkdale. Bring your camera along to take photos. Santa will mingle at every table, so no need to wait in line. Festive holiday jesters will also provide tableside entertainment. All proceeds benefit Our Towns Habitat for Humanity. Registration required ($).

Santa is also for available for photos in his workshop Friday, noon – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m. and noon – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, noon – 6:00 p.m.

Santa’s Workshop at Blakeney – Pet Friendly
Blakeney Shopping Centers

Visit Santa’s brand new workshop on the Village Green at Blakeney Shopping Center this holiday season for portraits with Santa Claus.

Teddy Bear Tea
The Westin

Enjoy private pictures with Santa, story-time with Mrs. Claus, a fully stocked cookie decorating station and an ornament craft station. Every child can adopt a Build-A-Bear Teddy Bear before leaving. Make your reservation ($) via phone or email.

American Girl Welcomes Santa
SouthPark Mall

Share a holiday experience that includes a jolly “ho-ho-ho!”,  Santa is coming to the store. Bring your camera to capture the moment. The festive event includes a delicious meal, a fun holiday card craft, and a wish-themed activity. Ages 3 and older. Registration required ($).

SouthPark Mall Santa

Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. SouthPark Mall will make necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.
Santa is also available Friday, December 7-8, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Also, don’t miss the DISNEY JUNIOR HOLIDAY FUN on Saturday December 9, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Magical Morning: A Sensory-friendly Santa Experience
NASCAR Hall of Fame

The NASCAR Hall of Fame has teamed up with Autism Charlotte to create Magical Morning, a sensory-friendly event for families living with autism or other special needs. Each child can meet Santa in a calming and quiet atmosphere. Pre-scheduled Santa times allow for little to no waiting. Participants can also watch a Christmas movie in the theatre with the lights up and the sound down. Registration required ($).

St Nick’s Pics

Santa is surrounded by holiday merriment next to an oversized fireplace and toys including nutcrackers, toy trains, goofy reindeer and lost elves. The exterior of Santa’s WinterFest home is lined with white lights, a garland-surrounded entryway and wreaths with holiday bows over the windows. A variety of photo packages ($) are available, with options including decorations – check schedule on the map at your arrival.

*All images sourced from Facebook/ website of events listed or free sources