‘Tis the season friends. Santa and his helpers are setting up shop across Calgary in order to lend an ear to your little ones’ Christmas wish lists.
To help you track down your nearest Saint Nick, here’s a list of locations where you can get your picture snapped with Santa this festive season.
This is the granddaddy of mall Santa experiences in Calgary, if you can get a parking spot that is. Arrive early, try to go midweek, and be prepared to wait. That’s okay because Chinook has a nice little app where you get your name on a list, you go wander the mall, and then come back in your designated window. Kind of like that fastpass thing at Disneyland.
Santa arrives at Chinook Centre on November 27 outside The Bay at the south end of the mall.
Where: Chinook Centre – 6455 Macleod Trail SW
When: November 27 to December 24; schedule to visit Santa can be found here.
Bass Pro Shops in CrossIron Mills gets the earliest arrival of the jolly elf as he lands on November 14. In addition to offering a free photo with Santa, the store will have craft tables, trains, trucks, a foam arcade and more. If the line gets longer than 30 minutes, they’ll offer a BassPass so you can shop and then return for your photo.
Where: Bass Pro Shops – 261055 Crossiron Boulevard, Rocky View,
When: November 14 from 5 to 8 p.m.
November 15 to December 6; Monday to Friday 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 5pm.
December 7 to 21; Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
December 22 to 23; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
December 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Santa arrives at Market Mall on November 22 with the annual Breakfast with Santa. Tickets are for sale at Guest Services. (Adults: $15, Children under 12: $10)
An app will be in use at Market Mall so you’re not stuck in line while you wait for your photo window with Santa.
Where: Market Mall – 3625 Shaganappi Trail NW
When: Sunday, November 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Santa’s sleigh lands at Deerfoot Mall on November 28. Real trees will be decorated with simple white lights and you can warm up with complimentary Tim Horton’s hot chocolate throughout the season.
Where: Deerfoot Mall – 901 64 Avenue NE
When: November 28 to December 24; Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., and December 24 at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On December 5, the Calgary Humane Society will be hosting a Christmas Party for The Animals. There will be holiday photos, Santa, the Holidays Adoption Event and your chance to Stuff-a-Pooch Pad with donations to support the animals. There’s also a doggy treat decoration station, bake sale, arts and crafts, ginger bread houses and more.
Where: Calgary Humane Society – 4455 110 Avenue SE
When: Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Once upon a Christmas begins on November 21 at Heritage Park. The annual tradition features a wagon ride,snow painting, gingerbread cookie decorating, children’s crafts, a vintage photo parlour and a chance to visit jolly old Saint Nick himself.
Where: Heritage Park – 1900 Heritage Drive SW
When: November 21 to December 20; Weekends from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Not everyone enjoys pictures with Santa. Nevertheless the man with the white beard arrives at Westbrook Mall on November 21 and will be leaving December 24. There will also be craft sessions on the weekends (November 28, December 5, 12, 19) near the play center.
What: Westbrook Mall – 1200 37 Street SW
Where: November 21 to December 13; Thursday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
December 14 to 23; Monday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
December 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pets need pictures too and Santa will be visiting Pet Valu Deer Valley on November 28 and November 29. Through a donation to the Calgary Humane Society, you are welcomed to take your pet’s photo with Santa. The Calgary Humane Society will also be in store with many adoptable animals, all looking for their special place under your Christmas tree.
Where: Pet Valu Deer Valley – 1221 Canyon Meadows Drive SE
When: Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Santa makes his first visit of the season to Marlborough Mall on November 21.
Where: Marlborough Mall – 310, 433 Marlborough Way NE
When: November 21 to December 24
November 21 to December 6; Thursday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., 4 to 7 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
December 7 to 23; Monday to Saturday from noon to 3 p.m., 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
December 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Santa’s Enchanted Forest in Southcentre Mall‘s Centre Court is back this year as Santa arrives on November 14. When the wait exceeds 30 minutes, Santa’s Magic Messenger will send you a text with a time to return to visit the big guy.
Southcentre also hosts sensory friendly Santa visits (pre-register at (403) 225-9100 Mon- Fri, 9am-4pm, until the event is full). Time and details will be only provided to registered guests.
Where: Southcentre Mall – 100 Anderson Road SE
When: November 14 to December 24; Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Animal Rescue Foundation will be hosting a Christmas photo party at Waggin’ Tails Daycare & Grooming on November 21. The event will launch their 2016 Calendar and give you a chance to get your pet’s photo taken with or without the big guy (cause like kids, some pets don’t do well with the big beard).
Drop-in photos are $20 for one digital file that will be emailed to you, or pre-register online for a session for $25.
Where: Waggin’ Tails Daycare & Grooming – 546 42 Avenue SE
When: Saturday, November 21 from noon to 3 p.m.
Santa arrives at Sunridge Mall on December 1. Photos with Santa are free, but there is no photographer on site, so bring your phone or camera. In exchange for the service, Sunridge is accepting donations for the Children’s Cottage Society.
Where: Sunridge Mall – 2525 36 Street NE
When: December 1 to 24; Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday and December 24 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.