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15 Best Places to See Santa in Santa Clara County
November 26, 2021

Snuggle up with the man-in-the-red suit for some snapshot or storytime and make sure your little ones are on his nice list when you visit any of the best places to see Santa in Santa Clara County this Christmas season.

There’s nothing we don’t love about the Christmas season in Santa Clara. The Christmas tree, the holiday lights, the Christmas carols, the Christmas stockings – and of course, who would put something in it? There’s no other person than the big guy in his red and white outfit! Well, now that you have found Christmas tree farms near Santa Clara to set up your own towers of evergreen in your home, kids are now up to find the best places to visit and see Santa in Santa Clara County.

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“Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy; who gives himself by thought or word or deed in every gift that he bestows.”

Edwin Osgood Grover

Best Places to See Santa in Santa Clara

Tis the Season for Photos with Santa - Stanford Shopping Center
Photo by: Stanford Shopping Center

Tis the Season for Photos with Santa

Stanford Shopping Center
660 Stanford Shopping Ctr., Palo Alto, CA, 94304
Phone Number: (650) 617-8202

November 12 – December 24, 2021

Schedule:
Time Varies by Day | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM | 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM | 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Ultimate holiday tradition is back — Photos with Santa! Come experience Santa, share your wishes for the holiday and take a picture with Santa at the Stanford Shopping Center situated in the heart of the Silicon Valley adjacent to the world-renowned Stanford University Campus.

Everyone is encouraged to pre-book your Santa Magic photo experience although walk-up visits are available as space permits. Click here to make your reservation today!

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - Exclusive Westfield Rewards Experience
Photo by: Westfield Valley Fair

Photos With Santa – Exclusive Westfield Rewards Experience

Westfield Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050
Phone Number: (408) 501-7864

November 21 – December 5, 2021

Schedule:
Sunday | 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Westfield Rewards members are in for a holiday treat! Westfield Valley Fair Rewards members have the first access to visit Santa this Christmas season in Santa Clara. Bring your kids and family to capture a magical moment.

Guests must present their Westfield Rewards account upon arrival. Westfield Rewards members will receive a special gift with their photos. Please note each Westfield Valley Fair Rewards member or family group will only receive one holiday gift.

Be sure to sign up for Westfield Rewards before November 17th to receive exclusive invite details and a goodie bag that includes a See’s chocolate box. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Visit Santa this Christmas season in Santa Clara - Christmas In the Park
Photo by: Christmas In the Park

Santa Visits at Christmas In the Park

194 South Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number: (408) 809-9627

November 26 – December 24, 2021

Schedule:
Daily (Time Varies) | 12:30 PM – 3 PM | 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Santa is back at Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose in 2021 and he is looking forward to seeing everyone in a safe and inviting environment. Santa visits are free, so be sure to bring your own camera for picture opportunities.

There is no professional photographer at this year’s event and changes based on weather conditions are a possibility. The Santa area will be a festive, outdoor setting located near the park’s North end. Santa is vaccinated but will be practicing social distancing per county recommendations.

Christmas in the Park and its Santa program is outdoors, masks are not required, but are recommended. Enjoy your visit with Santa this Christmas season in the Santa Clara area! For more details, please click the link HERE.

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - Holiday at Gilroy Gardens
Photo by: Gilroy Gardens

Holiday at Gilroy Gardens

3050 Hecker Pass Hwy., Gilroy, CA 95020
Phone Number: (408) 840-7100

November 26 – December 31, 2021
(Select Nights Only)

Schedule:
Fridays | 5 PM – 10 PM
Saturdays & Sundays | 1 PM – 9 PM

The Holiday magic is back at Gilroy Gardens! Come out to the park to visit Santa, go ice skating under the stars, sing and dance along with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” live musical show… and just enjoy the wonder of thousands of twinkling lights throughout the entire park.

One of the best places to visit and see Santa in the Santa Clara area, kids and the whole family can enjoy all their favorite Christmas season traditions – plus some exciting new experiences- during the Holiday at Gilroy Gardens

As a reminder, all 2020 Memberships will be honored during the 2021 season. Do you want FREE admission? Upgrade to a Premium Membership at the park for even more benefits including unlimited visits to Holiday, free parking, and more! For more details, please click the link HERE.

Visit Santa this Christmas season in Santa Clara - Winterfest
Photo by: California’s Great America

Winterfest at Great America

4701 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone Number: (408) 988-1776

November 26, 2021 – January 9, 2022

Schedule:
Select Nights Only | 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

The Bay Area’s most immersive holiday event returns this year, sparkling brighter than ever before. WinterFest brings holiday cheer to California’s Great America as the park is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and holiday festival.

Guests can ice-skate in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, take in the dazzling sights, sip on crafted hot chocolate, and marvel at spectacular live shows. A picture with Santa is a holiday tradition, and the man in the red suit will be taking toy requests throughout WinterFest.

Santa is surrounded by holiday merriment as families gather around his chair, set next to an oversized fireplace, to ask for that special something and create a family portrait that will last a lifetime.

Bring the whole family to enjoy over 60 rides and holiday attractions in the transformed Great America winter wonderland. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Gamble Garden Presents: An Evening of Holiday Cheer
Photo by: Gamble Garden

Gamble Garden Presents: An Evening of Holiday Cheer

1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone Number: (650) 329-1356

December 3, 2021

Schedule:
Friday | 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

This Christmas season in Santa Clara, make some holiday magic with your family at Gamble Garden. Watch your little ones’ eyes glow like stars as they enjoy dozens of lavishly decorated trees, all lit up for the night. Stop by the North Pole to write a letter to Santa or spend a moment with the jolly old man himself.

Meet the Grinch and the Snow Queen, enjoy ice cream, arts & crafts activities. Shop for presents for the whole family. Take home precious memories along with a fun goody bag. Its holiday trees will light up the night for one night only, so be there when it does!

This unique European-style shopping Marketplace also has Arts & Crafts for kids, free ice cream, beautiful green arrangements and wreaths for sale, a vintage houseware collection sale, holiday trees for auction, and much more in a night to remember. For more details, please click the link HERE.

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - Hot Cocoa & Cookies with Santa
Photo by: Seven Trees Community Center

Hot Cocoa & Cookies with Santa

Seven Trees Community Center
3590 Cas Dr., San Jose, CA 95111
Phone Number: (408) 794-1690

December 3, 2021

Schedule:
Friday | 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Santa is coming to Seven Trees! Bring your kids and the whole family and join the Seven Trees Community Center to visit Santa for storytime this Christmas season in Santa Clara as they will be handing out the hot cocoa and DIY grab bags as well.

Enjoy cookies, holiday music, and lots of fun! Don’t forget to bring your camera to take a picture with Santa. This annual holiday tradition is FREE admission. Everyone must be registered to enter the event. To register, click HERE!

Visit Santa this Christmas season in Santa Clara - A Merry Christmas Market
Photo by: Valle Monte League

A Merry Christmas Market

Hearts & Minds Activity Center
2380 Enborg Ln., San Jose, CA 95128
Phone Number: (408) 278-8001

December 3-4, 2021

Schedule:
Friday | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday | 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the European-style Christmas Market and see the beautiful, professionally decorated, themed trees for which Valle Monte League holiday events are known. These festive Christmas trees will be given away in a drawing at the conclusion of the Saturday event.

While you stroll, you can savor delicious market foods and beverages while listening to heartwarming Christmas chorales. Be sure to say hello to Santa Claus and his elves along the way.

Remember to bring your list of those who have been nice, so you can check off your holiday gift list by visiting favorite local vendors showcasing specialty items, wreaths, and much more. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Breakfast with Santa - Stanford Shopping Center
Photo by: Stanford Shopping Center

Breakfast with Santa – Stanford Shopping Center

Center Pavilion
660 Stanford Shopping Ctr., Palo Alto, CA, 94304
Phone Number: (650) 617-8202

December 4, 2021

Schedule:
Saturday | 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

The holidays are here! Celebrate the season with Stanford Shopping Center. Join Toy Soldier Guards, Elf, and Santa for family entertainment! Breakfast with Santa is a free ticketed event, reservations must be made in advance.

Tickets must be reserved online to redeem pastry breakfast during the event. Click here to make your reservation today!

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - History Park Children’s Heritage Holiday
Photo by: History San Jose

History Park Children’s Heritage Holiday

1650 Senter Rd., San Jose, CA 95112
Phone Number: (408) 287-5499

December 4, 2021

Schedule:
Saturday | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

One of the best places to visit and see Santa this Christmas season in Santa Clara is the History Park in San Jose. Bring your kids and family for an old-fashioned holiday with Santa as the park will be decorated for the holidays, thanks to the resident elves.

Santa Claus arrives at 12 noon, riding through the Park on the Historic Trolley. He will then be on the Trolley to talk to the children and a photo opportunity. In addition, New Ballet San José will be performing with costumed characters from the Nutcracker.

Other activities throughout the evening will include holiday crafts, lawn games, and special Holiday treats at O’Brien’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop. Space is limited. Visitors will need to reserve prior to their visit. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Holiday Family Fun
Photo by: Church of Scientology

Holiday Family Fun

650 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129
Phone Number: (408) 249-7400

December 4, 2021

Schedule:
Saturday | 2:30 PM – 5:00

Join the Church of Scientology in San Jose for a fun, FREE family Holiday event! It’s time to ring in the holidays and enjoy hayrides, roasting marshmallows, Scavenger Hunt, crafts, games, live music, and of course, Santa visit where kids and family can have photo opportunities to make the merriment memorable.

This is a good old-fashioned Holiday festival. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Fantasy of Lights Walk-Thru 2021
Photo by: Vasona Lake County Park

Fantasy of Lights Walk-Thru 2021

Vasona Lake County Park
333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, CA 95032
Phone Number: (408) 355-2200

December 4-5, 2021

Schedule:
Saturday & Sunday | 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Experience Fantasy of Lights via Walk-thru magic! Your kids and family can stroll through the park while enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays, with Santa Claus, special performances by the Los Gatos Ballet, photo opportunities, music, and so much more.

Watch an erupting volcano at the Dinosaur Den, cheer on Santa shooting hoops, wave at a pen of playful penguins, duck blazing Pirate Cannons and saunter through tunnels of moving lights. The 1.5 miles long Fantasy of Lights Walk-thru has become a cherished holiday tradition, bigger, better, and brighter than ever before thanks to environmentally-friendly LED lighting.

There will be food trucks and beverages brought to you by Moveable Feast. Dress warmly and wear comfortable, safe footwear. For more details, please click the link HERE.

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - Magic Ship of Christmas
Photo by: Magic Ship of Christmas

Magic Ship of Christmas

17000 Monterey Rd., Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Phone Number: (408) 782-4031

December 5 – 19, 2021
Note: Please check their Facebook page for updated public appearances of Santa.

Schedule:
Thursday | 5:30 PM – 9 PM
Friday | 6 PM – 10 PM
Saturday & Sunday | 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM | 3:30 PM – 10 PM

That’s right folks, the Magic ship will be sailing in 2021! They only made a few outings in 2020 due to the pandemic, but this year, they plan on returning to its full service. The Magic Ship will be docked at different places in Morgan Hill so you can visit and see Santa and the Scouts ready to welcome you like the Christmas season sails in Santa Clara!

Come say hi, and have your picture taken with Santa. Guests can board the ship and have their photos taken with Santa. The Magic Ship of Christmas has been a part of the Morgan Hill Christmas season tradition for 45 years now. Several scouts come back from college just to participate in this annual event of caroling and handing out candy canes and toys.

All the honking, waving, and seeing all the smiles on the kids (and adults) is what makes operating the Magic Ship of Christmas each year so much fun. For more information, please visit their website.

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - Palo Alto Neiman Marcus
Photo by: The Restaurants of Neiman Marcus

Breakfast With Santa Palo Alto Neiman Marcus

NM Cafe
400 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone Number: (408) 287-5499

December 11, 2021

Schedule:
Saturday | 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Delight in the Christmas season in Santa Clara with a breakfast feast with a special appearance by Santa! Neiman Marcus Palo Alto invites you and your family to join them for breakfast with Santa.

  • Adult Menu- Eggs Benedict, served with Hash Browns and seasonal fruit.
  • Kids – Scrambled Eggs with Hash Browns, Silver Dollar Pancakes with Applewood Smoked Bacon and seasonal fruit.
  • Mini Pastries at each table.

Your ticket includes Breakfast, Service Charge, and Tax. Additional specialty beverages are available for purchase. To purchase your tickets, please click HERE!

The best places to see Santa in Santa Clara - BARC Santa Run
Photo by: Bay Area Run Crew

BARC Santa Run

Pruneyard Cinemas
1875 S Bascom Ave., Campbell, CA 95008

December 23, 2021

Schedule:
Thursday | 6:00 PM

Discover your love of running and what true community is all about. Join The Crew for its Santa Run this Christmas season in Santa Clara! All paces are welcome. The meeting place is at Pruneyard Cinemas and wear Santa Hats, red & white outfit and bring illumination and reflectivity.

The post-run food and beverages will be at the Cedar Room Pruneyard. This is a free fun run. All runners are running at their own discretion and risk. For more details, please click the link HERE.

Finding Santa This Holiday Season

This Christmas season, there are tons of places to see Santa in Santa Clara County that will create lasting memories with the whole family. From simple meet-and-greet setups to special Santa Clara kids events, there’s no shortage of opportunities for your little ones to put the “whoa!” in ho-ho-ho.

Keep up the holiday spirit and let your kids enjoy a Christmas tale while sharing some giggles with Santa himself. It will surely be the merriest, most magical Christmas ever!

Santa Clara offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our Places to Go section.

Looking for more fun happenings for kids this Christmas season? Check out our 30 Winter Activities for Kids in Santa Clara County and 12 Days of Winter Activities for Kids in San Jose articles. If you want to get rid of the cold outdoors, there are loads of fun indoor play areas in Santa Clara your kids would love to go to.

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