Best Places to See Santa in San Francisco
December 9, 2022

Find the best events and places to see Santa in San Francisco, and don’t miss taking a photo or having breakfast with Saint Nick as he parks his sleigh with his reindeer this holiday season!

The Christmas season is here. It’s time again to explore the Christmas spots and attractions in San Francisco. You will see stores covered in lights, building facades adorned with beautiful Christmas decorations and gifts and meeting Santa in his magical sleigh and reindeer — the most awaited moment for your little ones. The sight of this big guy in a red suit is undoubtedly a dream come true for every child, and besides, they have been nice all year round. Bring your kids with you to take a souvenir photo or have a special breakfast from the lined-up events and activities in the best places to visit and see Santa in San Francisco this holiday season!

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After the quest for the perfect firs and pines from the Christmas tree farms in San Francisco, the whole family already knows the drill. That is to find the most spectacular places to see Santa and attend the events in San Francisco! For sure, your kids are now grinning with excitement because, finally, they’ll be seeing the man who’s secretly coming down the chimney at night to fill in those stockings. You can also add to your holiday tradition by joining an event breakfast with Santa and taking a photo in the best places you can find and see him in San Francisco. 

Take a break from the heavy shopping holiday craze and take a photo or have a big breakfast with Santa from our list of the best places in San Francisco. Whether you want a traditional meet and greet, or a not-so-traditional Santa sighting, these spots are a must-add holiday bucket list to your family!

Best Places and Events to See Santa in San Francisco this Holiday Season

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop San Francisco
Photo by: Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

2131 Peaceful Garden Way, Rescue CA 95672
Phone Number: (530) 677-5369

Oct. 1 – December 12, 2022

One of the best places and events to see Santa in San Francisco is visiting Santa’s Enchanted Workshop. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, just 15 minutes up HW 50 from Folsom in the greater Sacramento area, they offer kids a personal one-hour visit with Santa in his beautiful cottage workshop and have pictures or take a portrait to create heirloom art pieces for you to cherish for years to come.

This experience offers your children a chance to meet Santa privately while enjoying an enchanted time with him. Your children can share their Christmas wish list with Santa and even find their names on his nice list. They will enjoy milk and cookies, learn about the North Pole, help in his workshop, read a book, and enjoy other sweet moments with our beautiful Saint Nick. For more information, please visit their website.

Photo with Santa this holiday season in San Francisco - Lower Level Center Court
Photo by: Stonestown Galleria

Pictures with Santa at Lower Level Center Court

Stonestown Galleria
3251 20th Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone Number: (415) 564-8848

November 18 – December 24, 2022
Monday – Sunday | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Make this holiday merry and visit the Big Guy to capture unforgettable picture moments. Embark on an enchanted adventure to take a photo with Santa in San Francisco this holiday season. Join him to create magical memories you and your family will always remember.

For more information, please visit their website.

NHM Winter Wonderland Experience
Photo by: Love Jones Productions & New Hope Ministries

NHM Winter Wonderland Experience

New Hope Ministries
226 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo, CA 94591
Phone Number: (917) 382-0759

December 10, 2022
Saturday | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

It’s that time of the year when things get merry and jolly, and we plan on keeping it fun. New Hope Ministries, in partnership with Love Jones Productions, are elated to bring everyone a joyous Winter Wonderland Christmas Experience. The Winter Wonderland has quickly become one of Vallejo’s most popular events for families during the San Francisco Bay Area holiday season. There will be fun for everyone who can join in on the festivities.

One of the best places to see Santa in San Francisco, you can find Santa’s Gaming Station, Santa’s Elves Cotton Candy and Popcorn Station, and North Pole Mailing Station. Plus, kids will enjoy face painting and gingerbread house making. Children are encouraged to wear Christmas costumes to be entered into a drawing for a prize. For more information, please visit their website.

Children’s Santa Cruise
Photo by: USS Potomac

Children’s Santa Cruise

Jack London Square
540 Water St., Oakland, CA 94607
Phone Number: (510) 627-1215

December 11 & 18, 2022
Sunday | 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Join Santa and elves for treats on the historic ship, USS Potomac. One hour on the San Francisco Bay, friendly elves circulate and are available to help you take a photo with Santa, who will give small toys to each of the kids. Printed photos will be delivered before disembarkment. Guests will also receive a souvenir Christmas tree ornament at the check-in table and will have unlimited holiday cookies and cocoa while on board.

The USS Potomac leaves the dock on time and takes a one-hour round-trip route along the Oakland estuary. Volunteer docents answer questions and give impromptu tours of the historical boat. Guests can visit most areas of the yacht. Learning about the ship’s history is quite interesting for older children and adults. For more information, please visit their website.

Photos with Santa – Ghirardelli Square

Photo by: Ghirardelli Square

Photos with Santa – Ghirardelli Square

900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA, 94109
Phone Number: (415) 775-5500

December 13, 17, 21 & 23, 2022
December 13, 21
Tuesday | 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
December 17
Saturday | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
December 23
Friday | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Santa is back and posing for photos by the Christmas Tree. Line up from 4:00- 7:00 p.m. and snap a selfie with the big guy in red.

For more information, please visit their website.

Events and places to see Santa in San Francisco - Winter Wonderland 2022 – Bayview Opera House
Photo by: Bayview Opera House

Winter Wonderland 2022 – Bayview Opera House

Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre
4705 Third St., San Francisco, CA 94124
Phone Number: (415) 824-0386

December 15, 2022
Thursday | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Winter Wonderland is back, and they want to see you there. Join Bayview Opera House as they host Winter Wonderland 2022 at the Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre. These jam-packed events in San Francisco will include ice skating at Joe Lee Recreation Center, ice sculpting, snowman building, s’mores making, local food vendors in partnership with En2Action, a Bayview Bazaar featuring local retail and gift vendors, arts and crafts with the Museum of Craft and Design, live performances, and take a photo with Santa and his hyphy elves.

This free community event is made possible by the generous support of The San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Invest in Neighborhoods, Parsons, Flower Craft Garden Center, and the generous community. For more information, please visit their website.

Events and places to see Santa in San Francisco - Thrive City Winter Wonderland: Holiday Spectacular
Photo by: Thrive City

Thrive City Winter Wonderland: Holiday Spectacular

Thrive City
1 Warriors Way, San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone Number: (888) 479-4667

December 16 – 18, 2022
Friday | 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Celebrate the holidays with an array of festive experiences. Winter Wonderland, presented by Fanatics, is designed for guests of all ages in San Francisco to enjoy the ultimate holiday season, including live entertainment, multicultural experiences, photo opportunities with Santa, whimsical attractions, seasonal treats, and more!

Registration does not guarantee admission. Space is limited and subject to availability. First come, first served. For more information, please visit their website.

Breakfast with Santa – Neiman Marcus San Francisco
Photo by: Neiman Marcus San Francisco

Breakfast with Santa – Neiman Marcus San Francisco

The Restaurants of Neiman Marcus
150 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone Number: (877) 634-6264

December 18, 2022
Sunday | 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM

Neiman Marcus San Francisco invites you and your family to join one of its best events this holiday season – Breakfast with Santa, and get your picture taken in a photo booth. Santa’s helpers make dazzling balloons. The special menu includes brioche French toast with whipped cream, fresh berries, Vermont maple syrup, a choice of coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, or apple juice, plus preset on-the-table assorted breakfast pastries.

They will also serve applewood smoked bacon and breakfast sausage crispy red bliss potatoes with red peppers and onions and winter fruit compote. Kids will have scrambled eggs with herbed creme fraiche. For more information, please visit their website.

Santa's Cable Car Ride
Photo by: Fisherman’s Wharf

Santa’s Cable Car Ride

2800 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone Number: (415) 673-3530

December 18, 20 & 21, 2022
Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

While Santa was on a test run to prepare for his journey on Christmas Eve, one of the parts on his sleigh needed repair. The only mechanic that could create a custom-fitted piece, other than the elves at the North Pole, work for the Market Street Railway. While it’s in the shop, the SFMTA has loaned Santa a cable car decked out in holiday décor for a free photoshoot in Fisherman’s Wharf!

Santa will be stationed on Cable Car 12 at the Beach and Hyde Turnaround in Fisherman’s Wharf to take a photo with San Francisco families. Please note that each registration reserves time for 2 professional photographs. Please only reserve one ticket if you would like to take a group photo of the family. Please register for multiple tickets if you’d like each family member to have an individual photo with Santa. For more information, please visit their website.

Tam Valley Community Center
Photo by: Tam Valley Community Center

Breakfast with Santa – Tam Valley Community Center

203 Marin Ave., Mill Valley, CA 94941
Phone Number: (415) 388-6393

December 10, 2022
Saturday | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Join Tam Valley Community Center for this beloved community tradition. Meet Santa, have a hearty breakfast, play games, and spend time with friends and neighbors in the San Francisco Bay Area, getting into the holiday spirit.

For more information, please visit their website.

Finding Santa This Holiday Season in San Francisco

There’s a lot to love about San Francisco, especially during Christmas time — one of them is meeting the man in the red suit. It is every child’s dream to meet Santa in person. That’s why the Christmas season is the most cherished holiday of all. Make your child’s dream come true by taking them to an event visiting the best places to see Santa in San Francisco, and creating beautiful memories with your kids as you take a photo together or have a holiday breakfast with father Christmas.

So, what are you waiting for? Get the whole family ready, get the car key, and make your holiday as memorable as ever! 

San Francisco offers so many opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all year round! Check out our list of resources, or browse through our things to do in San Francisco with kids. Still looking for more activities for kids in San Francisco? No problem! Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region and our highly recommended seasonal blog posts.

Best Places to See Santa in the Sacramento Area
Best Places to See Santa in San Jose this Holiday Season
12 Best Christmas Tree Farms in San Francisco Bay Area
15 Things to do on Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco with Kids

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