Best Places to See Santa in San Jose this Holiday Season
December 4, 2023

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 events and the best places to see Santa in San Jose this holiday season.

There’s nothing we don’t love about the Christmas season in San Jose. 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 San Jose to set up your own towers of evergreens in your home, kids are now up to finding events and the best places to see Santa in San Jose, where they can have breakfast or photo op this holiday season.

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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 events in San Jose this holiday season - Santa's Enchanted Workshop
Photo by: Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

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

Oct. 10 – December 10, 2023

Visiting Santa’s Enchanted Workshop is one of the best places to see Santa in San Jose this holiday season. You’re invited to a magical place where childhood dreams come to life. Enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience with your little ones during your family’s one-hour private visit with Santa in his workshop. This full immersion commissioned art experience is perfect for capturing and creating our breathtaking art imagery featuring your children.

Witness the wonder as your children find their name on Santa’s nice list, share milk and cookies, enjoy playing with snow, work with Santa in his workshop, and even add an ornament to his tree. There’s also plenty of time to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and ask as many questions as possible.

Best Places to See Santa in San Jose this Holiday Season

Best places to see Santa events in San Jose this holiday season - Santa Photo Experience
Photo by: Stanford Shopping Center

Santa Photo Experience

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

November 9 – December 24, 2023
Monday – Friday | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday | 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday | 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Ultimate holiday tradition is back — Photos with Santa! Come experience Santa events this holiday season, share your wishes, and take a photo with Santa at the Stanford Shopping Center in the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, which is 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.

Breakfast and photo with Santa in San Jose - Westfield Oakridge
Photo by: Westfield Oakridge

Photos with Santa – Westfield Oakridge

Macy’s Court
925 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123
Phone Number: (408) 878-4600

November 18 – December 24, 2023
Monday – Saturday | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday | 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Santa is coming to town! Capture Christmas’s holly, jolly magic with kids and the entire family at Westfield Oakridge. Photo with Santa will surely make the perfect family portrait in San Jose for holiday photos. Beat the holiday rush. Book your visit today!

Photo by: Christmas In the Park

Santa Visits at Christmas In the Park

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

November 24 – December 24, 2023
Monday – Friday | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM | 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

After a long summer at the North Pole, Santa will return at Christmas in the Park, where everyone can take pictures with him and the jolly elf to get in the holiday spirit. Santa visits are free, so be sure to bring your own camera for picture opportunities.

No professional photographer is at this year’s event, and changes based on weather conditions are possible. The Santa area will be a festive outdoor setting located near the park’s North end.

Breakfast and photo with Santa in San Jose - Holiday at Gilroy Gardens
Photo by: Gilroy Gardens

Holiday at Gilroy Gardens

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

November 24 – December 31, 2023
(Select Nights Only)
Fridays | 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Saturdays – Sundays | 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The magic returns with visits with Santa, cheerful shows, ice skating under the stars, sparkling light displays, and festive food found throughout the park. You know it’s that time of year when the trees start to twinkle with all those joyful little lights. Come take in the wonder of the park’s gardens at night as they sparkle with the season’s magic.

One of the best events to attend and places to visit and see Santa in the San Jose area, kids and the whole family can enjoy all their favorite Christmas season traditions, such as photo opportunities at the Holiday at Gilroy Gardens. Enjoy all your favorite traditions and exciting new experiences as the entire park transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland.

Breakfast and photo with Santa in San Jose - Winterfest at Great America
Photo by: California’s Great America

Winterfest at Great America

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

November 24 – December 31, 2023
(Select Nights Only)
Monday – Friday | 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 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 magically transforms 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 take 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.

Best places to see Santa events in San Jose this holiday season - Gamble Garden Winter Festival
Photo by: Gamble Garden

Gamble Garden Winter Festival

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

November 30 – December 2, 2023
Thursday – Saturday | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Make some holiday magic with your family by joining Gamble Garden events this holiday season in San Jose. Watch your little ones’ eyes glow like stars as they enjoy dozens of lavishly decorated trees, all lit up for the night. Enjoy one-stop shopping for holiday gifts, greenery, and décor in the festive Gamble Garden atmosphere. A night with Santa, exclusive photo opportunities with his sleigh and reindeer, and entertainment.

This unique European-style shopping Marketplace also has arts and 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.

Photos with Santa – Stanford Shopping Center
Photo by: Stanford Shopping Center

Photos with Santa – Stanford Shopping Center

Center Pavilion
660 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone Number: (650) 617-8200

November 9 – December 24, 2023
Monday – Friday | 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday | 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Christmas Eve | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

The ultimate holiday tradition awaits. Celebrate the season with Stanford Shopping Center and take a photo opportunity with Santa with your kids. Plus, holiday performances will take place throughout our center for family entertainment!

This is one of the best events and places to see, have a photo op with Santa in San Jose, and witness a magical and heartwarming holiday tradition during the Christmas season.

Children's Heritage Holiday
Photo by: History San Jose

Children’s Heritage Holiday

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

December 9 & 16, 2023
Saturday | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Before the Light Show, families are invited to come and enjoy crafts and activities throughout History Park. Families in the San Jose area will have the opportunity to meet and take a photo with Santa Claus, participate in improv events with Saratoga High School students, and performances from the Nutcracker for the holiday season.

Guests are then welcome to stay for the first light show at 6 PM. Food trucks will be available, and O’Brien’s Ice Cream and Candy Shop will be open.

Magic Ship of Christmas
Photo by: Magic Ship of Christmas

Santa Visits on the Magic Ship of Christmas

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

December 2 – 23, 2023
Saturday – Sunday | 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM
(Time varies depending on availability)

Troop 799 (Boys) and 2799 (Girls) are thrilled to announce that the Magic Ship is back for another great season of Christmas cheer. The ship maintenance elves have been busily working on touch-up paint, new lights, a new camera, and a new power amplifier. The 62 Studebaker, which serves as our ship’s workhorse, has been inspected, tuned, and test run. 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.

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. Several scouts come back from college just to participate in this annual caroling event and hand out candy canes and toys. They will also be visiting several public locations this season. For more details on where and when, please check out their Magic Ship of Christmas page on Facebook!

Breakfast with Santa in San Jose

Breakfast with Santa – Central Church of Christ San Jose
Photo by: Central Church of Christ San Jose

Breakfast with Santa – Central Church of Christ San Jose

Central Church of Christ San Jose
1170 Foxworthy Ave., San Jose, CA 95118
Phone Number: (408) 265-1570

December 9, 2023
Saturday | 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

The church family at the Central Church of Christ in San Jose offers breakfast and a photo with Santa to families in the community. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required as the spots available for children (and their parents/guardians) are limited to being served breakfast and getting their pictures taken with Santa.

Please take note that breakfast with Santa in San Jose will only be served through 10 am.

Photo by: NM Cafe

Breakfast with Santa – Palo Alto Neiman Marcus

NM Cafe
400 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone Number: (650) 329-3329

December 9, 2023
Saturday | 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Delight in the holiday season with a breakfast feast with a special appearance by Santa in the San Jose area. Neiman Marcus Palo Alto invites you and your family to join a festive morning meal menu including brioche French toast with whipped cream, fresh berries, and Vermont maple syrup, a choice of coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, or apple juice, plus a preset on the tables 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.

Finding Santa This Holiday Season in San Jose

This Christmas season, there are tons of events to attend and places to see Santa in San Jose that will create lasting memories with the whole family. From simple meet-and-greet setups to special San Jose 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!

San Jose 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 San Jose your kids would love to go to.

Read Next

Best Places to See Santa in the Sacramento Area
Best Places to See Santa in San Francisco
Christmas Tree Farms Near San Jose to Visit this Holiday Season
Best Places to See Holiday and Christmas Lights in San Jose

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