Santa’s 2020 Grand Rapids Plan – How and Where Santa is Doing Photos, Breakfasts, Parades + More

Santa Finder Feature Image the real santa

Santa Finder 2020 – Photos with Santa, Breakfast with Santa, Visits with Santa + More

This year Santa has a new job: cheering children through a pandemic. Santa doesn’t want to get so sick that his present deliveries would be in jeopardy on Christmas Eve, but he also dearly misses the kids of Grand Rapids.

So how will Santa bring Christmas cheer this year while following social distance guidelines and keeping himself and all our children safe?

Well, he’s trying lots of things. Sometimes he can wave to you through a plexiglass wall. Other times he’ll be sporting a mask. Some days Santa is going to be virtual.

Grand Rapids Santa Visits 2020

However you greet our favorite Christmas elf, our full roundup here will help you locate Santa this season in Grand Rapids.

From meals with Santa to places to take pics with him, there’s an opportunity for everyone to see Santa in Grand Rapids this year.

What Santa is Like at Cabela’s in Grandville

This year Cabela’s is working double duty to keep Santa safe. The man in red wears a plastic face shield and also sits behind a plexiglass wall. You do have to talk loudly so he can hear you, but personally, I’m okay with this. Loud talking means I don’t have to guess what my daughter told Santa she wanted for Christmas!

Victoria Pastars of Grand Rapids recently took her son to see Santa at Cabela’s.

“It was great!” she said. We had to speak loudly so Santa could hear us. It was by appointment so we had Santa all to ourselves.”

Grand Rapids Santa at Cabela's
Santa at Cabela’s in Grandville

Table of Contents

Where to Eat With Santa »
Santa Parades »
Events with Santa Claus »
Where to Take Pics with Santa »



Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is bringing you a family-fun experience with Santa virtually! Santa is visiting families through a LIVE Zoom chat or customized downloadable video message. Find out more at

GRPM virtual santa title sponsor

272 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(616) 929-1700



Where to Share Breakfast, Brunch or Dinner with Santa

What would it be like to share a meal with Santa?

Santa loves to spend time with families, and what says “FAMILY” better than a delicious meal? Strolling among the families, Santa makes sure to visit each one to get a photo taken or chat with a little one about what they hope to see under the tree. Sharing his time like this draws Santa in more as a part of your family and makes for a wonderful tradition.

Don’t expect him to eat much, though. Not only does he really want to meet everyone there, but as he told me personally, he doesn’t like to mess up his beard with syrup.

Where to Have a Meal With Santa

Donuts with Santa at the Farm
Frugthaven Farm

11466 W Carson City Rd, Greenville, MI 48838
» November 14, 11am-12pm
Enjoy a visit with Santa and Mrs Claus at the Red Barn at Frugthaven Farm. Limited tickets are available for our Donuts With Santa VIP experience from 11am-12pm. Enjoy a story, a donut and take a photo during your 15 minute experience inside our Red Barn. Tickets are $10.

  Where to Get Photos with Santa 

Pictures with Santa can be some of the best ways to document and remember each holiday.  Sure, some kids are petrified, but others are delighted to visit their favorite elf.

Santa visits at Woodland Mall
Visiting Santa at Woodland Mall

One year my daughter peppered Santa with questions on the North Pole, flying reindeer, Mrs. Claus, elves…  Poor Santa just wanted to know what the girl wanted for Christmas!

Whether you want a beautiful memento of that season or a way to thrill your kid with having a few minutes of Santa’s attention, here are places you can make that happen!


Virtual Santa Visits
Hosted by Grand Rapids Public Museum
Virtual Event
» November-December, 2020
Santa will be making Zoom calls to families at a pre-scheduled time, or families have the option to receive a downloadable customized video message directly from Santa.

Virtual Visits with Santa
Hosted by Rivertown Crossings
Virtual Event
» November 1-December 27, 2020
Make this holiday magical with a virtual visit to the North Pole! Choose from a live Virtual Visit with Santa, Storytime with The Clauses, or a Pre-Recorded Personalized Santa Video.

Santa’s Wonderland
Cabela’s Grandville
3000 44th Street SW, Grandville, MI 49418
» November 7-December 24, 2020
By popular demand we continue the tradition in a safe and responsible way. Families who visit Santa receive a free 4×6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free digital greeting card that can be shared on social media. During your visit, families can mail their letter to Santa and bring home free holiday craft activity kits while supplies last. Reservations required.

Photos with Santa
Woodland Mall
3195 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids 49512
» November 11-December 24, 2020
Get the milk and cookies ready because Santa Claus is coming to Woodland Mall! To protect shoppers, reservations are required to take a photo with Santa. Virtual Visit options available!

Virtual Santa Visits
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
» Tuesdays, November 24-December 22, 2020 | 5-8pm
These interactive visits with Santa will occur in the Hauenstein and Pfeiffer Event Rooms, located off of the main BISSELL Corridor. Included with admission.

Photos with Santa
Rivertown Crossings
 3700 RiverTown Parkway, Grandville, MI 49418
» November 27-December 25, 2020
Visit us in the Food Court to get your professional pics with Santa taken. Face coverings for you and Santa may be required during your contactless visit based on current state regulations.

Free Santa Photos & Visits

Santa at the Farm
Frugthaven Farm

11466 W Carson City Rd, Greenville, MI 48838
» November 14, 12pm-2pm
Enjoy a visit with Santa and Mrs Claus at the Red Barn at Frugthaven Farm. Bring your own camera for a complimentary photo and visit from 12pm-2pm.

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Red Barn Market

3550 Alden Nash Ave NE, Lowell, MI 49331
» December 4, 2020 | 4-8pm
Santa is coming to Red Barn! We are sorting out the details, traffic flow, proper social distancing, etc. details coming soon. This is as always a free event for you! Bring your camera for photos with Santa and our added photo ops!

Visit with Santa via ZOOM
Hosted by Cedar Springs Public Library
Virtual Event
» December 4, 2020 | 5:30pm
You will get to interact with Santa, ask him questions and even tell him your Christmas Wish! All of this in the comfort of your own home.

Virtual Visits with Santa
Hosted by Allendale Township Library
Virtual Event
» December 5, 2020 | 10am-12pm
Get a chance to chat with Santa virtually! All registered participants will be assigned a 5 minute time slot between 10 AM and 12 PM. Links to join will be emailed to you before the event. Registration required. One time slot per family please.

Visit with Santa via ZOOM
Hosted by Cedar Springs Public Library
Virtual Event
» December 5, 2020 | 11am
You will get to interact with Santa, ask him questions and even tell him your Christmas Wish! All of this in the comfort of your own home.

Socially Safe Santa Photos & Toy Drive
Keenan Marina
526 Pine St, Spring Lake, MI 49456
» December 5, 2020 | 2-4pm
Prior to the Tri-Cities Santa Cruise, we will have the Santa Slide Toon lit up on display with Santa aboard for pictures and will also be having a toy drive to help families in need.

Free Santa Visit and Food/Toy Drive 
Urban Air Adventure Park

12331 James St, Holland, MI 49424
» December 18-20, 22 & 23, 2020 | 11am-4pm
Visit Santa for free and bring a donation of a toy or can good to help your community! Donations will be made to Toys for Tots and Community Action House. Registration required, COVID protocols will be followed.

CANCELED! Walk-by Santa Visit
Riverwalk Plaza
113 Riverwalk Plz, Lowell, MI 49331
» December 19, 2020 | 4-7pm
Kids come and say “Merry Christmas” to Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Riverwalk Plaza. Santa will be on the bow of the new Lowell Showboat, where he can be seen. We request that you wear a mask and practice social distancing as you wait your turn in line.

Special Visit with Santa
The Candied Yam

2305 44th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
» December 19 & 20, 2020 | 10am-2pm 
Bring your camera to capture your exclusive time with Santa. 
Kids will recieve a FREE meal and a sweet treat from Santa. Reservation Required, $5 per family


Christmas Events Where You can Find Old St. Nick

Lining up to visit Santa is special, but enjoying a full on Christmas event, with Santa as the star guest, has a magic all its own. Here are the Christmas events around town where you can see Santa.

Recurring Santa Events Around Grand Rapids

Santa Train 2020
Coopersville & Marne Railway
306 Main St, Coopersville, MI 49404

» Saturday & Sunday, NOV 28-DEC 20, 2020 | Various Times 
Elves will escort the children to sit with Santa. All children get a present, even the shy ones! Our story-telling Princess will read Christmas-themed books to the children in each of the decorated railcars. All of our cars are comfortably heated and each has a restroom on board. Online tickets must be purchased in advance. Masks required.

Santa Events by Date

Christmas on the Farm
Dairy Discovery
12877 84th St SE, Alto, MI 49302
» November 20 & 21, 2020 | 9am-9pm & 9am-7pm
Shop with 8 amazing vendors, visit with Santa and his (calf) reindeer, and drop off your letters up in our big event barn. Kids can participate with a gingerbread craft and be a part of our interactive nativity scene.

Walker’s Jingle Bell Lane
Walker Ice & Fitness Center
4151 Remembrance Rd NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534
» December 3, 2020 | 6-7:30pm
FREE DRIVE-THRU event! Enjoy Santa, his reindeer, and the brightly decorated WIFC! Don’t forget to bring jingle bells and your letters for Santa! We will have a drop box for the letters, as well as a box for Toys for Tots donations.

Signing Santa Drive-Thru
Little Pine Island Camp

6889 Pine Island Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321
» December 5, 2020 | 10am
The holiday path will have refreshment stands, games, take-away goodies, and Santa that you can access right from the comfort and convenience of your car! When you reach Santa’s North Pole, the kids can sign with him and even receive a gift on the spot! Santa’s interpreting elves will be there too! Please register.

Santa’s Virtual Storytime
Hosted by Schuler Books
Virtual Event
» December 5, 2020 | 11am
The holiday is unlike any other year, so Santa’s taking some time from his busy preparations to stop by our Saturday storytimes in December!

Santa Claus will visit Sage River Holiday Lights
Sage River Holiday Lights
5823 Sage River Ct, Wyoming, MI 49418
» December 5, 2020 | 6-8pm
Santa Claus will visit Sage River Holiday Lights (Weather permitting)! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, children and adults cannot approach Santa but may instead hand him a letter to read or drop one off in the Letters to Santa “mailbox”. (No postage required!) Candy canes will be provided via a candy cane chute!

Santa Storytime
Hosted by Cedar Springs Public Library
Virtual Event
» December 11, 2020 | 7pm
Join us on Facebook or on Youtube for a special Storytime with Santa!

GRTV Santa Show!
Hosted by Grand Rapids Community Media Center

Virtual Event
» December 14, 2020 | 5pm
Santa is flying in from the north pole to join us live from the Wealthy Theatre, and provide you with an evening of magic, music, and more! Does your child want to ask Santa a question or share your holiday wish with him? Please register ahead of time online.

Samaritas Festival of Lights Kick Off
Samaritas Senior Living of Grand Rapids

2000 32nd St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
» December 18, 2020 | 6-8pm
Grab your family, some hot cocoa and enjoy “Card Art” from businesses, local artists and other groups from the comfort and safety of your car. Also enjoy an appearance from Santa, Goody Bags handed out (while supplies last), & Christmas Music.

Santa Storytime
Hosted by Cedar Springs Public Library
Virtual Event
» December 18, 2020 | 7pm
Join us on Facebook or on Youtube for a special Storytime with Santa!

Santa Storytime: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Hosted by Cedar Springs Public Library
Virtual Event
» Join us on Facebook or on Youtube for a special Storytime with Santa! We will be featuring the classic Christmas Eve Story – “Twas the Night Before Christmas”


If you love parades and all things Christmas in West Michigan, make it a tradition to attend a Santa Parade.  You will not only get to see Santa at the end, but what a great way to experience the uniqueness of your community.

Grand Rapids santa parade

Santa Parades Near Grand Rapids

CANCELED! Santa Parade 2020
Downtown Grand Rapids
Wealthy St SW (between Indiana and Garfield), Grand Rapids, MI 49504
» November 21, 2020 | 10am-1pm
Update: This event has been CANCELED! 2020 GR Jaycees Reverse Santa Parade. Entrants will be parked on Wealthy between Indiana and Garfield. All viewers should come in their cars to see the parade and drive through to see the holiday entrants.

CANCELED! 68th Annual Christmas Parade
Downtown Montague and Whitehall
Business 31/Colby Street, Montague, MI 49437
» December 5, 2020 | 2pm
Santa’s comin’ to town! December 5th at 2pm is the 68th Annual Christmas Parade in downtown Montague and Whitehall. Please wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. No candy will be handed out this year.

Santa’s Cruise
Hosted by Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg Chamber
12-mile route through Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg, MI
» December 5, 2020 | 5:30pm
The Cruise starts at 5:30 pm and is a processional that weaves through Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg on a 12 mile route. This is an opportunity for individuals and families to watch the cruise in a safe distance from one another and be able to spread out among the 12-mile route and for some, watch it right outside your home!

Lowell’s Annual Night-time Santa Parade: Drive-Thru Edition
Kent County Fairgrounds
225 S Hudson St, Lowell, MI 49331
» December 5, 2020 | 6-8pm
This year has looked different for so many things and the parade will be one of them. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we will be hosting a drive-thru style, lighted parade at the Kent County Fairgrounds from 6pm to 8pm. The Theme is Winter Wonderland!

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