2023’s Nice List: Where to See Santa, Pictures with Santa, Santa Parades, Breakfast with Santa & More

Where to See Santa Around Grand Rapids

It’s hard to top a Santa visit as one of the best Christmas Events of the season.

Wherever 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.

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Pictures with Santa

WHERE TO TAKE PHOTOS WITH SANTA

Pictures with Santa can be some of the best ways to document and remember each holiday.  Taking pictures with Santa is an annual tradition for many West Michigan families.

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.

Where to Get Pictures with Santa

Pictures with Santa – Multiple Dates

Pictures with Santa at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Tuesdays, November 21 – December 19, 2023 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

GARDEN ADMISSION REQUIRED. FREE PHOTOS WITH SANTA
New this year, the jolly old elf will greet children of all ages next to a picture-perfect, whimsically illuminated Mimi’s Garden, found on the Courtyard Level of the Welcome Center across from the Peter M. Wege Library.

Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Lena Observatory in 2022

Pictures with Santa at Cabela’s: Santa’s Wonderland

Cabela’s – 3000 44th Street SW, Grandville, MI 49418
November 4 – December 24, 2023

FREE PHOTOS WITH SANTA
Families who visit Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops 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 drop off their letters to Santa and receive free giveaways while supplies last. Reservations recommended. Pre-book up to 7 days in advance.

cabelas santa photo
Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s 2021

The Santa Cabin at Bosch’s Countryview Nursery in Allendale

Bosch’s Choose & Cut Tree Farm – 10785 84th Ave Allendale, MI 49401
November 18 – December 3, 2023

PAID PHOTOS WITH SANTA
For $10/person, you can ride a horse / tractor-drawn wagon out into the woods to our brand-new log cabin.

You will receive a hot cocoa when you purchase your tickets at the refreshment checkout that you can enjoy on the ride. You will enter the cabin for a visit with Santa and receive a s’mores package which you can toast over the campfire pit located by the cabin.

bosch's christmas tree farm in Allendale, MI
Bosch’s Countryview Nursery in Allendale

See Santa on the Santa Train in Coopersville

Coopersville & Marne Railway – 306 Main St, Coopersville, MI 49404
Saturday & Sunday, November 25 – December 23, 2023 | Various times

PAID SANTA EVENT
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. 90 minutes.

santa train coopersville
The Santa Train

See Santa on the Lowell Showboat

Lowell Showboat VI – 110 Riverwalk Plaza, Lowell, MI 49331
Wednesdays Dec 6, 13 & – 20, 2023, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturdays Dec 9 & Dec 16, 2023, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

FREE PICTURES WITH SANTA
Visit with the “real Santa” on his home base at the Lowell Showboat VI throughout December.

Santa at Lowell
Pictures with Santa in Lowell on the Showboat

Sparta Santa Visits & Pictures with Santa

Sparta Chamber Office – 194 E. Division, Sparta, MI 49345
December 5 – 23, 2023 |Various dates and times 

FREE PICTURES WITH SANTA
Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming on down to Sparta!

They will be back at the Sparta Chamber of Commerce where where it will be transformed into Mrs. Claus’s Bakery. There will also be a Holiday Hayride.

See Sinterklaas at Magic at the Mill

Windmill Island Gardens – 1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423
December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16, 2023

PAID, TICKETED EVENT
The centerpiece of Magic at the Mill is a ‘tulip field’ of 1,000 LED blossoms displaying a synchronized light and music show.

There will also be an opportunity for kids to greet Sinterklaas (the Dutch predecessor of Santa Claus) along with snacks and beverages.

Sinterklaas will be on-site for a meet and greet and photo opportunities for children from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM each night.

magic at the mill holland mi

Meet Santa at The Spring Lake Sparkle Festival

Epicurean Village  – 110 W Savidge St, Spring Lake, MI 49456
Begins November 25, 2023 at 5 PM

PICTURES WITH SANTA – DONATION
Over 400,00 multicolored lights and displays will light up the trees and businesses in Spring Lake’s downtown corridor. Come out and enjoy the Holiday Spirit in all its glory!

Offering meet & greets with Santa, food, drink, & photo-ops.

Have your picture taken with Santa by our Assistant Elf for a small donation to Lilley Cares (501c3).

Santa’s 2023 hours are still in the works.

Epicurean Village will be ground zero for the duration of Sparkle – There you will find a community Christmas tree, Santa’s house with operating hours, fireplace, and seating. This is part of the social district! Grab your favorite cocktail or cocoa and cozy up with us into the New Year. 

Special Needs children will receive priority and will be accommodated accordingly. Parents/guardians of these children are welcome to drop off gifts at a predetermined time and have Santa pull them from his big red sack when your child visits. This event is completely customizable based on your child’s needs. Please contact us for special appointment times and needs.

Visit Santa in his new (in 2022) Santa House at the Courtyard at Epicurean Village in Spring Lake, MI

Pictures with Santa at the Mall

Several area malls have scheduled Pictures with Santa:

Rivertown Crossings Mall Pictures with Santa

Rivertown Crossings – Lower level, east wing – 3700 RiverTown Parkway, Grandville, MI 49418
November 24 – December 24, 2023

PAID PICTURES WITH SANTA
Santa’s helpers have been working hard decking the halls, so don’t miss out! Take pictures with Santa and create magical moments for you and your family. Reservations are encouraged.

Book online and get a free phone call from Santa.

Pet photos on Monday, November 27 & December 4 and Tuesday, November 28 & December 5 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Santa Cares Day on Sunday, Dec 3 from10:30 AM – 11:30 AM.

Woodland Mall Pictures with Santa

Woodland Mall – 3195 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids 49512
November 18 – December 24, 2023

PAID PICTURES WITH SANTA
Santa’s helpers have been working hard decking the halls, so don’t miss out! Take pictures with Santa and create magical moments for you and your family. Reservations are encouraged.

Book online and get a free phone call from Santa.

Pet photos every Monday from November 20 – December 18.

Santa visits at Woodland Mall
See Santa at Woodland Mall

Breakfast with Santa? Cookies with Santa?

DINE WITH SANTA

Cookies with Santa, Breakfast with Santa, Dinner with Santa – if you look at the calendar below, you’ll find that your family has several fun options when it comes to sharing a meal or treats with Santa in West Michigan!

eating with santa

Sensory-Friendly Santas & Christmas Events

SEE SANTA IN A LOW-SENSORY ENVIRONMENT

Several West Michigan organizations are putting on sensory-friendly Santa events this year so that all children can have a great Santa experience.

See event details below for signup information, as most require pre-registration.

sensory-friendly santa events

Special Places to See Santa

ONE-TIME-ONLY EVENTS

Sometimes Santa is in town for just one day. Here’s where you can catch up with Santa to take pictures with Santa at these one-day-only events.

Frederik Meijer Gardens Santa Sleigh
Santa’s Sleigh at Meijer Gardens is a Great Photo Op

Santa Parades

NIGHTTIME & DAYTIME SANTA PARADES

Santa Parades are a wonderful way to usher in the holiday season and see the big guy in action!

Communities across West Michigan host holiday parades, many featuring Santa Claus.

For an extra treat, look for Santa parades on the event list that happen at night, like Zeeland’s Magical Christmas Parade.

These nighttime parades are filled with lights and bring a whole new element to the holiday parade experience.

Zeeland's Magical Christmas Parade
Zeeland’s Magical Christmas Parade is Monday, November 27, 2023

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