2022’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.

He’s back at his usual spots and is extra excited to be at the return of the Grand Rapids Gentex Santa Parade this year.

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


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

These places let you see Santa on a somewhat regular schedule.

Pictures with Santa at Frederik Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Tuesdays November 22 – December 20, 2022 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Visit Santa in the Lena Meijer Garden Conservatory for a picture-perfect setting like no other.

Frederik Meijer Gardens Santa Sleigh
Santa’s sleigh at Meijer Gardens

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

Cabela’s – 3000 44th Street SW, Grandville, MI 49418
November 5 – December 24, 2022

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.

Santa's Wonderland at Cabela's
Santa’s Wonderland at Cabela’s

The Santa Cabin at Bosch’s Countryview Nursery in Allendale

Bosch’s Choose & Cut Tree Farm – 10785 84th Ave Allendale, MI 49401
November 19 – December 4, 2022

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 26 – December 18, 2022 | 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. 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 7 – 21, 2022, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturdays Dec 10 & Dec 17, 2022, 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

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 12 – 23, 2022 |Various dates and times 

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.

Santa & the Reindeer will be at Town Square on December 16 from 5 PM – 8 PM.

See Sinterklaas at Magic at the Mill

Windmill Island Gardens – 1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423
December 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17, 2022

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 December 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th for a meet and greet and photo opportunities for children from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Meet Santa at The Spring Lake Sparkle Festival

Five Star Real Estate – Spring Lake Office – 118 W Savidge St, Spring Lake, MI 49456
Dates TBD

Appointments are now being accepted to meet Santa Clause in Spring Lake during the 2021 Spring Lake Sparkle Festival. Santa will be making an appearance every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from November 26th- Christmas Eve from 5 pm-8 pm.
Have your picture taken with Santa by our Assistant Elf for a small donation to Lilley Cares (501c3).

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.
We expect this event to be exceptionally busy during the holiday season and encourage you to make appointments as early as possible. No guarantee we can accept walk-ins without appointments although we will do the best we can. Reservations are encouraged.

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 23 – December 24, 2022

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 28 and December 5 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Woodland Mall Pictures with Santa

Woodland Mall – 3195 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids 49512
November 19 – December 24, 2022

Get the milk and cookies ready because Santa Claus is coming to Woodland Mall by Macy’s! 

Reservations are strongly recommended. Guests without a reservation may experience longer wait times or be asked to visit at a different time, especially in December.

Pet photos on Mondays.

Santa visits at Woodland Mall
See Santa at Woodland Mall

The Magic of Christmas at Paddock Place

Five Star Real Estate – Spring Lake Office
Paddock Place, 1033 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
December 2 – 11, 2021

The first two weekends of December, Thursday through Saturday

Join us this year as we celebrate the holiday season with a Christmas Market, Christmas Tree Lighting and Light Walk-Through, and Pictures with Santa. This event is open to the community and admission free.

Christmas Market Hours
Come shop for your Christmas gifts from local vendors at our Christmas Market.
Thursdays: 3p-8p Shop Hop
Fridays: 3p-9p
Saturdays: 10a-8p

Christmas Light Walk & Tree Lighting
Take a trip through the Christmas Light Walk-Through and stay on the second Friday of December for our Christmas Tree Lighting.

Pictures with Santa*
Don’t miss your chance to get your picture with Santa during Christmas Market hours.
*Price and Package information coming soon

The Magic of Christmas at Paddock Place
The Magic of Christmas at Paddock Place

Breakfast with Santa? Cookies 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


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


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


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 28, 2022

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