The 15 Best Places to Visit Santa in the Bay Area

|November 29, 2017

This post was updated November 8, 2018 to include information and recommendations for the 2018 holiday season.

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and their team of reindeer will be making several appearances in the Bay Area this holiday season. The trick is finding which one you and your family want to visit! Do your kids want to stop by and say hello to Saint Nick while they’re wandering a winter wonderland? Or do they want to meet him in his workshop where they can share their wish lists and snap a photo (and you can get some holiday shopping done!)?

In our guide to the best places to visit Santa in the Bay Area, you’ll find opportunities for every preference. From Silicon Valley through North Bay, let us know how many stops you make on the Kris Kringle tour this season!

Jump ahead to your region:

San Francisco | Marin | East Bay | Peninsula | Silicon Valley

San Francisco

Where to visit see Santa Claus in San Francisco Bay Area

Stonestown Galleria | Lakeshore

Event details | November 10 – December 24 | Get directions

Santa’s regular hours at Stonestown Galleria are Monday through Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. Some days have special hours, so be sure to double check here. And check out the event page to see other specials and themed days like pet photos, ugly sweater days and pajama parties. 

Macy’s Union Square | Union Square

Event details | November 23 – December 24 | Get directions

Located in Macy’s Union Square, you can meet Saint Nick in the heart of Macy’s famous Santaland! He’ll be available for wishlist sharing and photo ops every day until Christmas Eve. Get specific hours and details here

San Francisco Zoo | Outer Sunset

Event details | December 14 – December 30 | Get directions

At San Francisco Zoo’s annual ZooLights event, you can visit Santa and his team of reindeer while exploring the park under holiday lights. Join them December 14–16, 18–23 and 26–30 to take part in the festivities. For full pricing and details, click here


Where to visit see Santa Claus in San Francisco Bay Area South Bay San Jose

The Village at Corte Madera | Corte Madera

Event details | November 21 – December 24 | Get directions

Located in Center Court next to Saje Natural Wellness, you’ll find Santa’s workshop set up throughout the holiday season. Get full hours for each day here and get details on special events like the Things for Teens, Toys for Kids Gift Drive. Reservations are available but not required. 

East Bay

Where to visit see Santa Claus in San Francisco Bay Area Marin County

Stoneridge Shopping Center | Pleasanton

Event details | November 1 – December 24 | Get directions

Santa will be at Stoneridge throughout the entire holiday season! See the hours for every day of the week right here and you can also reserve your time online and skip the line. 

South Shore Center | Alameda

Event details | November 23 – December 24 | Get directions

‘Tis the season at South Shore Center! This year, the shopping center is going all out with photos beginning November 23rd and even pet photo days! Additional events include tree lightings with Santa and with carolers, a menorah lighting ceremony on December 5th and festive movies playing in South Shore Cinema.  

Oakland Zoo | Oakland

Event detailsDecember 7 – 23, 26 – 31 and January 1 – 6, 2019 | Get directions

The Oakland Zoo will be flooded with new lights and festive fun for the 2018 holiday season. From 5:30 to 9 p.m. each night, you can soar over the Oakland hills in festively-lit gondolas and gaze in awe at laser light shows. New this year, you can also see swirling snow fall over a dazzling Winter Wonderland which features Santa in his workshop! Santa is only visiting on select nights so be sure to check the schedule here.

Christmas Tree Lane | Alameda

Event details | December 8 – 22 | Get directions

Christmas Tree Lane is a famous holiday display on the 3200 block of Thompson Ave. between High and Fernside in Alameda. The lights will be on display every night from December 1st through New YEars Eve, and Santa will be visiting the neighborhood between December 8th and 22nd. Follow the group on Facebook to find out when you can see him!

Children’s Fairyland | Oakland

Event details | December 14 – 23 | Get directions

For ten days before the big day, Saint Nick will be spreading joy from Fairy Winterland at Children’s Fairyland. As part of their annual event, you’ll also get the chance to learn about Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, Diwali and Chinese New Year while riding fun rides, listening to stories and more.


Where to visit see Santa Claus in San Francisco Bay Area East Bay Oakland Berkeley

Serramonte Center | Daly City

Event details | November 16 – December 24 | Get directions

Santa arrives at the Serramonte Center on November 16th via firetruck and he’ll be in residence through Christmas Eve! Stop by Daly City’s Serramonte Center this holiday season to share your wish lists and snag a photo keepsake.

Hillsdale Shopping Center | San Mateo

Event details | November 16 – December 24 | Get directions

At Hillsdale Shopping Center, you can get a full set of professional photos with Santa in various package options from $25–65. Other special events throughout the season include Breakfast with Santa and Gingerbread House Decorating! 

Silicon Valley

Where to visit see Santa Claus in San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula San Rafael

Stanford Shopping Center | Palo Alto

Event details | November 3 – December 24 | Get directions

Meet Santa this season at Stanford Shopping Center’s Center Pavilion. You can get the full details on dates, times and reservations here.

Filoli | Woodside

Event details | December 8 – December 22 | Get directions

The special event, Holidays at Filoli, is a must-see during the holiday season, and Santa Saturdays make a visit to this Bay Area historical attraction even better. The holiday-themed display is available from November 17th through December 23rd and Santa Saturdays are scheduled for December 8th, 15th and 22nd.

Westgate Center | San Jose

Event details | November 17 – December 24 | Get directions

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and during the whole week of Christmas, you can meet Santa and take home a photo package at San Jose’s Westgate Center. For specific dates, hours and pricing info, click here.

Christmas in the Park | San Jose  

Event details | November 23 – December 25 | Get directions

Christmas in the Park is Silicon Valley’s ultimate holiday attraction. Throughout the season, you can participate in events like Santa Run Silicon Valley, Dog Day at the Park, Santa Paws, Habitat for Humanity Playhouse Build and more! Take photos with Santa using your own camera or purchase a professional shot. Then, explore the park and take in all the holiday festivities! 

Happy holidays! 

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McGuire Real Estate

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