15 Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area
December 10, 2019

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Ho Ho Ho… it’s that time of year! And while Santa is making his list and checking it twice, parents are dreading the long wait at the mall for their children to have a brief moment on Santa’s lap. This year, skip the long lines at the mall and check out one of these 15 Best Places to See Santa in the Sacramento Area instead!

Our recommendations include fun, family-friendly events where kids can have memorable, one-on-one experiences with Santa while enjoying crafts, activities, breakfast, and photo opportunities. This year, make your child’s visit with Santa a special occasion with one of these 15 Best Places to See Santa in the Sacramento Area:

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop

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

Nov. 5 – Dec. 15, 2019

Santa’s Enchanted Workshop is much more than just a portrait session, it’s magic! The enchantment begins as a personal letter arrives for your children on parchment paper with Santa’s very own wax seal inviting them to join him in his workshop.

This experience offers your children a chance to meet Santa in a private setting while enjoying some enchanted time with him. Your children will have the chance to share their Christmas wish list with Santa and even find their name on his nice list! They will enjoy milk and cookies and learn about the North Pole, help in his work shop, read a book and enjoy other sweet moments with our beautiful Saint Nick.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Magical Christmas Train

400 N. Harbor Blvd West, Sacramento, CA 95605
Phone Number: (800) 866-1690

Nov. 22 – Dec. 23, 2019 | 10 AM – 7 PM

Make timeless memories with Santa and his elves aboard the Magical Christmas Train. Experience the magic of the story of “Skippy the Traindeer.” What does Santa do when he finds a child in danger of losing their Christmas spirit? He sends Elf Snickerdoodle and her trusty reindeer Skippy to the rescue!

Tickets include a train ride through a storybook wonderland, cookies, hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, and a personal visit with Santa Claus himself.  Come dressed in your Christmas morning pajamas, if you’d like, and join us in carols and reindeer games. One thing is certain, there is never a dull moment aboard the Magical Christmas Train.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Santa’s Wonderland Returns to Bass Pro Shops

5472 Crossings Dr. Rocklin, Rocklin CA 95677
Phone Number: (800) 227-7776
Email: social@basspro.com

Nov. 16 – Dec. 24, 2019

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Sacramento-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village offering FREE 4×6 studio-quality photos with Santa and free family holiday activities including fun crafts and games. Features include rustic Christmas cabins, holiday characters and live elves set amongst a dazzling backdrop of snow-covered hills and illuminated Christmas trees. The Santa’s Wonderland Christmas village offers remote control trucks, laser/ foam toy arcade, Lincoln Logs building area and much more. Kids can also enjoy free crafts, coloring stations and write a letter to Santa.

Guests can register online for a digital Bass Pass to see Santa, allowing them time to explore Santa’s Wonderland or shop while they wait. Updates and reminders will be sent via text messages. In addition, Bass Pro Shops stores are designated toy drop-off stations for Toys for Tots. Families that bring a new toy to donate Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 will receive a FREE premium photo package valued at $20.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

The Polar Express

106 K St., Suite 200, Sacramento CA 95814
Phone Number: (916) 445-5995

Nov. 29 – Dec. 22, 2019

Enjoy hot chocolate and a yummy cookie as you ride along with many of the story’s characters such as the Train Conductor, the Dancing Waiters, and a ghostly Hobo. Once you reach the North Pole, the jolly old elf — Santa himself — will come on board to give each passenger a silver sleigh bell, the “first gift of Christmas”.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Sacramento consists of seven separate cars pulled by vintage locomotives from the California State Railroad Museum’s collection. On board you will be seated in either Coach, Open Air or First Class according to your ticket purchase. Guests in each car will experience the same excitement and wonder of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Photos with Santa

350 Palladio Pkwy, Folsom CA 95630
Phone Number: (916) 542-7408
Email: contact@gopalladio.com

Nov. 29 – Dec. 22, 2019 | 10 AM – 6 PM

Get your family holiday photos taken with Santa at Palladio in the old Charming Charlie space. Palladio at Broadstone in Folsom, California is a Lifestyle Center that is the preeminent destination for those seeking the ultimate experience in shopping, dining and entertainment.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Santa’s Whistlestop Adventure

700 Oak Avenue Pkwy, Folsom CA 95630
Phone Number: (916) 597-0107
Email: info@psvrr.org

Dec. 7-22, 2019 | 10 AM – 6 PM

Take a ride to Santa’s Grotto, nestled in the woods next to beautiful Willow Creek. The Whistlestop is full of adventure for young and old alike. Spend some time with Old St. Nick, and enjoy various activities and refreshments before returning to the station. Typically a 40-60 minute experience for the family. Motorcars depart every 20 minutes and you may return whenever you like.

Kids under 4 years old always ride free. Simply let the ticket agent know how many toddlers in your party when you check in at the station.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

La Familia’s Posada Naviden

3301 37th Ave., Sacramento, CA 95824
Phone Number: (916) 452-3601
Email: info@lafcc.org

Friday | December 13, 2019 | 3- 5 PM

Celebrate the Holidays with La Familia Counseling Center with fun for the whole family! This event features holiday crafts, games, pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, and sweet Mexican bread!

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Kiwanis Breakfast with Santa

9105 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA, 95624
Phone Number: (916)-296-5907
Email: kiwanisleg@gmail.com

Saturday | Dec. 14, 2019 | 8 AM

Join the Kiwanis Club of Laguna-Elk Grove for their annual Breakfast with Santa Fundraiser at Applebee’s in Elk Grove! Breakfast includes Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice and coffee. Tickets are $10, children 2 and under are free!

And of course, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be there for you to get your FREE picture! The proceeds from the fun event help us help the children in our community.

Purchase online (convenience fee applies) HERE.

Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Craft Fair

3480 Routier Road, Sacramento, CA 95827
Phone Number: (916) 366-3133
Email: hschelske@crpd.com

Saturday | Dec. 14, 2019 | 9 – 11:45 AM

The annual Breakfast with Santa and Holiday Craft Fair is coming to Sacramento area!

Bring the whole family for pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice and cocoa! Then stop by the holiday craft fair for unique Christmas shopping, share Christmas wishes with Santa Claus and the Snow Queen, and take a family portrait in our festive photo booth.

This year, they’ve added a third seating time and a Snow Queen meet & greet, thanks to their sponsor Farm Fresh To You. Purchase your tickets early – this event sells out fast!

Best Places to see Santa in Sacramento

Sacramento Santa Parade

1300 L St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone Number: (916) 799-5364
Email: kgross@bonneville.com.

Saturday | Dec. 14, 2019 | 10 AM – 12 PM

The Santa Parade is a Sacramento tradition for all, spectators and participants alike.

Circling Capitol Park in downtown Sacramento, the 37th Santa Parade features marching bands, high-stepping horses, colorful clowns, dazzling floats and vintage vehicles — all embodying the spirit of the holiday season. Of course, a Santa Parade would’t be a Santa Parade without the Big Guy himself, and he’ll be there too, spreading the holiday cheer to spectators.

The Santa Parade was originally conceived by Weinstock’s Department Store and KCRA Television in 1983. The event was established to create a signature holiday tradition in the heart of the city for all of Sacramento and was an immediate success, drawing many thousands of visitors to downtown Sacramento each year.

Rio Linda Elverta Christmas Light Parade

4th Annual Rio Linda Elverta Christmas Light Parade

6537 W 2nd StRio Linda, CA 95673
Phone Number: (916) 289-6436
Email: editor@riolindaonline.com

Saturday | Dec. 14, 2019 | 6 PM

Join Rio Linda/Elverta for the Fourth Annual Christmas Light Parade. For the fourth year in a row, the same group who brings us the Country Faire is bringing us a real hometown Christmas light parade and tree lighting to our community. All the entries will be lit with Christmas lights! Horses, dogs, cars, trucks, The Rio Linda High School Marching band and even Santa himself will make an appearance. After the parade, hang out at Depot Park for Christmas music, awards and more holiday fun!

Places to see Santa  Sacramento

6th Annual Folsom Christmas Classic 5k & 10k Walk/Run!

1970 Broadstone Pkwy, Folsom, CA 95630
Phone Number: (303) 845-9809
Email: FolsomClassic@gmail.com

Saturday | December 14, 2019 | 8 AM

Don’t miss the 6th Annual Folsom Christmas Classic, featuring a Santa Fun Run for kids at 8 AM, followed by 10K and 5K races. Both the 10K and 5K routes wind along beautiful paved trails in Folsom and the Santa Fun Run is about 200 yards in length. This festive annual event benefits the Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance, a local nonprofit with a mission to support children who have cancer and their families with emotional, educational, and financial support while increasing awareness and funding research toward a cure. Register in advance for the Santa Fun Run, 5K or 10K!

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland @ Fairytale Town

3901 Land Park Dr., Sacramento, CA 95822
Phone Number: (916) 808-5233
Emal: mail@fairytaletown.org

Sat & Sun | December 14-15, 21-22, 2019 | 1 – 7 PM

Celebrate the holiday season at Fairytale Town! The Town will be trimmed with festive holiday décor and lights, starting at dusk each night. Enjoy Elf  themed hands-on activities throughout the event. Listen to strolling Victorian carolers, and shop for gifts from local vendors. Don’t miss a flurry of snow falling nightly at 7 PM near the Mother Goose Stage. And step inside a giant snow globe!

Santa will be making a special stop at Fairytale Town and will be available for visits and photos in his workshop, located in the Children’s Theater, from 3 to 6 PM. A visit with Santa is included with admission; printed photos by Clementine Photo Booths are $5 per photo. Please Note: The Santa line closes at 6 PM promptly.

Sacramento Santa Run

7th Annual Sacramento Santa Run

1315 10th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

Saturday | December 21, 2019 | 9 AM

Lace up your tennies and join thousands of Santas as they run through downtown Sacramento to spread holiday cheer! Costumes are encouraged, and each runner will be given one big red Santa suit for the occasion. All participants are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys to packet pick-up or the start line main stage. Local law enforcement will distribute gathered toys to families in need in the Sacramento area throughout the holidays.  Proceeds benefit Ainsley’s Angels, which supports the special needs community.

The Sacramento Santa Run team works hard to cover every detail — making sure this family affair becomes a tradition for years to come.

Santa Hustle!

Santa Hustle Roseville

311 Vernon Street, Roseville, CA 95678
Phone Number: (847) 829-4536
Email: orders@santahustlestore.com

Sunday | Dec. 22, 2019 | 7:30 AM

Get in the Christmas Spirit at this year’s Santa Hustle! There will be the options of a 5k, Half Marathon as well as Kids Dash so the whole family can join in on the fun! Dress up and have fun and support a great cause while you do it!

And you won’t ask Santa for anything else after you receive this year’s swag. It is the perfect gift! Choose between a Women’s Performance Black Full-Zip or a Red Unisex Performance Hoodie and of course, wouldn’t be complete without the Santa Hat, Santa Beard, and a festive Finisher Medal.

15 Best Places to see Santa in the Sacramento Area

This year, skip the lines at the mall and enjoy one of these wonderful events with Santa instead. Looking for other things do in the Sacramento area? Check out our comprehensive listing of places to go in the region.

Don’t have Christmas tree yet?  Check out our list of Christmas tree farms near Sacramento.

Looking for more fun happenings this holiday season? Check out our Winter Activities for Kids in the Sacramento article


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About Michele C.

Michele is a freelance writer based in Sacramento county. She lives in Elk Grove with her husband, two children and four cats. Michele is proud of her role as a working mother and maintains a full-time career. Writing is one of Michele’s passions and she aims to share her unique perspective on parenting through the written word.

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