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Jolly and Free: 10 Meet the Santa NYC Events You Can't Miss!

As the twinkling lights illuminate the city, and the scent of holiday cheer fills the air, it's that magical time of year when Santa Claus graces the streets of the Big Apple with his festive presence. In the spirit of spreading joy and warmth, we've compiled a list of 10 enchanting events where you can meet the man in the red suit—all without breaking the bank. Whether you're a local seeking a jolly encounter or a visitor eager to experience the magic of a New York City Christmas, these free Santa meet-and-greet events are sure to make your holiday season merrier and brighter.

rockefeller christmas  tree with text overlay Jolly and Free: 10 Meet the Santa NYC Events You Can't Miss! and a sticker of santa

1) Macy's Santaland - Herald Park Macy's

All month long

Since 1861, families have gathered at Macy's in Herald Square to experience the enchanting and festive Santaland, complete with the opportunity for one-on-one time and a photo with the iconic man in the red suit. Reservations are essential and can be made five days before each available date. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, Santaland at home offers a virtual visit with Santa, including the chance to take a selfie. DETAILS

2) Santa at Hudson Yards - Hudson Yards

All month long

Ascend to Level 4 of Hudson Yards, adjacent to H&M and Zara, to explore the enchanting winter wonderland showcased there. Santa will be present daily from November 24, 2023, to December 22, 2023. Stop by to greet him and capture your own photos with Santa—visits operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Even on days when Santa is not available, you can still create lasting holiday memories at the Sparkle Spot Selfie Station.

3) Santa in the Park – Marine Park, Brooklyn

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Head over to Marine Park for festive delights and capture your own photos with the man in red. Join us on the lawn at Filmore Avenue and Madison Place for a joyful holiday experience. DETAILS

4) Sinterklaas - Saint Nicholas Day – East Flatbush, Brooklyn

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Experience a traditional Dutch Christmas celebration at the oldest house in NYC, complete with a visit from St. Nick arriving on horseback instead of reindeer. Uncover the evolution of Sinterklaas into the beloved tradition of Santa Claus, and partake in crafts and a magical tree lighting ceremony. DETAILS

5) St. Nicholas Day – Ridgewood, Queens

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Kids FREE, Adults $7.18 Don't forget to bring your camera to the yearly holiday festivities at the historic Dutch stone house. Capture memorable moments, meet St. Nicholas, and receive a delightful goody bag. Ensure your spot by securing timed-entry tickets online in advance, and remember, children under 12 enjoy FREE admission.

Saturday, December 9-16, 2023

Capture the magic of the season as City Point's resident photographer snaps delightful pictures of children with Santa against a picture-perfect backdrop. Each family will receive a complimentary digital print, with the option to purchase extra photos and festive card packages. Space is limited and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. To stay in the loop, pre-register online for updates and reminders. Don't miss out on the additional holiday fun at City Point's Holiday Hub, curated by Mommy Poppins and our friends at Brooklyn Bridge Parents. DETAILS

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Make your way to the iconic Apollo Theater uptown for a festive afternoon filled with holiday cheer, opportunities for photos with Santa, and live performances. Embrace the spirit of giving by bringing a donation for the book and toy drive. DETAILS

December 15-21, 2023

Santa's Corner is back at Bank of America Winter Village, offering visitors of every age the chance to share their Christmas wishes and capture the ideal photo with Santa. Make your way to the rink deck beside The Chalet, where guests can use complimentary props for their pictures or bring their own. No tickets are necessary, and photos with Santa are available on a first-come, first-served basis. DETAILS

9) NYSoM Holiday Mania – East Harlem

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Experience the ultimate community event that has it all. Explore Hanukkah Town, stop by Kwanzaa Village, and ascend to the Winter Wonderland where Santa Claus eagerly awaits your visit. Joining him are a host of other North Pole pals, from Frosty the Snowman to Rudolph, all ready to create picture-perfect moments. Attendance is free, but secure your spot online in advance. DETAILS

10) Santa at Brookfield Plaza - Battery Park

Select December Days

Discover a mesmerizing exhibition of vibrant lanterns at the Winter Garden in Brookfield Place. This enchanting holiday setting also boasts a waterfront ice skating rink for added festive delight. Enjoy complimentary Selfies with Santa on specific days, running until December 24, with a dedicated day for pets! Whether you plan ahead or decide last minute, walk-ups are warmly welcomed, and same-day reservations can be made on-site. DETAILS

As the final notes of carols echo through the city and the last snowflakes gently fall, we hope this guide has added a touch of magic to your holiday plans. Meeting Santa in NYC doesn't have to be a costly affair; it can be a joyful, family-friendly experience that leaves you with cherished memories. So, grab your mittens, gather your loved ones, and embark on a festive journey to meet Santa at these heartwarming, cost-free events. May your holidays be filled with laughter, love, and the magic that only New York City can offer during this most wonderful time of the year.

rockefeller christmas  tree with text overlay Jolly and Free: 10 Meet the Santa NYC Events You Can't Miss! and a sticker of santa


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