Visit with Black Santa in Oakland & More - 510 Families
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Visit with Black Santa in Oakland & More

Santa Claus is coming to town. We are lucky to have a diversity of Santas in the Oakland Area, but it can still be hard to know where to find a consistent Black Santa experience, so we’ve rounded up a few you can count on.

Black Santa Claus visits the Bay Area

black santa with two children in a workshop setting
Santa Solas visiting with children, courtesy of The Montclair Village Holiday Stroll | Photo: Leah Marie Studio

Dec. 1: Black Santa at Gumbo Festival, Oakland

Black Cultural Zone presents a holiday market at Liberation Park with gumbo prepared by Chef Leilani and a micro market of things to buy. RSVP in advance to purchase gumbo.
Black Santa hours: December 1 beginning at 5 pm (end time is unclear).
For parents to know: The amazing author behind Hey Carter Books! has invited Santa, so we know he’ll be great!
Find out more about the event >

Dec. 3: Black Santa at St. Joseph School, Pinole

Free photos with African American Santa, Gingerbread House Contest, local vendor marketplace, holiday entertainment, dance lesson, kids arts & crafts, and hot breakfast! Free event. Pajamas encouraged.
Black Santa hours: December 3 from 9 am to 1 pm, Santa will be having breakfast and taking photos with children.
For parents to know: Santa arrives at 9:30 am and this event is free.
Find out more about the event >

Dec. 7: Black Santa at Montclair Village Holiday Stroll, Oakland

The event is a full community celebration with festive decorations, entertainment, and shopping. Santa C is just one of the wonderful attractions.
Black Santa hours: December 7 from 4 pm to 8 pm, Santa will be at the Montclair Village visiting and taking photos with children.
For parents to know: Professional Winter Wonderland photos with Santa will be taken by Leah Marie Studio for $30.
Find out more about the event >

Dec. 10: Sensory-friendly Black Santa, Brentwood

The We Get It Foundation is hosting the only official Black sensory-sensitive Santa Claus in the Bay Area at this small boutique.
Black Santa hours: Sunday, December 10 from 11 am to 1 pm, Santa will be at the Little & Brave Boutique in Brentwood visiting and taking photos with children.
For parents to know: Donations are accepted but not required. Professional photographer will be on site.
Find out more about the event >

Dec. 10-11: Santa’s Flight Academy at the mall, Concord

Sunvalley Shopping Center is hosting Black Santa for four days at its interactive Santas Flight Academy experience.
Black Santa hours: Reserve your spot for November 17-18 or December 10-11. Reservation time slots are 15 minutes long.
For parents to know: Reservations are required. Professional photo packages start at about $40 and include many variations and even a phone call.
Reservations Required >

Dec. 16: Santa in the City, San Francisco

Photos with Santa are part of this special event at the African American Arts & Culture Complex on Fulton St in San Francisco.
Black Santa hours: 1 pm to 5 pm on December 16
For parents to know: Admission is free, but you should get an eventbrite ticket in advance.
Secure tickets here >

Dec. 16: Cocoa & Cookies with Black Santa, Martinez

This event is designed as a heartwarming afternoon with cocoa and cookies including the treats, crafts, and pictures with Black Santa.
Black Santa hours: December 16 from 1 to 4 pm, Santa will be at the Allstate office in Martinez visiting and taking photos with children. Bring your own camera.
For parents to know: This event is free with an option to donate to Meals on Wheels.

Find out more about the event >

Dec. 23: Cocoa & Cookies with Black Santa, Kids Play Zone, Oakland (Registration Required)

This event is a third annual little kid party with cookies, cocoa, and all the playing you could want at Kids Play Zone in West Oakland including pictures with Black Santa.
Black Santa hours: The party begins December 23 at 2 and Santa arrives at 3 pm, Santa will join the party in progress visiting and taking photos with children. Bring your own camera.
For parents to know: This event is $20 per child (which includes 2 adults) and includes admission to the play space.

Secure tickets here >

Dec. 15-23: Black Santa Claus at Children’s Fairyland, Oakland

Tis the season for Black Santa’s visit to Children’s Fairyland. Celebrating this holiday tradition since the 90s, Fairyland is committed to sharing the magical and important experience of Black Santa with Oakland and the Bay Area. Visitors can snap photos with Black Santa and join him in a festive parade full of songs, high fives, and dancing.
Black Santa hours: December 15-17, 20-23 from 4 pm to 7 pm, Santa will be in Fairyland leading the parade and handing out treats at 6:30.
For parents to know: Santa will lead the parade and hand out a treat (my guess is candy canes), Santa will have a mailbox for letters in the chapel, and there is probably no lap-sitting this year.

black santa gives high five
Santa giving out high fives to young visitors | Photo: Fairyland

Black Santa Claus photos in Christmasville, Emeryville

Christmasville is a magical photoshoot experience with Santa in Emeryville. Your family will receive a private audience with Santa Claus that will be remembered forever. You must book ahead for your 15-minute or 30-minute photoshoot. As of this writing, one of the Santa Claus choices is a Black Santa named Solas.

Santa Solas hours: Spots are filling up! By reservation only. 15-minute sessions. Santa Solas works on Saturdays and Sundays from 5 pm to 8 pm. Reserve your spot >

For parents to know: This is a high-quality professional photoshoot. If you send holiday cards, these will be perfect. You get one photo included with your shoot. All prints and products are additional and will be decided upon after you see your images.

black santa scene
Santa Solas is available to meet your family from Nov. 12 or 25 | Photo: Leah Marie Studio

Black Santa Claus at Filoli, Woodside

Filoli has a magical garden and estate home all lit up for the holidays with Santa Claus making special appearances in a woodland garden set up.
Santa Weekend Hours: Santa Claus is on hand on all December weekends leading up to Christmas plus Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 as part of paid admission to Holidays at Filoli. Reserve your spot >

For parents to know: Santa is set up on a stage with a golden throne. Children can sit on the throne up close or stay socially distant according to their (and your!) comfort level. There isn’t a photographer on hand so snap away at those selfies.

santa and child in a pretty garden
Santa visits a little one in the gardens | Photo: Tiffany Zabala for Filoli

If you know of more Bay Area locations to visit Black Santa, please drop them in the comments!

Virtual Storytime with Black Santa

Sundays in December (3, 10, 17, 24). Oakland-based Hey Carter! Books is putting on a virtual storytime with Santa. Last year, the story took place in Oakland featuring some favorite local spots with a rhyming, whimsical story of a melanated Santa. Find details here.

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