This year’s list of Santa Claus photo locations is brought to you by Christmasville in the Woods in Oakland. Please be aware that because of Covid-19, lots of usual Santa visits are cancelled for 2020.
Santa Claus is still coming to town alright, but where? And when? Our list will (hopefully) grow throughout the Christmas season as we discover Santa Claus in new places. Please note that most — if not all — require advance reservations. There are also a few very clever virtual Santa options.
Where to see Santa Claus in the East Bay
Christmasville in the Woods Santa Claus Photos, Oakland
Christmasville in the Woods is a magical photoshoot experience with Santa in the Heart of Oakland. Your family will be guided in a private, covid-safe and contact-less experience.
Every Christmasville session includes a visit to a snowy forest and into a film set of an otherworldly living room where Santa will make his appearance from a safe distance. The photographer, Leah Marie Studio, will capture the whole story as you and your family star in your own scene of the childhood magic of Santa. Your session fees include your favorite photo from the shoot.
Optional upgrades: Add Christmas cards, photo albums, local-themed gift boxes to your shoot. There is also an Acts of Kindness program to share this special experience with others.
Book now: Available sessions Nov 12th – Dec 20th. ** These sessions are extremely limited so make sure you BOOK ahead of time to secure your spot and get your photos back in time for the holidays. ** As of right now, Santa Steve (above) is available Fridays and Saturdays and Santa Sola (below) is available on Sundays. Book now >>
So much has changed for the world this year but we are dedicated to keeping the magic alive. Let’s cherish the tradition of Christmas and encourage our children to get excited about the holidays.
A few more places to see Santa Claus in the East Bay
Other places to visit Santa Claus in person
Santa Claus on a train in Sacramento
About 90 minutes from Berkeley and Oakland, The Magical Christmas Train includes a special one-hour visit with the big man, Santa Claus, and his trusty elves on a railroad in a train car.
When: The one-hour ride is offered four times each day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays beginning on Nov. 27 through Dec. 20 and then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Christmas week.
Price: Adults 13+: $55 | Kids age 3 to 12: $45 | Kids 2 and under: $10
Virtual ways to see Santa Claus
- Macy’s Santaland at Home is a festive, online experience for families running Friday, Nov. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 24. Up to three children can take part in the customized experience at a time. Visit Santaland >>
- Picture Me Santa allows parents to digitally create a Santa photo with a willing child using the magic of photo editing. See more on their website >>
- Virtual Storytime with Cocoa Santa includes a special zoom storytime and presents from Oakland-based Hey Carter! Books.
- NORAD Santa Tracker is an annual Christmas-themed program that starts on Dec. 1, but the actual Santa-tracking starts on midnight of Dec. 23. You can watch Santa and his sleigh tour the entire world, digitally on NORADSanta.org.
Find more places to go this Christmas in our East Bay Holiday Activities Guide.
Thanks to Christmasville in the Woods for getting super creative to make holiday magic for families and for sponsoring this post. Ho ho ho!