We are thrilled to be a part of Manhattan Users Guide’s “NYC Bloggers Do the Holidays”! At the end of this post you’ll find a list of all the other fabulous dedicated New York blogs participating.
Santa Claus, Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas – whatever you call him it is obvious that this jolly old soul is a very special part of Christmas. Luckily, living in New York makes it very easy for your children to pay him a visit, take a picture with him and forward him their wish list. From the classic spots such as going to Macys or Bloomingdales or unique ideas such as having a pancake breakfast with Santa — we’ve found something for everyone this holiday season.
Santa and Puppet Show at Macy’s (November 25th through December 24th, 2010 – Open daily from 9 am to 9pm)
This is the most famous Santa in New York and funny enough, I met him (well, one of them) on the subway last year. He said that last weekend they had over 3,000 visitors in a weekend wanting to see Santa and that it took over an hour to get into Santa’s lap. If you are willing to brave the line then the nice backdrop really makes a beautiful photo.
Tips: Though there is nothing like Macy’s Santaland- it’s a beautiful winter wonderland, the wait can make it an unpleasant trip. Go early and on a weekday if possible and you will be in and out in an hour. Make sure to bring your own camera as the photo options that Macy’s offers aren’t cheap with prices starting at $25 for a 5 x 7 pic.
Details: Visit Santa at Macy’s Santaland on the 8th floor of Macy’s Herald Square. Santaland is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm from Friday, November 25th through Saturday, December 24th, 2010.
Macy’s notes: Santa will return to the North Pole promptly at 5:30 P.M. on December 24th so he can load up his sleigh. Admission is free and digital photographs of your child with Santa will be available for purchase. For additional information, please call (212) 494-4495 or visit: Macy’s.com.
Puppet Show: While you’re at Macy’s, be sure to stop by the Puppet Theater on the 8th floor to see the holiday puppet classic A Miracle on 34th Street – a 30-minute musical version of the holiday classic as told by Marionettes from Puppetworks (featuring the voices of Tony Winners Brian Stokes Mitchell & Victoria Clark). Details: Express Elevators @ 35th & Broadway and Show times are all day – starting at 9:30 am and admission is $5 per person and shows run nine times daily from November 25th through December 24th. For more information, call (212) 494-1917. Note: The last performance is December 24th at 3:15 pm.
Santa at ABC Carpet and Home (November 26th – December 12th, 2010)
We love the ABC Santa experience. Everyone joins a civil line that winds through the beautiful store. The kids AND you are totally occupied with all the delicate items that sparkle from all the shelves. Attendants hold your stroller for you as you descend to Santa’s room. You walk down a red carpet to Santa who welcomes you in open arms. His beautiful vintage wine red robe and rosy cheeks are so authentic- it will convince even the oldest. The children get a nicely swirled lolli after the visit and you all can exit behind Santa’s chair to the restaurant/cafe Le Pain Quotodien to dine on their unbelievable oatmeal, quiches and salads.
Tips: The line is shortest at 2 pm on the dot. We went at 12:30 pm on a weekend and waited for 20 minutes. Others report that they went the week before Christmas on a Saturday and had no wait. Bring your own camera.
Details: Hours: Friday, November 26: 10-noon brunch with Santa; 1-3 pm; Saturday, November 27: 10-3 pm; Sunday, November 28: 10-3 pm; Saturday, December 11: 10-3 pm; Sunday December 12: 10-3 pm. ABC Carpet and Home is located at 888 Broadway (and 19th St), New York, NY. For additional information, please call (212) 473-3000 or visit: ABC Santa.
Santa at Bloomingdales (November 26th – December 23rd, 2010)
I have a feeling this Santa won’t be as busy as the Macy’s Santa. So, head to Bloomindales to the Eighth Floor and get your picture taken, and tell him all of your holiday wishes. You’ll also get a chance to meet some of Santa’s elves.
Details: Hours are Saturday/Sunday; 12-6pm and Monday-Friday; 11am-6pm. Eighth Floor at Bloomingdales at 59th Street & Lexington Avenue and 1000 Third Avenue (two entrances) New York, NY 10022. For additional information, please visit: Bloomingdales.com
South Street Seaport Santa (November 26th – December 19th, 2010)
This beautiful tree adorned with bows and thousands of tiny lights feels quaint on the cobblestoned Water Street. Santa is at the Seaport to hear kids’ wish lists, take photos and be jolly. He makes scheduled appearances in the holiday seating area located on the 3rd floor of Pier 17 from 12 pm to 2 pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Tips: All visits with Santa are free, but bring your own camera. 4 choruses perform classic holiday songs, including their jovial rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 19th. If you go on a Saturday or Sunday to see Santa, stick around for the choruses performing beneath the large tree at 3 pm and 4 pm. Please click here to view the performance schedules. There are some big box shops down at the Seaport too- so you can get your shopping in too. The public restrooms are plentiful and nice and the whole area has a nice holiday feel.
Details: For additional information, please visit: South Street Seaport.com. By Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, or M to Fulton Street A or C trains to Broadway-Nassau; or E train towards Fulton Street. Walk East on Fulton Street to Water Street.
Breakfast with Santa at Rockefeller Center (November 27th – December 24th, 2010)
This is the most expensive way to see Santa, but it is a special event that maybe you do once (or twice!) in your kid’s lifetime. Have a breakfast at Rock Center Cafe where Santa and his elves will stop by for a visit and photo. Two breakfast seatings will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as on Wednesday, December 22nd, Thursday, December 23rd and Friday, December 24th at 7:30 am and 9:15 am. Only one breakfast seating will be offered December 20-21, at 8:30 am.
Details: Prices range from $42 to $54 for children and from $47 to $59 for adults, which includes breakfast, a skating session and a small gift for each child. You can also ice skate at the famous Rockefeller Ice Rink after your meal. Some dates on the weekends are already sold out, so be sure to make reservations on their website or you can call (212) 332 – 7620. Rock Center Cafe is located at Rockefeller Center at 20 West 50th Street.
Santa at Kings Plaza (November 18th- December 24, 2010)
Santa will arrive at Kings Plaza where you can say “hello” and share your Holiday “wish list”. Santa will be available for Photos Monday-Saturday 11am to 9:00pm and Sunday 11am to 7pm.
Tips: Easy parking and the Santa and photos are reportedly good. Reports have come back that the wait has been nothing to 20 minutes. You can get some of your holiday shopping done too while you are here. My favorite H & M is there.
Details: Kings Plaza Shopping Center is at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U; just one mile from Exit 11N off the Belt Parkway. Parking at Kings Plaza is easily accessible from Flatbush Avenue, Avenue U or East 55th Street. There is a flat rate of $3.00 to park.
Santa at Carroll Park (December 3rd)
Come out for a very neighborhly night of tree lighting, christmas carols, and of course Santa and his elves! There will even be free refreshments and gifts for the children. All hosted by the Court Street Merchants Association and with the cooperation of The Friends of Carroll Park.
Details: Rain Date: Friday, Dec. 10th. Carroll Park is located at President Street and Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Take the F train to the Carroll Street Station, exit at President Street and look for the welcoming park right in front of you. By bus, the B71 and B75 will drop you right here.
Merchant’s Association Christmas Tree Lighting with Santa (December 3, 2010)
On December 3rd, meet Santa, sing Christmas carols, enjoy free hot dogs and hot chocolate and live music in Bay Ridge. This year’s lighting is dedicated to the armed forces and organizers will be collecting contributions for the Dyker Heights Military Postage Fund.
Details: The event is held on Friday, December 3rd at 7:00 pm. Meet in front of Frank’s Pizzeria, corner of Bay Ridge Parkway and 13th Ave. For additional information, please call Maria Argiro (917) 375-2849 or Tony DeCrescenzo (917) 887-1853 or visit: http://www.bkcb10.org/announcements/
Santa at Holiday Pop-Up (December 3, 4 and 5th, 2010)
Jade’s Toy Box and Egg are doing their holiday pop-up store again in Tribeca, and that means Santa is back. You can have your portraits taken for free with Santa on Dec. 3rd from 3-6 pm and Dec. 4, 5 from 11:30-2:30 pm.
Tips: Stick around for Storytime at 2 pm, or do a socialsklz lesson on proper holiday dining skills! On Sundays, you can attend a Santa letter writing workshop too. Otherwise, you can always shop!
Details: Jade’s Toy Box and Egg’s Holiday Pop-Up. 475 Greenwich Street between Canal and Watts in Tribeca. Enter on Watts Street. For full program details visit here.
Still Hip Santa (December 4-5 and 11-12th, 2010)
Still Hip does cute shots of your tykes with a female Santa. Santa is in front of a hand painted backdrop which makes the setting feel home grown.
Tips: We have had fun with it- though a convincing Santa she was not, so this is better for the youngest in your group. It was an easy neighborhood Santa sighting and we got a photo within a few minutes.
Details: $20 per sitting. Hours are 2-6pm. Still Hip Brooklyn is located at 83 Grand Ave (at Lafayette) in Clinton Hill. For additional information, please visit: Still Hip Brooklyn
Breakfast with Santa (December 4th)
This fundraiser might be a good way to give a little this holiday and also get a little something too (that is a photo with Santa). Breakfast with Santa at St. John St. Matthew Emmanuel Lutheran Church will raise funds for both the Senior Services Center and a hunger project the Sunday school kids are working on. They’ll be selling food and arts & crafts and having raffles.
Details: Saturday, December 4th from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at St. John St. Matthew Emanuel Lutheran Church on 283 Prospect Avenue between 5th & 6th Avenues
Mrs. Claus at the Book Mark Shoppe (December 5, 2010)
Kids of all ages are invited to meet Mrs. Claus on Sunday, December 5th at 12:00 pm in Bay Ridge. Organizers also ask that you children bring their wish list and they will mail them to the North Pole for you.
Details: The Book Mark Shoppe is located at 8415 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. For additional information, please visit: Book Mark Shoppe.com
Dumbo Kids Holiday Party (December 5,2010)
Join illustrators John Rocco, John Bemelmans Marciano, Dan Yaccarino, and Sophie Blackall for the 4th Annual Kids Holiday Party. This year’s the organizers are transforming the Powerhouse Arena into a children’s book-filled winter wonderland. This will include a story time, live demos from some of our favorite children’s book illustrators, and a special appearance by Santa where kids can also get their picture taken. The walls of the arena will be lined with signed limited edition prints from the artists who brought you Ivy and Bean, Moonshot, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Madeline, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Trucktown, Oswald, and more.
Details: The event is held from 4-5 pm on December 5, 2010 and parents are asked to RSVP by emailing kids@powerHouseArena.com. The Powerhouse Arena is located at 37 Main Street (corner of Water & Main St.). For additional information, please visit: the Powerhouse Arena.
Victorian Holiday Lighting (December 5, 2010)
Celebrate the season by enjoying hot cocoa, live carolers, cookie decorating, crafts and an opportunity to meet and take photographs with Father Christmas. The event culminates with the lighting of thousands of tiny LED lights strung along the architectural features of Central Park’s northernmost visitor center, the Victorian-style at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center overlooking the Harlem Meer. Be sure to bring your camera! FREE. No advance registration. All ages welcome.
Details: At the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside Central Park on 110th Street btw 5th and Lenox Aves) from 3-5 pm (rain or shine). For more information, call 212-860-1370.
Santa at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (December 11th and December 18th, 2010)
Join the Brooklyn Children’s Museum as they celebrate the season with special events and an appearance by Santa.
Details: Santa will be at the museum from December 11th (12-4pm) and December 18th, 2010 (1-4pm). For additional information, please visit: The Brooklyn Children’s Museum.org
Breakfast With Santa @ O.l.p.h in Bay Ridge (December 11, 2010)
Enjoy breakfast with Santa and get your picture taken. There will also be Christmas arts and crafts, face painting games and raffles. The Breakfast is catered by: CIRCLES, International Natural Foods.
Details: The event is from 9:00 am- 11:30 am and the breakfast is $12.00/per person, $6.00/children 5 years and under. Tickets can be purchased at the OLPH Office and/or Rectory. Tickets will not be sold at the door the day of the event. Notre Dame Hall 551-59th St. For additional information, please call (718) 439-8067or email: email@example.com.
Christmas Village in Cannon Ball Park (December 11, 2010)
Santa won’t be alone at this first-ever Christmas Village in Cannon Ball Park in Bay Ridge…..Mrs. Claus will be there, along with Frosty the Snowman and other friends. The event will also feature Christmas carolers; the Brooklyn Rockettes; candy canes, hot chocolate and other treats; a USPS mailbox providing direct mail service to the North Pole; music by Party Express Entertainment; and dance performance by Diva Dance Studio.The community effort to gather a bus full of toys for Santa, to be distributed to local families in need, will end at the workshop. Toy donations can be dropped off at the offices of State Senator Marty Golden and City Council Member Vincent Gentile. For additional information, please contact Sen. Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044
Details: 100th Street and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge, on Saturday, December 11 from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 PM.
Pancake Breakfast with Santa (December 11, 2010)
Have you wanted to meet a Macy’s Santa without the stress and long lines at Macy’s? We are thinking you said “yes!” Then be sure to check out this intimate meet-and-greet with Santa at First Presbyterian Church, along with a pancake breakfast and a free photo with Santa. There will also be Christmas music and crafts too to get you in holiday spirit.
Details: Breakfast with Santa, is at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m on December 11th in the Elliott Room. Reservations are strongly recommended. First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn is located at 124 Henry St. between Clark and Pierrepont Streets. Tickets: $30 per family or $10 per person. Call (718)624-3770 to reserve a ticket or stop by the church office Monday through Friday. For additional information, please visit: http://fpc-enews.blogspot.com/2010/11/november-24-news-and-notes-from-first.html
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise with Santa (December 11, 2010)
Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise is offering a two-hour boat tour with Santa. Onboard the cruise, passengers can enjoy free photos with Santa Claus, holiday music and decorations, complimentary milk and cookies and a climate-controlled vessel. Boarding begins at 10:30 a.m. at Pier 83 at West 42nd St. on the Hudson River and the tour begins at 11 am and returns to the pier at 1pm. Details: $3/ children and $3/adults for passengers that bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated for Toys for Tots. To purchase tickets or to learn more about this tour, please visit: Circlineline42.com
Pancake Brunch with Santa at Klub4Kidz (December 11, 2010)
Have your photo taken with Santa, do some arts and crafts, pancakes with loads of toppings and enjoy some music at the newest play space in Willamsburg.
Details: Meet with Santa from 10am to noon. Price: $10/children, Infants (free) and $20/adults ($15 if pre-purchased by December 1st). The price also includes admission to the playspace and rock climbing wall. Klub4Kidz is located at 159 North 4th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211. To purchase tickets, please visit: http://santabrunch.eventbrite.com/
Winter Garden Santa (December 11, 12 and 13th, 2010)
The Winter Garden transforms into a winter wonderland with trees, reindeer and some elves. Photos with Santa start at $20 or more, depending on size or type of keepsake photos ordered. I do like the setting here with Santa in his sleigh and fake snow and bountiful trees behind him. Then stay and help create Holiday-themed cards to be sent to children facing medical challenges with Project Sunshine. Project Sunshine sends volunteers to visit hospitalized children to provide arts and crafts, tutoring, reading, nutritional cooking and special events. Proceeds of photos will go to Project Sunshine. There are plenty of places to eat in the World Financial Center: Blockhead Burritos, Columbus Bakery, PJ Clarkes (my preference) and more.
Details: Friday, December 11 – 10:00am–1:00pm and 2:00 – 7:00pm and Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13 – 10:00am –1:00pm & 2:00–5:00pm. The World Financial Center is located at 220 Vesey Street, mezzanine level.For additional information, please call (212) 945-0505 or visit: Arts World Financial Center.
FDNY Rescues Santa (December 12, 2010)
The New York City Fire Museum is hosting their Annual Santa Rescue on Sunday, December 12, 2010. After Firefighters demonstrate how they rescue Santa, he will be available for gift requests and pictures until 2:30pm. There will also be hot dogs and hot chocolate for purchase as well as live Christmas carols that will be performed live by John Clacher’s firehouse band.
Details: Admission is $7/Adults and $1/ Children 12 & Under $1. December 12th at 11:30am – 2:30pm. For additional information, please visit: NYC Fire Museum. The Museum is located on Spring Street between Varick and Hudson streets, is easily accessible via public transportation. By subway, take the C or E train (8th Avenue Local) to Spring Street. Walk one and half blocks west. Alternatively, you can take the 1 or 9 train (7th Avenue local) to Houston Street. Walk south 4 blocks to Spring Street and west half a block. You can also reach the Museum via the M10 (7th and 8th Avenue routes) or M21 (Hudson Street cross-town route) bus. Take either to Spring Street.
Brunch with Santa (December 18, 2010)
The Altar Servers of Sacred Hearts & St. Stephen’s Church are sponsoring “Brunch with Santa” where you can get a photo with Santa, do face painting, hear story time and eat a hot buffet.
Details: Santa arrives at 11:00am on Saturday, December 18th at Cabrini Hall located at 125 Summit Street. Tickets for children are $15 and $10 for adults. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please contact the Rectory at (718)246-8342.
Gumbo Pet Adoption with Santa (December 19, 2010)
Gumbo, the children’s store is hosting a pet adoption on Sunday, December 19 from noon to 6 pm. Santa will also be hand from 1-4 p.m (photos will be at 2:00pm in Gumbo!)
Details: Gumbo is located at 493 Atlantic Avenue (bet. Nevins & Third) Brooklyn 11217. For additional information, please call (718) 855-7808
Santa is coming to Flatbush Avenue (December 19, 2010)
Santa will be visiting Flatbush avenue to meet and greet Prospect Heights and Park Slope children and families. Santa will be strolling along Flatbush Avenue from St. Marks Avenue to Sterling Place with his Elves. They will be handing out FREE candy canes, FREE photos with Santa, The BID’s new Shopping & Services Guide 2011 and there will be merchant discounts and special offers. Santa will aso be stoppinig along the way to make holiday balloon hats for the kiddies.
Details: Sunday, December 19 from 12pm to 3pm. To find Santa, just listen for his sleigh bells. For more info: 718-783-1685 or visit www.nfbid.com
Belvedere Castle Santa (December 23 and December 24th, 2010)
Taking a walk through the park to get to Santa just feels right somehow. Imagine how magical it will feel to arrive at Belvedere Castle to see Santa inside! The event is free just bring your camera.
Details: Hours are 11am-2pm (rain or shine) and the event is for all ages. The Belvedere Castle is located at mid-part at 79th Street. For additional information, please call (212) 772-0210. or visit: Central Park NYC.
And now, read on as “New York Bloggers Do the Holidays” continues:
10 “Warm-You-To-the Bone” Holiday Eats in NYC
Manhattan User’s Guide
The Gift Guide: 21 Over $21
11 Experience Gifts for NYC Kids
This is FYF
A Drug-Friendly Guide to Your New York Holidays
Patell and Waterman’s History of New York
Christmas with Andy Warhol
Walking Off the Big Apple
A Mortal’s Guide to the Angels of New York City
We Heart Astoria
The Best Places To Shop Local – WHA Holiday Gift Guide
Serena Norr is from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and now loves living in Ditmas Park. She is the managing editor of Relocation.com, which has perfected her juggling skills as she tackles a full-time job, freelancing and the best part of her day spending time with her energetic toddler. When free time strikes, she loves exploring Brooklyn with her daughter, checking out restaurants, writing plays, taking pictures, creating collages, and making soups – which she chronicles in her recipe blog-http://seriouslysoupy.blogspot.com.