Where can you find Mr. Claus in Baltimore?
Every year my family goes on the hunt for the perfect Santa to take holiday pictures with. We take a lot of things into consideration – you won’t believe how hard it is to find a clean and sober Santa sometimes!
But we also consider location, like how easy it would be to get there and if there’s parking, as well as crowd control and cost – no one wants to spend hours in line just for Santa to get called away to the North Pole.
Here are some of the best places to take a holiday picture with Santa Claus in Baltimore.
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Santa’s House at the Inner Harbor (The Gallery)
200 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website
While most people have a house in the Hamptons, Santa has a house at the harbor – The Gallery at the Baltimore Inner Harbor, that is. Running throughout the Xmas season, children and adults alike flock to Santa’s house to spend some quality time with him.
After sitting on his lap and telling him what you want under the tree this year, get your photo taken, browse around to witness the choreographed light show, or attend live performances. You can even meet other special visitors like Mrs. Claus, the elves, or a very particular reindeer with a red nose. The Gallery is filled with shops and restaurants to visit afterward.
Parking: You’ll have to find a nearby parking garage which can range anywhere from $8 upward during the season.
The Shops at Kenilworth
800 Kenilworth Drive, Towson, MD 21204 | Website
The Shops at Kenilworth in Baltimore County is a popular spot to have the perfect photo opp with Kris Kringle himself. Those with kids of the fur variety will love that they even have a designated day for pet photos with Santa!
The shopping center has lots of different seasonal activities in addition to meet and greets with Santa. You can have breakfast with the big man himself or even attend live performances such as singalongs and magic shows; there’s also a model train garden that visitors of all ages love. And after all of that, you’ll be surrounded by shops and cafes to get some Christmas shopping done!
Parking: There is lots of free mall parking, especially if you go in the daytime when it’s not as busy.
Christmas Village in Baltimore
501 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website
Every year, the Inner Harbor in Baltimore transforms into a German Christmas village complete with Bavarian treats, mulled wine, and lots of local businesses and artists selling their goods – so that’s obviously where you will find Santa Claus!
Take pictures of the kiddos, human or four-legged, with Santa and his friend Gingy the Gingerbread Man. Tell them what you desire most this holiday season and keep your fingers crossed that good old Saint Nick pulls through.
Parking: The only con to Christmas Village is that it’s fairly difficult to find street parking and there’s no free parking, but there are lots of parking garages in the area.
Towson Town Center
825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204 | Website
It is possible to have your child, pet, or yourself take pictures with Santa without freezing your holiday cheer away outside in the cold. The warm indoors of Towson Town Center await you alongside a cheerful Santa Claus! Little ones will get to meet Santa’s little helpers, explore the North Pole, and listen to Mrs. Claus read a story all while waiting to take the perfect holiday photo with Saint Nick himself.
Parking: There’s abundant free mall parking in their multi-floor lot.
The B&O Railroad Museum
901 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21223 | Website
The Polar Express Train Ride at the B&O Railroad Museum is one of the most memorable photo ops with Santa offered in Baltimore. You go on a train ride with Santa, there’s a breakfast buffet with all your favorites, and there are lots of fun holiday-themed activities you can do.
Then spend some time with ‘Ol Saint Nick, taking photos, and sharing your wish list. He’ll be passing out hugs and gifts to everyone!
Parking: There’s free off-site, on-street parking, as well as several parking garages in the area.
Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade
2½-mile route around Baltimore City | Website
The 49th annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade is a tradition that most Baltimoreans don’t miss. It’s usually held in the first or second week of December and it starts early, around 1 PM, so that it’s perfect for families with young ones.
The parade often snakes through North Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood and attracts thousands of people, so you might want to get there early to catch a good spot! Santa Claus is the main float in the procession, though you will meet some of his other friends along the way.
Parking: There’s free and paid meter parking but it might be difficult to find a spot during the parade.
The Mall in Columbia
10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044 | Website
The Mall in Columbia has a Santa meet and greet every year; it’s a great indoor option in the Baltimore area. Keep in mind that it can get very crowded, but Santa is always in a jolly mood and the elves try to move things along as efficiently as possible! Little tip – avoid nights and weekends here for a quicker experience.
After you take pictures with Santa, cross off some names from your holiday shopping list, catch a bite to eat at one of the mall’s many restaurants, or sit back and enjoy live entertainment scheduled at the mall throughout the season. The Mall in Columbia is one of the nicest and you’re sure to have a pleasant time meeting Santa there.
Parking: The mall has lots of free parking surrounding it.
Arundel Mills Mall
7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, MD 21076 | Website
Arundel Mills Mall opened a little over 20 years ago and quickly became a premier shopping destination in the DMV – and it’s also one of the best places to take a picture with Santa Claus!
Santa and some of his friends are there throughout the week during the holiday season and they bring a little bit of the North Pole along with them. You can sing along to Christmas carols as you wait in line; the mall is indoors so you’ll be warm while you wait!
Parking: There is tons of free mall parking.