There’s still time to visit virtually with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Elves, and most visits are FREE.
There won’t be any sitting Santa’s lap this year to chat about whether they’ve been good or bad or in between, but the online visits are longer than the usual in-person ones, and there are no crowds to wrestle with.
Besides the virtual virtue of FREE, some of these Santa experiences are as long as ten minutes, and most also include a FREE photo opp.
All of which is better than paying anywhere from $15 to $50 for commemorative photos of an old-fashioned in-person visit of one minute or less, just long enough for the photo op.
We recommend you make online reservations ASAP for the online visits with Santa, before the websites are overloaded and available slots are gone.
And you can score points by telling the kids you’ve got Santa on speed dial, because if they believe in Santa, they’ll believe you have him on speed dial. Why would you lie to them?
November 27 to December 24
In normal times, the Macy’s flagship in Herald Square is the most iconic Santa experience of all time, for kids like me who grew up in NYC, and for holiday visitors.
A few years ago, Macy’s began requiring reservations to manage the crush.
This year, because of COVID-19, Santaland has gone virtual – and FREE.
This free meet and greet includes a chance to chat with the elves, play fun holiday games and encounter St. Nick via a pre-recorded video that finishes with a photo opp.
Chatbooks Virtual Santa Visits
November 27 to 28
Snag a FREE reservation to hang out with Santa one-on-one for 10 whole minutes.
Compare that to the 30 seconds they typically get to rattle off their gift picks at the mall! But that’s not all: You’ll walk away with a complimentary screenshot of the visit, too.
Watch this quick video for a humorous glimpse of what to expect.
Kringle Mingle Virtual North Pole Visits
November 27 to December 22
The Kringle Mingle has it all, including a personalized video message or an interactive video call, at prices prices ranging from $3 to $30.
Plus, you can add on such additional perks as commemorative screenshots, a “nice list” certificate.
Santa: The Experience
December 1 to 24
This experience includes time with Mrs. Claus, the Elves, a tour of the North Pole, and then – finally – with Santa himself, for a live five-minute video chat about all things Christmas.
The truly cool part of this experience is the option to invite other relatives, such as Grammie, Pops and Aunt Sylvia to join in on the family fun. It’s an ideal replacement for the family visits that might not be happening this year. Think of it as a Zoomer with Santa.
This is not free – options start at $36. Which is cheaper than airfare or highway tolls.
Airbnb Santa Claus Virtual Visits
If the kids are crushed because you had to cancel your annual holiday ski trip or beach vacation, Airbnb still can connect you with a visit with Santa Claus representatives from around the world.
Kids can chat live, including for an online story time) with an LA-based Santa, talk to St. Nick as he makes the virtual rounds as far away as Lapland, Finland, even a Zoom with a Georgia-based Santa who is proficient in sign language.
This is not free. Prices vary widely, from $6 just for a storytime to $25 for that meeting with Santa in Finland.
There’s also a $50 opportunity to sing holiday tunes with a Broadway star.