Chicago Area Santa Guide

Santa Claus shouting using megaphone over gray background

Get those wishlists ready because Santa is in Chicago! As kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas, it’s a great time to get some great photos for your holiday cards, photo albums, and to post on social media. Many locations even offer special events for things like holiday pj’s, ugly sweaters, and pets for some extra special photos.

Unless otherwise indicated, visiting with Santa is free. Most locations offer photography packages and do not allow you to take photos with your own camera. Please keep in mind that Santa takes breaks; where the information was available I included scheduled break times, but if they are not listed please inquire with the location regarding break times. 

I will also be posting a Special Needs Santa Guide, a guide of specially designated times for children with special needs and their families to visit with Santa.

900 North Michigan Shops900 N. Michigan, Chicago

  • Santa arrives November 17
  • Daily Noon-6:00 pm
  • Virtual queue; must be present to register. Queue may fill up, but you can not register for the next day.
  • Photo packages available for purchase.

Bass Pro Shops709 N. Janes Avenue, Bolingbrook6112 Grand Avenue, Gurnee

  • Santa arrives November 10 at 5:00 pm with tree lighting, crafts, cookies & hot cocoa
  • Monday-Friday 5:00 pm-8:00 pm through Dec. 2, 10:00 am-8:00 pm after Dec. 2
  • Saturday 10:00 am-8:00 pm
  • Sunday 12:00 pm-5:00 pm through December 2, 10:00 am-5:00 pm after Dec. 2
  • Special hours 11/22 (Thanksgiving) – 10:00 am-5:00 pm; 11/23 – 10:00 am-8:00 pm
  • Photos daily including December 24.
  • FREE pictures with Santa, additional activities available.
  • Bass Pass gives you a virtual place in line. A limited number of Bass Passes are available each day.

CherryVale Mall7200 Harrison Avenue, Suite 5, Rockford

  • Santa arrives November 9 at 4:30 pm.
  • Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm, with breaks from 1:00-2:00 pm and 5:00-6:00 pm.
  • Sunday 11:00 am-6:00 pm, with a break from 3:00-4:00 pm.
  • Special hours:
    • Saturday, November 24 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm
    • Sunday, December 16 from 11:00 am-7:00 pm
    • Saturday, December 22 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm
    • Sunday, December 23 from 9:00 am-8:00 pm
    • Monday, December 24 from 8:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Photos daily through December 24.
  • Purchase a FastPass online to save time.
  • Photography packages are available for purchase.
  • Pet nights on Monday, November 12, 19, and 26 and December 3 and 10 from 6:00-9:00 pm. Pets must be on a leash or in a carrier.

Chicago Ridge Mall444 Chicago Ridge Mall, Chicago Ridge

  • Santa arrives on November 10 at 1:00 pm with a parade and character meet & greet
  • Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-8:00 pm through December 9, 10:00 am-9:00 pm after December 9.
  • Sunday 11:00 am-6:00 pm through December 9, 10:00 am-8:00 pm after December 9.
  • December 24 from 9:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Photography packages are available for purchase.
  • Pet nights on Friday, December 7 and 14 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm.
  • Signing Santa on Monday, December 17 from 9:30 am-12:30 pm.

CTA Holiday Train, various locations

  • See CTA website for details.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont

  • Read about our experience at Santa HQ at Fashion Outlets of Chicago
  • Santa arrives November 9.
  • Monday-Thursday 11:00 am-8:00 pm.
  • Friday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm.
  • Sunday 11:00 am-7:00 pm; 10:00 am-7:00 pm after December 16.
  • Special hours:
    • Closed November 23 (Thanksgiving).
    • November 23-24 9:00 am-9:00 pm.
    • November 25 9:00 am-7:00 pm.
    • Sunday, December 16 10:00 am-9:00 pm.
    • December 24 10:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Pet photos with Santa on November 26 and December 3, 10, & 17 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm (cats and dogs only).
  • Reservations are available but not necessary. Photo packages are available. Free gift from Santa.
  • Santa HQ is an interactive experience.

Golf Mill Shopping Center239 Golf Mill Center, Niles

  • Santa arrives November 17 at 11:00 am with activities, face painting, cookies, hot cocoa, and more.
  • Additional details to be announced.

Gurnee Mills Mall6170 Grand Avenue, Gurnee

  • Santa arrives November 15 at 6:00 pm with a parade.
  • Monday-Thursday from 11:00 am-8:00 pm through December 13.
  • Fridays from 11:00 am-8:00 pm through December 14.
  • Saturdays from 10:00 am-8:00 pm through December 1.
  • Sundays from Noon-6:00 pm through December 2.
  • Special times:
    • Closed November 23 (Thanksgiving)
    • Friday, November 23 from 10:00 am-8:00 pm
    • December 8 from 10:00 am-8:30 pm.
    • December 9 from 11:00 am-6:00 pm.
    • December 16 10:00 am-6:00 pm.
    • December 17-23 10:00 am-8:30 pm.
    • December 24 from 8:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Reserve a FastPass online to save time in line.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.

Harlem Irving Plaza4104 N. Harlem Avenue, Norridge

  • Santa arrives on November 10 at 10:00 am with inflatables, activities, freebies and giveaways until Noon.
  • Monday-Saturday from 10:00 am-9:00 pm, Sunday from 11:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Photos available daily through December 24.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.

Hawthorn Mall122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills

  • Santa arrives on November 15 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 with a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish. Adult tickets are $10 and children 10 and younger are free. Event includes a 4×6 photo with Santa. Appetizers and beverages available too.
  • Pet photos on December 6 and 13.
  • Photo packages available for purchase.

Lincoln Park Zoo2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

  • Santa arrives November 23 and leaves December 23.

Lincolnwood Town Center3333 W. Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood

  • Santa arrives November 17.
  • Photos available through December 24.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.
  • Pet photos on December 2 from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Sensitive Santa on December 9 from 9:00-11:00 am.

Louis Joliet Mall, 3340 Mall Loop Drive, Joliet

  • Santa arrives November 11.
  • Monday-Saturday from 10:00 am-8:00 pm through December 9.
  • Sunday from 11:00 am-6:00 pm through December 9.
  • Closed on Thanksgiving.
  • Monday-Saturday from 10:00 am-9:00 pm after December 9.
  • Sunday from 10:00 am-8:00 pm after December 9.
  • December 24 from 9:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Photo packages available for purchase.
  • Pet photos on Friday, December 7 and Friday, December 14 from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm.
  • Signing Santa on Monday, December 17 from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm.

Macy’s Santaland, 111 North State Street, Chicago

  • Santa arrives soon.
  • Closed Thanksgiving.
  • Photos available daily through December 24. 
  • Photo packages available for purchase.

Northbrook Court, 2171 Northbrook Court, Northbrook

  • Santa arrives November 10. 
  • Monday-Saturday from Noon-8:00 pm.
  • Sunday from Noon-6:00 pm.
  • Special hours:
    • December 15-23 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm.
    • December 24 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
  • Reserve your spot online to skip the line.
  • Photography packages available for purchase. Reservation available with purchase.
  • Pet photos on Mondays from November 12 through December 17 from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm.

Oakbrook Center, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook

  • Read about our experience visiting Santa’s pavilion at Oakbrook Center
  • Santa arrives November 9.
  • Monday-Saturday from 10:00 am-8:00 pm.
  • Sunday from 11:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Special hours:
    • November 23 & 24 from 9:00 am-8:00 pm
    • December 13-22 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm
    • Sunday, December 23 from 9:00 am-9:00pm
    • Monday, December 24 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Photo packages available for purchase.
  • Reservations are available, but not required.
  • Save $5 on photos when you book between Monday and Wednesday through December 5.
  • Pet photos on Mondays from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm through December 17.
  • Ugly Sweater photos on November 16 and December 13.
  • Grandparents Day on November 29.
  • Holiday PJ photos on November 30 and December 6.

Orland Square Mall, 288 Orland Square Drive, Orland Park

  • Santa arrived November 11.
  • Monday-Friday from 10:00 am-8:00 pm through December 3; 10:00 am-8:30 pm beginning November 23.
  • Saturday from 10:00 am-8:00 pm through November 17; 10:00 am-8:30 pm beginning November 17; 10:00 am-9:00 pm beginning December 1.
  • Sunday 11:00 am-6:00 pm through November 18; 11:00 am-7:00 pm beginning in December.
  • Special hours:
    • November 12 from 11:00 am-8:00 pm.
    • November 25 from 10:00 am-8:30 pm.
    • December 7, 9-14 from 10:00 am-9:00 pm
    • December 15, 17-23 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm.
    • December 16 from 9:00 am-8:00 pm.
    • December 24 from 8:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.
  • Reservations available.
  • Caring Santa on December 2 from 8:30 am-10:00 am.
  • Pet photos on December 19 from 6:00 pm-8:30 pm.

Santa House at Naperville River Walk, Jackson Avenue & Weber Street, Naperville

  • Santa arrives November 30
  • Open to the public on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 16; and December 18-23.
  • Friday from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Saturday and Sunday from Noon-6:00 pm.
  • December 18-20 from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Special needs times available December 3-4 and 13 from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm; reservations required.
  • Pet photos on Monday, December 10 from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Military/First Responders on Tuesday, December 11 from 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Photographs available for purchase.

Santa Hut in Woodstock SquareWoodstock Square, Woodstock

  • Santa arrives November 25 with a Christmas parade and milk & cookies.
  • Limited hours.
  • No photographer on site; bring your own camera.

Spring Hill Mall1072 Spring Hill Mall, West Dundee

  • Santa arrives on November 10 at 10:00 am with a parade and festivities until Noon.
  • Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-9:00 pm.
  • Sunday Noon-6:00 pm.
  • Christmas Eve 8:30 am-5:00 pm.
  • Pet nights on November 20, November 27, December 4, and December 11 from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.

Stratford Square Mall152 Stratford Square, Bloomingdale

  • Santa arrives November 17 at 10:00 am.

Water Tower Place835 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

  • Santa arrives November 16.
  • Monday-Saturday from Noon-7:00 pm before December 15.
  • Sunday from Noon-6:00 pm before December 15.
  • Monday-Friday from Noon-9:00 pm beginning December 15.
  • Saturday-Sunday from 10:00 am-9:00 pm beginning December 15.
  • December 24 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
  • Reservations can be made online.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.
  • Holiday PJ Night on November 30 and December 6.
  • Pet Night on Mondays from November 19 through December 17 from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm.
  • Grandparents Day on November 29.

Fox Valley Mall195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora

  • Santa arrived November 8.
  • Photo packages available for purchase.

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago

  • Santa arrives November 30.
  • General admission tickets must be purchased for Winter Wonderfest and to meet Santa.

Woodfield Mall5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg

  • Santa arrived November 1.
  • Monday-Friday from 10:00 am-9:00 pm through December 7.
  • Saturday from 10:00 am-9:00 pm through November; 10:00 am-10:00 pm in December.
  • Sunday 11:00 am-6:00 pm through November 18; 10:00 am-7:00 pm after November 18; 10:00 am-8:00 pm on December 9.
  • December 10-14 from 9:00 am-10:00 pm
  • December 15-23 from 8:00 am-10:00 pm.
  • Special hours:
    • Closed Thanksgiving.
    • December 24 from 8:00 am-4:00 pm
    • Friday & Saturday, November 23 & 24 from 8:00 am-10:00 pm.
  • Photography packages available for purchase.
  • Pet Nights Sunday, November 11 & Sunday, November 18 from 6:30-8:30 pm.
  • Caring Santa on Sunday, December 2 and Sunday, November 9 from 8:00 am-10:00 am.

Yorktown CenterHighland Avenue and Butterfield Road, Lombard

  • Santa arrives November 9.
  • Santa is available during normal mall hours.

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