Where to Find Santa in the East Bay Area

Chloe Dertinger  |  November 15, 2023


Where to Find Santa in the East Bay Area

The Holiday Season has arrived, which means Santa Claus is coming to town! Here are many opportunities to find Santa around the East Bay Area for a magical photoshoot experience with your kids. 

Santa Photo Experience at Stoneridge - Nov 10th – Dec 24th, 2023

One Stoneridge Mall, Pleasanton

Santa Claus will be available for traditional photos and visits with children at the Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton now through Christmas Eve, Friday, Dec. 24. In addition, this Santa also offers pet photos and a Caring Santa opportunity for private photo experiences for children with special needs and their families. To reserve a time slot, click here!


Christmasville Santa Claus Photos, Emeryville - Nov 3rd – Dec 17th, 2023

1311 61st Street, Emeryville

From November 3rd to December 17th, 2023, you can visit Christmasville in Emeryville! Each Christmasville experience offers your family a private journey to the North Pole, complete with professional photography provided by Leah Marie Studio. During your session, you and your loved ones will take center stage with Santa Claus. Your session fee covers the cost of your favorite photograph from the shoot, and you have the option to enhance your experience with add ons like cookie decorating. Discounted packages are available when you secure your booking. They also offer a Family Holiday Photoshoot and a Selfie Stroll, DIY Photoshoot experience (both without Santa).

To ensure you don't miss out, make sure to reserve your spot well in advance, as session availability is limited. This way, you'll receive your cherished photos in time for the holiday season. As of now, Santa Steve is available on weekends from noon to 4 pm, and Santa Solas is available on weekends from 5 pm to 8 pm. 


Fresh Cut Christmas Trees - Nov 26th, Dec 2nd, Dec 10th, 2023

Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton

Kill two birds with one stone by visiting the Alameda County Fairgrounds for Fresh Cut Christmas Trees and a visit with Santa! Choose your perfect Christmas tree from a selection of premium trees from Fresh Cut Trees, a family farm in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Choose from Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, and Nordmann Fir. 

The event will be ongoing from November 22 – December 20th, 2023, but Santa Claus will be there on select dates November 26th, December 2nd, and December 10th. 

Santa Lights the Square - Nov 24th, 2023

Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

For a true Franciscian experience, head to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco for Santa Lights the Square! Listen to holiday tunes sung by the SF Boys Chorus, just before Santa comes to officially illuminate Ghirardelli Square with Christmas Lights. Afterwards, visit Santa in the carillon to take a photo and receive a Ghirardelli Chocolate square.

Holiday Parade of Lights & Tree Lighting - Nov 30th, 2023

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Experience the excitement of an evening parade that ushers in the Holiday Season with a festive gathering of fun and entertainment.  The “Parade of Lights” is the highlight of Broadway Plaza’s holiday season kick-off and includes music, refreshments, and a special Tree Lighting Ceremony initiated by Santa Claus himself!

Magical Holiday Evening in Downtown Pleasanton - Dec 1st, 2023

Main Street, Pleasanton

On December 1st from 4:00PM-7:00PM visit Downtown Pleasanton’s Holiday Open House! Come stroll Main Street and enjoy shopping specials, dining, live music and free photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Museum on Main.

Hometown Holiday Celebration - Dec 2nd, 2023

Downtown Pleasanton

Families are invited to join the Hometown Holiday Celebration in Pleasanton, which includes a parade and tree-lighting ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Building. The Hometown Holiday Parade will feature floats, marching bands, and community groups.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6:45 pm and includes musical entertainment, tree lighting by the Mayor, and a special appearance by Santa! 


21st Annual Montclair Village Holiday Stroll - Dec 7th, 2023

2050 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland

The Montclair Village Association (MVA) will host the 21st Annual Montclair Village Holiday Stroll on Thursday, December 7, from 4-8pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to create lasting memories with loved ones while lighting up the Village with festive cheer and shopping for unique holiday gifts that will spread joy!

This stroll will include live performances by local youth and school groups, festive entertainment by Merry Minstrels, Oakland Ballet Company and The Tap Dancing Christmas Trees, and professional Winter Wonderland photos with Santa taken by Leah Marie Studio.

More fun of this event includes crafting activities, a selfie photo booth with props, and a prize wheel with giveaways! There is also additional retail holiday shopping offered by 20 locally-owned vendors!


Breakfast with Santa - Dec 9th, 2023

Albert H. DeWitt O'Club, 641 West Redline Avenue, Alameda

Join Santa for breakfast, arts & crafts, and take a photo with the big guy. Santa will read one of his special stories at 11:15 am. To attend, you must RSVP by December 1st, 2023. 


Santa Claus Photos at Alameda South Shore Center - Nov 24th – Dec 24th, 2023

Alameda South Shore Center, Alameda

Daily from November 24 to December 24 (closed for Thanksgiving), Santa Claus will be sitting for portraits at the Alameda South Shore Center. Look for pet-friendly events and a gift card giveaway, too. 


Fairy Winterland, Oakland - Dec 15th – Dec 23rd, 2023

699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland

Fairy Winterland at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland is an enchanting multicultural event that has been a cherished tradition for 18 years. With its dazzling lights, nightly performances, and free cocoa and cider, Fairy Winterland is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday traditions of Oakland's community. 

This year's theme, "United by Light," highlights the universal significance of light in holiday celebrations worldwide. Fairy Winterland offers a wide range of activities, from educational displays to candle making, rangoli chalk art, and festive music, making it a celebration that unites us all through the magic of light. Don't miss out on this heartwarming event! And of course, Santa will be there, but plan to take your own photos.

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