13 Best Places to See Santa in Brooklyn

From Malls to Christmas Fairs, Pancake Breakfasts and Santacon, He's Everywhere

Santa must love Brooklyn! He's here, there, everywhere in Brooklyn this time of year.

Find out about some special Santa appearances in Brooklyn. Many are set up so you can take a photo of your child with Santa. And of course, your kid can whisper his or her sweet wishes for holiday presents in Santa's ear. But that's not all. Most of these events also have other attractions: arts and crafts, or free food. The events vary by neighborhood. In Greenpoint, you can march in a Santa parade. In Park Slope, adults can have some drinks and then go caroling, led by a musical Santa. And then of course, there's the popular event known as Santacon. Santa comes to Brooklyn...find out more!

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    ••• Santa must shop at the costume store, Ricky's, which has a selection of such red, full-body suit outfits. Very fashionable!. Courtesy of Rickys.

    In 2012, Santa makes a visit to the mall! Bring the kids to the Atlantic Terminal Mall, near the Barclays Center in Fort Greene Brooklyn. He'll be on the lower level (next to DSW, the huge shoe store). The address is 139 Flatbush Ave. The Atlantic Terminal Mall Santa is there on weekends, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 PM, and on Christmas Eve, his hours are from 10 AM – 2 PM.

    Get directions to the Atlantic Terminal Mall.

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    Photo op! From before Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, you can go to Kings Plaza Mall to the second level to have a little chit chat and a photo with Santa. He's there, grinning, looking mellow and making promises to kids all day from Monday to Saturday from 11 AM until 9 PM, with a few little breaks (he's off from 1:30 -2:30 PM and 5:30 -6:30 PM). On weekends he's there from noon until 7 PM, with a break fro 3 to 4 PM. Go early to avoid the lines! Located on level 2, near Guess.
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    Santa's so hungry when he gets to the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights that he has to have breakfast twice, the first one at 9:30 and the next at 10:30 in the morning. Bring the kids and enjoy a hearty breakfast and watch for Santa's entrance! In 2012, it's on Sat Dec. 15.
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    Past Event: Meet N' Greet with Santa & Puppets (Park Slope)

    In 2012, the nonprofit Puppetry Arts, which does wonderfully fun and educational work through puppetry, is hosting a free Meet N' Greet with Santa Clause and puppet characters at the 7 Eleven at 5th Ave and 13th Street in Park Slope on Sunday December 16th, 11 AM-2 PM. You can:
    • meet and snap photos with Santa
    • spend time with fuzzy characters Grizzel, Vierde, and Tuffy Tiger from the family musical FuzzBuckets
    • enjoy free hot chocolate and holiday prizes.

    The event is free but guests are asked to bring a donation of loose change, and if you wish, also unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots collection (the 7 Eleven is a Toys for Tots drop-off site.)

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    One day every December, thousands of New Yorkers don a costume that looks Santa-esque (though some might be Santa-burlesque, too), and participate in the phenomenon known as Santacon. This year, it's on December 15th. Don't be surprised if you see lots of people in their twenties and thirties racing aroud Brooklyn pretending they're Santa too! (Learn more).

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    Photos with Santa all weekend!
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    Past Event: Santa Goes "Guerilla Caroling" at Union Hall (Park Slope)

    For adults only: Have a silly, nostalgic Sing-Along of holiday hit music videos by such artists as David Bowie and Bing Crosby, and about a dozen more. After the show and some drinks, join a friendly crowd for "guerrilla caroling" as Santa leads folks to nearby restaurants and bars for a hipster version of an old-fashioned tradition. Adults can have their pictures taken with Santa, get free milk'n'cookies and participate in a Santa costume contest. Festivities on Thurs. Dec. 20, starting at 10 PM. Significant alcohol is involved; 21 and older only.
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    Holiday Fairs

    Santa often makes an appearance at Brooklyn's holiday crafts fairs. (Surprising, huh?) Call ahead to your favorite venue if you want to make double sure.

    For instance, the Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Heights: Shop at pop-up boutiques for gifts made by local artists-and-crafters, and also bring the kids for a quick visit with Santa. This Brooklyn Heights classic event takes place at Zion German Evangelical Lutheran Church, 125 Henry St. starting at 11 AM. Free admission.

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    Past Event: December 6: Borough Hall Christmas Tree Lighting (Downtown Brooklyn)

    On Thursday, Dec. 6 2012, Santa better have his ho-ho-ho ready because ne'er an event goes by when Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz doesn't crack a joke. These two jolly round fellows, Santa and Marty, will welcome and entertain kids of all ages at the festive lighting of the big, 40-foot tall Christmas tree in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall. Come for carols, cookies and a minute with Santa, too. This year the event begins at 5: 30 P.M. and the lighting is about 5:50 PM. Brooklynite Adriana Louise, of NBC’s The Voice, will sing her favorite Christmas song. Free refreshments.
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    For a churchy kind of event, head to St. Anselm Catholic Church, at 83rd Street and 4th Avenue in Bay Ridge for their fabulous, hyper-local annual Winter Wonderland replete with holiday shopping, crafts, carolers, rides and games, and even an old-fashioned model train display. Kids will delight at the 25-foot Christmas tree and a photo op and visit with Santa. In 2012, this annual event is held both days of the weekend December 8th and 9th.
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    Take two institutions, Habana Outpost and My Brooklyn Baby, put them together for the holidays and what do you get? Santa’s Village! Bring the kids (or yourselves) for a photo session with Santa, do some arts and crafts, and get a goodie bag. The entry fee is $20 per child (each additional child is $5). 11 AM- 5 PM on both Saturday and Sunday, December 8th and 9th.
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    Breakfast: Have a scrumptious pancake breakfast with Santa, and enjoy holiday arts/crafts, music, and - of-course - photos with Santa.
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    Last but not least, Santa of course loves pets. That's why he's making an appearance at a store called My Two Dogs in Greenpoint, where in exchange for a $6 donation you and your pets can get your picture taken. Some percentage of the donations go to an animal rescue shelter, Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. First-come first-served; expect to wait.
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    Past Event: December 8: Santa Kiddie Parade (Greenpoint)

    Join in a fun parade of Santas, elves, reindeer & kids of all ages to McCarren Park, with merry caroling to follow. Parade & park festivities FREE! Details for 2012: Saturday, December 8, 1-2 PM, meet at 424 Leonard between Manhattan & Bayard. (The parade is preceded by a Santa brunch, see above, but you don't have to do both.)
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    Christmas Tree Lightings

    You can attend a tree lighting--and with luck, get a glimpse of Santa, too! He often shows up at the Park Slope and Bensonhurst tree lightings, maybe others. List of Christmas Tree Lightings, by Neighborhood.