Best Places to See Santa Near Washington, D.C.

Where to Visit With Saint Nick During the Holiday Season

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••• Photo © Blend Images/KidStock

Santa is busy during the holiday season attending Washington, D.C. area parades, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and visiting a variety of shopping malls. So be sure to take time to visit him and take some great photos. Here is a guide to help you find the best places to see Santa in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. 

  • Reston Town Center - Reston, VA. Reston Town Center hosts many holiday activities including a holiday parade, visits with Santa, a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and much more.
  • Manassas Christmas Parade - Old Town Manassas, VA. Celebrate the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the "Merry Old Town" celebration. Festivities include a parade, Christmas tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, free carriage rides and more.
  • Bethesda Winter Wonderland - Downtown Bethesda, MD. The annual Winter Wonderland is a community holiday celebration featuring a variety of entertainment and performances, a live ice sculpting presentation and a visit from Santa Claus.
  • Breakfast with Santa at the Kentlands Mansion - 320 Kent Square Road, Gaithersburg, MD. Children will visit with Santa while dining on a delicious breakfast buffet that features pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, breakfast pastries and fruit. The Mansion is beautifully landscaped with manicured lawns, lovely trees and shimmering lakes, making a perfect setting for a holiday gathering. Reservations are required. 
  • Holly TrolleyFest - Saturdays and Sundays through December. National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road Silver Spring, MD. Ride with Santa on the street cars and enjoy a model garden railway and holiday village.
  • Mount Vernon Triangle Santa Celebration - 5th & K Streets, NW Washington, D.C. Enjoy photos with Santa and a free hot chocolate bar with fun fixings, holiday cookies, fresh popcorn and of even treats for your dog. After your photo op, warm up at Le Pain Quotidien at 433 Mass Ave. for a warming winter wonderland neighborhood event with free Belgian chocolate, organic hot beverages and more holiday treats.
  • Santarchy DC - Downtown Washington, D.C. Find a Santa suit and join hundreds of Santas as they visit major sites and spread some holiday cheer around the nation's capital.
  • Roof Terrace Restaurant at the Kennedy Center - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW Washington, D.C. Sunday brunch with Santa. Seatings begin at 10 a.m. Admirers will get a chance to visit with Santa and sit on his lap to share their holiday wish lists while also indulging in some of their favorite fare. 
  • The Water-Skiing Santa - Old Town Alexandria, VA. This unusual annual event, held each year on Christmas Eve, features flying elves, the Jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman performing on the Potomac River.

Shopping Mall Santas

Visit Santa throughout the holiday season at the following shopping malls in the Washington, D.C. area.