Santa Claus. St. Nick. Kris Kringle. Father Christmas. No matter which handle you prefer, there’s no denying he’s the rock star of the holiday season. If you’re in search of special moments, snapshots and selfies with the Big Man himself, here’s where you can find him in Arlington this year:
Breakfast with Santa at Cliff Nelson Recreation Center
Need to do a little work to get on the Nice list? You can score points with you-know-who when you take your crew to Breakfast With Santa on Dec. 15, an Arlington Parks & Recreation event held at Cliff Nelson Recreation Center. In addition to breakfast, festive activities include music, holiday crafts, and card-making.
One of the reasons I like to take the shorties in my life to Alley Cats is the fact that Alley Cats so many ways to have fun—like bowling, arcade games, miniature golf, and laser tag—all conveniently situated in one walkable location. (Plus there’s a restaurant and bar for those moments when Aunt Rhonda needs a rest). On Dec. 15, the Alley Cats crew will add Santa to the mix at the Bowling With Santa event, where you can take a picture with Santa (that will be provided in a decorative frame) and enjoy unlimited frames of bowling (shoes included); you’ll even get a $10 arcade card you can use that day or on a return trip.
The Parks Mall at Arlington
The best thing about a visit to Santa’s Toy Factory at the Parks Mall (open until Christmas Eve) is that you can easily turn the trip into a day-long holiday outing: The Parks is home to more than 100 retail and restaurant locations (my favorites are The Cheesecake Factory and Barnes & Noble)—and you can even go ice skate or see a holiday movie. Try to plan your Santa visit for Dec. 15—that’s the day the toy factory will host a special VIP event where kids can participate in Barbie®, Thomas & Friends™ and Hot Wheels® activities, as well as crafts, bingo, a balloon twister and a DJ spinning holiday tunes.
Visits with Santa and stories with Mrs. Claus are just two of the attractions at the beautiful Enchant Christmas experience, where you can explore the world’s largest holiday light maze, enjoy live entertainment and go ice skating on a trail that winds through a dazzling display of larger-than-life light displays. Enchant Christmas is open through Dec. 30 at Globe Life Park.
Holiday in The Park
I still remember the first time I went to Holiday In the Park at Six Flags Over Texas, waaaaay back in high school when the park first began opening for the winter. There was something so magical about strolling through the park amidst a blaze of millions of Christmas lights or riding a roller coaster in the winter, and it’s still magical all of these years later. I can’t remember if I went to see Santa during that first visit, but I know that you can catch him these days at Santa’s Outpost, which is open for VIP photo sessions, holiday craft making, and story time with Mrs. Claus through Dec. 23 at Holiday in the Park. Tip: While you’re there, be sure to also make a visit to Six Flags’ famous Frosty Snow Hill, which offers the rare-in-Texas opportunity to race down a hill of real snow.
Author’s note: Many of these opportunities require reservations or advance purchase—be sure and visit the venue website for details.