Best Santa Meet-and-Greets for Toronto Kids in 2019

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You can drop in at nearly any shopping mall or holiday event leading up to December 25 for a photo op with Santa, but the extra-special Santa events listed here offer something more: exclusive, one-on-one time with the man himself. Why stop at a photo with Santa with you can have a one-of-a-kind experience like train rides, story times, and breakfasts with Jolly Old Saint Nick, Mrs. Claus, and elves?

One piece of advice, though, and we can’t stress it enough: book early! Santa is a popular guy, and these face time events with the man in the red suit are hot tickets.

Santa’s House at the Toronto Christmas Market

Few places in Toronto are as beautiful at Christmastime as the Distillery Historic District, with its cobblestone lanes and Victorian-era heritage brick buildings strung with lights and hung with wreaths. In the centre of it all is Santa’s House, where Saint Nick will appear for photo ops almost daily. A professional photographer is on site Tuesday and weekends, though you can take your own photos, too. On Tuesdays, Santa will take photos with your pet, too! Learn more.

November 15–December 22, Santa’s House open Tue.–Thu. 2–4:30 pm and 5–7:30 pm, Friday 2–4:30 pm and 5–8:30 pm, Sat. 10 am–8:30 pm, Sun. 10 am–7:30 pm
Free weekdays, $8 weekends (beginning at 6 pm Fridays); children 5 and under free

Royal Botanical Gardens Holiday Traditions

Santa makes multiple appearances at the RBG in Burlington during the holiday season. There’s the Santa Signature Experience, where you climb aboard the RBG Express train for an hour-long round-trip to see Christmas lights in Hendrie Park before visiting Santa in his cabin. You can also reserve Brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus on three dates in December. Included with regular RGB admission on select dates are Visits with Santa in Santa’s Cabin—you can take a train ride there for an extra $2. Train tickets can be purchased on arrival. Learn more.

Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington

Santa’s Signature Experience (get tickets)
November 16–December 22

Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus (get tickets)
December 8, 14, 15

Visits with Santa:
Tuesdays November 19–December 17, 5–8 pm; November 22 and 29, 10 am–4 pm
Included with RGB admission

The Polar Express

Don your best PJs and hop aboard the Polar Express! Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where each child will receive a gift. Book ASAP—trips sell out every year! Learn more.

19 Railway St., Uxbridge
November 22–December 22
$47.99 per person

Magical Christmas Forest

This annual tradition at the Kortright Centre in Vaughan requires advance reservation—and it sells out every year! Take horse-drawn wagon rides through the forest, visit Santa’s workshops and see the elves, make Christmas crafts, watch a Christmas movie and enjoy carols and traditional treats by the fire. Learn more.

Kortright Centre for Conservation, 9550 Pine Valley Dr., Woodbridge
December 1–22, 3–8 pm
$29 per adult, $24 per child, ages 1 and under free

Storytime with Santa at Black Creek

Santa Claus is coming to the village! On three dates in December, kids are guaranteed face time with man himself at Storytime with Santa. A classic Cristmas story is read by Santa and kids can decorate cookies and make a Christmas craft. On select Family Christmas Weekends, you can visit with Santa at his cottage, though availability is limited and you’ll have to check the weekly schedule to find out when the visits are taking place. Learn more.

Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington

Storytime with Santa:
November 23-24, 30, December 1, 7-8, 14-15
$22 adults, $25 kids ages 2–14, under age 2 free; book here

Family Christmas Weekends:
Weekends November 17–December 23
Regular admission applies: $15 adults, $12 seniors and students, $11 kids ages 5–14, ages 4 and under free

Santa Brunch Cruise

Cruise through the Toronto Harbour with Santa aboard Mariposa Cruise’s Northern Spirit ship, renovated in 2018. Along with a buffet brunch, kids can take part in holiday crafts and face-painting, and everyone gets a complimentary photo with Santa Claus. Learn more.

207 Queens Quay W., Toronto
December 8, 12:30 pm–2:30 pm
$65 adults, $46 children ages 4–12, free for ages 3 and under

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