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Where to find Santa around the Denver area

Santa Claus arrives in Colorado as early as Nov. 8 to visit with children and take photos ahead of his Christmas visit next month.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

DENVER — With Christmas just around the corner, Santa Claus will be making appearances all around the metro area so that excited boys and girls can make their wishes known. There's no shortage of opportunities to sit with Santa and take photos ahead of Christmas Day.

Here's a list of where you can find Santa and his elves this season.

Santa's Flight Academy at Cherry Creek Shopping Center

When: Nov. 7 to Dec. 24 (Santa arrives Nov. 16)

Santa’s Flight Academy is a personalized holiday adventure. Each visiting cadet receives a flight crew badge then, as an elite member of Santa’s flight crew, is fitted with a virtual flight suit. From there, the cadet partners with a helpful elf to inspect and power Santa’s sleigh using a series of interactive stations. The visit culminates with a snowfall dance party and a visit with Santa.

Santa's crew arrives Nov. 7 with Santa's grand arrival scheduled for Nov. 16 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Santa’s Flight Academy is free to all with a variety of optional photo packages to purchase. 

Simon Santa Photo Experience at Colorado Mills

When: Nov 8 to Dec. 24.

Visit Santa's Cabin in Neighborhood 3 near Target.

Santa FastPass: Save time, avoid the line by reserving your magical moment with Santa online. 

On Nov. 16, stop by for Breakfast with Santa and enjoy a complimentary buffet while you wait to meet and snap a photo with Santa from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's

When: Nov. 16 to Dec. 24

You'll need to plan ahead if you want to see Santa at Bass Pro Shops by visiting the Bass Pass Ticket Depot in stores to reserve your time. There's no fee and it includes a free 4×6 photo. While you wait for your time, there are activities, crafts as well as a place to write a letter to Santa.

Select locations allow digital Bass Pass registration.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Santa's Village at Chatfield Farms

When: Nov. 29 to Dec. 22 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights only between Nov. 29 and Dec. 15, open nightly between Dec. 15 and Dec. 22)

Santa and his friends transform Chatfield Farms into a magical village! Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s Cinema or walk under the magical light displays. Stop at Elf Boulevard to drop off your letters to Santa. Let the kids play in a real elf house and see the elves hard at work. Enter a giant snow globe.

Included with Admission:

  • Take photos with Santa
  • Kids get to make a holiday keepsake to take home
  • Meet Santa’s live reindeer and get photos
  • Greet Santa's friend, the Snowman
  • Enjoy storytime and sing-alongs with Mrs. Claus
  • Holiday lights
  • Hayrides
  • Santa’s Cinema shows the movie "Elf"
  •  Enter a giant snow globe to play in the snow and get pictures

> Click/tap here to purchase tickets

Tagawa Gardens

When: Noon to 3 p.m. on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 8, 14, and 15 

Santa will be taking photos with families and pets of all kinds. Professional photos are available or you can take your own candid shots. 

Breakfast with Santa, Downtown Aquarium

When: Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21-24, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Join Santa Claus for a delicious breakfast buffet.

Santa HQ at FlatIron Crossing

When: Nov. 9 to Dec. 24 (with the exception of Thanksgiving)

Check out the interactive Elf Academy at Santa HQ. You can try on the latest elf looks with Santa's magic mirror or create your very own Elf ID card and scan yourself on the Naughty or Nice O'Meter.

Also this year you can spend less time in line by reserving a Fast Pass ( requires a photo package purchase)

RELATED: 2 drive-through Christmas displays with 1.5 million LED lights each coming to Colorado

Santa's Village at Park Meadows

When: Nov. 8 to Dec. 24

Visit with Santa and his helpers at Dillard's Court. You can avoid the lines by reserving your place with a Fast Pass (photo package purchase required).

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Santa's Toy Factory at Center Court at Southwest Plaza

When: Nov. 9 to Dec. 24 

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate the holiday season, look no further. Join Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Thomas & Friends at Santa’s Toy Factory. Become one of Santa’s official toy testers and help him design one-of-a-kind toys.

Want to avoid the line? Simply reserve your place with a Fast Pass (photo package purchase required).

> Have another location for Santa? Email Janet.Oravetz@9news.com to get it added to the list.

Santa's Photo Experience at Southlands

When: Nov. 23 to Dec. 23  (free Santa photos Nov. 23 to Nov. 29 during certain hours)

Bring the kids and the family for a special visit with Santa on Main Street next to The Children's Place. Make a purchase of $200 or more at any Southlands participating store and get a free 5x7 photo with Santa.

Santa at Town Center at Aurora

When: Santa arrives Nov. 16 

Santa arrives in style with a parade between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. around the inside of the mall and takes up residence in Center Court for photo opportunities with his guests! Santa's Arrival will also feature craft stations, a coloring station, and reindeer games for the whole family! 

He will be on the lower level of the mall in the center.

Santa's Big Day at Outlets at Castle Rock

When: Nov. 23 8:30 to 11 a.m. Santa will remain at the outlets daily through Dec. 24.

To celebrate the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick, Outlets at Castle Rock hosts a special family-friendly celebration dubbed "Santa's Big Day." The morning begins with a pancake breakfast with the Big Guy Himself (Santa), by Flippin' Flapjacks, in the Food Court. All donations benefit Denver Rescue Mission.

The event will also include children's Christmas craft activities, sleigh rides, and even real reindeer! 

Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. with Santa. Sleigh rides and real reindeer will be available from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and at 10:30 a.m. the Elves will kick the annual off Run Run Rudolph Scavenger Hunt.

RELATED: Christmas tree arrives at Outlets at Castle Rock

Breakfast is $5 per person which is a donation that goes directly to Denver Rescue Mission or, instead of a monetary donation, you can bring a new or gently-used item to be gifted to a family in need for the holidays. 

Following his big arrival, Santa can be found daily at his cottage in the courtyard near Under Armour. Check their website for hours.

Englewood Holiday Express

When: Dec. 6, 7, 13 & 14 - 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 

The Englewood Farm and Train will be transformed into the North Pole with festive lights and decorations to create the essential Winter Wonderland experience.

Visit Santa in his workshop and drop off your wish list. Then sit down by a fire, enjoy a hot drink, and roast some s’mores. Be sure to enjoy unlimited train rides and the beautiful lights all evening.

Note this is a ticketed event that has sold out in the past. You'll want to purchase in advance for a specific one-hour window.

Event includes:

  • Visit Santa in the North Pole
  • Create a craft in Santa's Workshop
  • Unlimited train rides
  • Hot drinks including cocoa and coffee
  • Open fire for roasting s'mores and keeping warm

Royal Gorge Santa Express Train

When: Nov. 14 to Dec. 30 (four daily departures)

We’ve all seen the movie and read the book, now experience the train that takes you to meet Santa Claus himself at the North Pole.

The Santa Express Train is a winter wonderland, where children of all ages are encouraged to wear cozy pajamas and relax with family and friends.

While waiting to board the train you can get your holiday shopping completed in our retail store, complete with unique gifts for the holiday season. As the Santa Express Train travels to the North Pole, sing along to a mix of new and old Christmas music playing, while enjoying delicious, locally-sourced entrees available on every Santa Express class of service. 

When the Santa Express Train reaches the North Pole, Santa and his special Elves board the train to pass out a special holiday bell to each ticketed child as he makes his way through the train.

This is a paid event, that could sell out, book your tickets now.

Credit: Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Santa's North Pole Adventure Georgetown Loop Railroad

When: Nov. 16 to Dec. 24

Join Santa and his helpers aboard decorated, enclosed coaches throughout the holiday season.

The train ride lasts between 50 and 60 minutes round trip. This is a paid event.

RELATED: 9NEWS Parade of Lights returns Dec. 6, Dec. 7

Santa's Dairy Block Workshop

 When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 14 and 21

Kris Kringle will be spreading holiday cheer – and posing for FREE family photos – at Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 7, 14 & 21.

Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop will feature a complimentary photo booth where families can take pictures with Santa, and meet his reindeer. There's also live entertainment by elves & carolers and complimentary candy canes.

Free for all ages, Santa’s Dairy Block Workshop will be open from noon – 4 p.m. on each of the three Saturdays inside a space off of the Alley at Dairy Block.

One-time Santa Events

The Grand Illumination at Union Station

When: Nov. 29, 5 p.m to 8 p.m. 

Visit Denver's Union Station for the ceremonious lighting of the building and a 40 foot-tall Plaza Christmas tree.

Featuring a vintage holiday performance by the Denver Dolls, holiday jingles by the Denver Bronze, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus!

There will be entertainment from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with the tree lighting set for about 6:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Credit: Denver Union Station

Santa will be at Union Station on Sundays throughout December for FREE photos with families. He will be there every Sunday between Dec. 1 through Dec. 22 from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Open to all ages. Santa is also dog-friendly!

Mayor's Holiday Lighting (Parker)

When: Nov. 29 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join the Town of Parker for an evening in O’Brien Park. Gather around the Town Tree and join the Mayor and the Parker Chorale in a sing-along to Silent Night to kick off the event.  Following Silent Night, the Mayor and Town Council will count down to the Town Tree and Grand Park Lighting.

Once the park is lit up, stroll around O’Brien Park and take in the sights of the fun holiday ice sculpture displays following a path to each of the six displays.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be in town for this festive evening and you may even spot the “Elf in a Tree."

Aurora Holiday Tree Lighting

When: Dec. 3, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season and celebrate the lighting of the holiday lights at the Aurora Municipal Center.

Santa will stop by from the North Pole. The event is free and no pre-registration is required.

The City of Aurora's Holiday Tree Lighting at the Aurora Municipal Center.

Thornton WinterFest

When: Dec. 13, 14, 15

Santa and his elves will arrive in the heart of Santa's Village on the Carpenter Park Fields at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, where they will assist the Mayor and City Council in turning on the Village's holiday lights. For the remainder of the evening there will be a variety of fun winter activities.

Santa will stick around for breakfast the next morning at the Active Adult Rec Center from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Following a hearty meal, Santa will make an appearance at his village at the Park Fields on both Saturday and Sunday.

Santa's House Boulder

When: Dec 7 & 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event takes place at the Pi Beta Phi Sorority House and admission is $5 (cash only) per person.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there all day to listen to children's holiday wishes. All children will also receive at commemorative  Santa's House ornament. There are also carnival games geared toward children 6 and under.


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