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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

The Best Places to Find Santa in Richmond

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

I've rounded up the best spots in Richmond to grab a picture with Santa, himself! Some of these locations offer brunch or snacks with Santa, and, at the time of making this guide, all restaurants still had availability. Santa also pops up around Richmond, unexpectedly. We've been surprised by Santa while we were playing at Short Pump Park !

Bass Pro: Located in Ashland, Bass Pro is a fishing, hunting & outdoor store. We love to visit it because the entire store is themed for the outdoors: there a giant tree, a massive aquarium, a stream, pretend animals & an old fashion store. It reminds me of Walt Disney's Wilderness Lodge, too.

Santa's Winter Wonderland is open from November 6 – December 24, 2021, and it's free to visit. Your free visit with Santa also includes a free picture with Santa. You have the opportunity to purchase digitals or more pictures if you want. Sign up on Bass Pro's website here. We visited on a week night, and we signed up on the spot. My littles got to spend at least 10 minutes with Santa because there was no one else there, too. This was a great experience for us!

Brambly Park's Santa in the Park: Located in Scott's Addition, this urban winery hosts Santa each year, and you can join in the festive fun on Sunday, December 5 from 11-2. You can make Santa Brunch reservations online, or you can call (804)406-5611 and note "Santa Brunch" when making reservations. You can have your photo taken for $25 (one digital image) by the resident photographer Mike Guyer, and children can bring notes to place in Santa's bag, too!

Cabelas: This is one of our favorite spots to greet Santa - this was our third year! Cabela's Santa’s Wonderland has free visits & pictures with Santa until December 24. Cabela's has a bench in front of Santa for children to sit on, but you don't have to wear a mask. My little ones enjoyed being able to look at Santa before going to meet him, they didn’t mind the separation from Santa on the bench, and they loved playing with the linking logs! We always visit the giant fish tank, and check out the "animals," the ATVs and boats around the store when we visit, too.

Similar to Bass Pro, Cabela's Winter Wonderland is open from November 6 – December 24, 2021, and it's free to visit. Your free visit with Santa also includes a free picture with Santa. You have the opportunity to purchase digitals or more pictures if you want. Sign up on Cabela's website here.

Coco and Hazel: This locally owned treat spot has two locations, one in Tuckahoe and one in Bon Air. Coco and Hazel serves over the top milkshakes and loaded hot chocolate, as well as breakfast options. While their Santa experiences have sold out, Santa will be dropping in to the Tuckahoe location on Friday, December 10 from 6:30-8:30. It costs $10 per family, and you can take your own pictures. You can't purchase tickets until the day of the event at the register.

Children's Museum of Richmond: This museum has been a favorite of families in Richmond since 1981. @childrensmuseumofrichmond is designed for children 0-8 & it has exhibits for interactive & imaginative play, learning & creating. Children can play in the dairy barn, a service station, ride a carousel & more.

Legendary Santa will be at the museum from November 26 to December 24. You need to make your reservations ahead of time, and it costs $30 for a family of up to 6. The ticket includes a digital photo, with additional photo package purchases available. Tickets do not include a visit to the museum.

Masks are required for everyone 5 and older, and at this time, masks are even required in pictures with Santa.

The Great Big Green House: This locally owned nursery is in Huguenot Village Shopping Center. We love Great Big Green House because they are so family-family & host many events throughout the year. Santa will be there every Saturday and Sunday through December 19, and you can take your own picture with him using a personal camera/phone. No reservations or tickets required. River City 3 Railers sets up an elaborate model train display, and the trains will be there starting November 20. You can watch it in operation from 4-7pm during the week and 11-2 on weekends (these times sometimes change). This is a free activity.

Hardywood West Creek's Smile With Santa: This family friendly brewery has 24 acres next to the peaceful Tuckahoe Creek, and the outdoor space has a lawn, a large concrete patio, a natural play area with swings, a see saw and hammocks, plus there are two regulation-sized bocce courts!

Hardywood West Creek hosts Santa each year, and tickets cost $30. Tickets include two drink tickets (you can get nonalcoholic too), the chance to sit and talk with Santa, and a digital picture with Santa. There will also be food trucks on property too!

Masks are encouraged, but not required.

Short Pump Mall: Every year this local mall decorates for Christmas, and it all kicks off with a tree lighting. This year's tree lighting is November 19, and Santa will be at the mall from then until December 24. Children will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa or to participate in a "socially distant" Santa experience. Santa will be in the Pal's Clubhouse, next to LL Bean. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Stony Point Fashion Park: This local mall decks its halls every year for Christmas. Stony Point has an ice skating rink, snow falling during the week, a play area, horse drawn carriage rides, Santa, a giant Christmas tree & more! Santa will be at the mall from December 3 through December 24. To book pictures with Santa, click here. To book Sensory Friendly Santa Magic, click here.

The Red Barn Farm's Cookies with Santa: Located in Dinwiddie, this local farm hosts Cookies with Santa on November 20-21 and November 27-28 from 11-2pm each day. Children can see the real Santa in his workshop, decorate their own cookies and feed the animals. Call (804)536-6879 to reserve a spot. Cookies with Santa is a free event, but if you would like to add on the barnyard experience and the Elf Hayride, it costs $8 per person.

Tom Leonard's: This locally owned farmer's market hosts Santa each year in their Christmas Shoppe. Santa will be there on December 4 & 5, 11 & 12 and 18 & 19 from 10am to 2pm. They also sell Christmas trees outside the market in the same area that Friday Night at the Pumpkin Patch is hosted.

Upper Shirley's Santa Brunch: Santa will be at Upper Shirley Vineyard on December 11 & 12 and December 18 & 19 from 11-4pm. Child will get to sit on Santa's lap, and you can get unlimited pictures with him with no extra costs (bring your own camera!). Call (804)829-9463 to make your reservations for brunch and make sure you reserve a time between 11 and 3pm.

Some of the most popular Santa experiences fill up prior to October. Save these activities for next year: The Jefferson's Santa Brunch, The Jefferson's Santa Tea, Lewis Ginter's Breakfast with Santa & Dinner with Santa, and Coco & Hazel's Ice Cream with Santa event.

For more Christmas activities, check out 7 Things to do with your family this Christmas!

Don't forget to tag @thewestendmom and #thewestendmom in your adventures! I love seeing all the fun your family has!

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