– By Jodi Grundig

Santa can be found all around the Greater Boston area this time of year, but everyone knows that not all Santa’s are created equal. Check out this list for some of the best places to see Santa in the local area – all of these locations also include other family-friendly activities so you can make a day of it!

(Photo Credit: Odd Andersen/Getty Images)

Stone Zoolights

5 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily

Zoolights, an annual after-dark holiday celebration at the Stone Zoo, features thousands of lights, animals, and of course, Santa Claus! Santa is available for photos at ZooLights through December 23, 2011. Visit for the whole evening for a great family night.

Christmas Festival of Lights

$18 adults and kids (Ages 2-64)

Edaville USA is back, and they are operating their annual Christmas Festival of Lights from December 2-4 and 7-11, and then daily December 14-January 1, 2012 (closed on Christmas Day) on weekdays 4 p.m.- 9 p.m. and weekends 2 p.m.- 9 p.m. Come see Santa in one of the indoor play areas, ride the train, and check out the amusement rides.

(Photo Credit: Teh Eng Koon/AFP/Getty Images)


You’ll swear that the Santa at the Natick Mall is the real Santa Claus – there’s no glued-on beard here! Come see him, and then get some of your holiday shopping done at the same time.

(Photo from Gore Place)

10:30 a.m., Dec. 10, 11 and 17, 2011
$35 per person ($5 off for members)

For a special treat, just a few weeks before the holidays, visit Gore Place for their Santa tea. You’ll enjoy a special menu children’s tea, an activity, and a visit with Santa! Tickets are required – purchase at least one week in advance.

(Photo Credit: Marcus Brandt/Getty Images)

Hours: Monday- Saturday 10 a.m. – 6p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Packages from $19.99-$39.99

Visit Santa Claus at the Christmas Place in Abington, the largest Christmas store in New England. The store features just about everything you need for Christmas, including lights and yard décor, Christmas collectables, and toys. Santa greets children and takes the time to make sure he talks to each one.


Jodi Grundig is editor and publisher of Family-Friendly Boston, Family Travel Magazine, and Mom’s Favorite Stuff