Special Events

10 of Santa's Favorite Austin Haunts

When he’s not working at the North Pole, Santa hangs out in Austin…

Santa poses for a photo with a happy child. Flickr Creative Commons.

“Santa Claus is coming to town,” they sing. In that case, Austin must be Santa’s favorite city, because he’s already here!

If you’d like to take the kids to meet Santa to fulfill all of their Christmas dreams and snag a cooperative festive family photo in the process, you’re likely to find good ol’ Saint Nick in these ten locations around Austin:

1. Northwest Recreation Center

Children 5 years and younger will love Northwest Recreation Center’s “Story Time with Santa” event held on Dec 20 from 10:30 am to noon at $2.50 per child. Kids are encouraged to wear pajamas (after all, Santa always wears his) and will be provided with milk and cookies and opportunities to take pictures with Santa.

2. Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center

Also on Dec 20, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center will host the lovely Mrs. Claus in an event called “Cookies with Mrs. Claus.” During this free event, Mrs. Claus will teach children how to make Mexican hot chocolate and cookies. What a sweet deal!

3. Carver Museum and Cultural Center

The Carver Museum and Cultural Center is hosting a “Santa Special” event on Dec 21. It’s a short event from 1:00 pm to 3:00pm, but photos are free. The RSVP deadline was Dec 16, but if this time frame works best for you, it’s worth a try to call (512) 974-4926 to see if you and the kids can get in anyway.

Santa enjoys a quick spin on his sleigh over the Austin skyline. Flickr Creative Commons.

  • Virginia L. Brown Recreation Center

Before Santa rides his sleigh over to the Carver Center, he will take pictures and meet kids beginning at 10:00 am at the Virginia L. Brown Recreation Center. At this free “Brunch with Santa,” there will even be Christmas caroling—maybe you’ll get to hear Santa sing bass.

  • The Domain

Santa can be found socializing at The Domain from 10:00 am to 8:30 pm on Dec 20, 21, and 23, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on Dec 22, and from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Dec 24. Kids and families can take pictures with him, but on Dec 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Santa has even agreed to take pictures with pets.

  • Barton Creek Square Mall

Barton Creek Square Mall has also been graced by Santa’s presence.  He’ll be hanging around the mall from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Dec 22, 9:00 am to 9:30 pm on Dec 23, and 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve for photos and more.

Santa and a little girl talk business: presents. Flickr Creative Commons.

  • Round Rock Premium Outlets

In the Food Court of Round Rock’s Premium Outlets mall, you’ll find the man of Christmas himself passing out holiday cheer. You can visit him between 10:00 am and 9:00 pm on Dec 20 and 23, 10:00 am and 7:00 pm on Dec 22, and 10:00 am and 8:00 pm on Dec 24—but he takes cookie breaks from 2:00 to 2:30 pm and feeds his reindeer from 5:30 to 6:00 pm.

  • Highland Mall

Highland Mall has secured Santa from Dec 20 through Christmas Eve. He’ll be in the mall’s central courtyard cheezing for the camera and entertaining the little ones. Besides the short breaks Santa takes to feed his reindeer each day from 3:00 to 3:30 pm, you can meet Santa from 12:00 to 8:00 pm on Dec 20, 11:00am to 8:00 pm on Dec 21 and 23, 12:30 to 5:00 pm on Dece 22, and 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve.

  • Lakeline Mall

Santa has also promised to be at Lakeline Mall from 9:00 am – 9:30 pm on Dec 20, 21, and 23, on Dec 22 from 10:00 am – 8:30 pm, and on Dec 23 from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm for photos and other pleasantries.

Santa takes guitar lessons from an Austinite. Flickr Creative Commons.

  • Austin Trail of Lights

Believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Claus have also temporarily moved their house to Zilker Park to participate in the free Austin Trail of Lights event from 7:00pm to 10:00pm nightly through Dec 22. You’ll have to wait in a lengthy line to visit them at “Santa’s House,” but the pictures displayed online have turned out well.

How Mr. Claus manages such a tight and impossible schedule, we wish we knew. From all of us here at Austin.com, Merry Christmas and happy Santa hunting!


If you're looking for some sweet Christmas lights to enjoy, check out this article for a list of 7 Christmas light displays that will make you "ooh" and "ahh."


Tags: santa claus, saint nick, mrs claus, christmas, presents, naughty or nice, santa claus is coming to town, austin trail of lights, photos with santa, pictures with santa

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