Thank you to V. Picasso for helping us bring you all things SANTA in Champaign-Urbana on chambanamoms.com this holiday season! Today, we’re bringing you our guide to photos with Santa in the Champaign-Urbana area.
Bring the family and join us for Breakfast with Santa at Urbana’s Willow Creek Farm on Dec. 9 and 10. This kid-friendly event gives the little ones a chance to get their photos taken with Santa, decorate cookies, feed the animals and write letters to Santa, all while enjoying a delicious brunch buffet from V. Picasso. Two seatings are available, from 9 to 11 a.m. or noon to 2 p.m. Pick your date and time and buy advanced tickets. Just $15 per person! All ages welcome. Get tickets online for Brunch with Santa.
Whether Santa is arriving by train, hanging out in a mall, or making a day of it in a cozy local library, we’ve got the scoop for where to get your Champaign-Urbana area Santa pics taken this holiday season (and if you want your pet’s photo taken with Santa, we have a list for that too!)
First things first: we know Santa is EVERYWHERE this holiday season. Be sure to look at our calendar for many events such as Santa breakfasts, parades, and other places where Santa might show up. Always have your camera (or smartphone if you have one) charged and ready!
This list contains events where we are pretty sure Santa will be camera-ready and waiting for your little elves, and we prefer FREE or low-cost events. Know of a Santa photo op not on our list? Please share in the comments section or email us.
(SOME MAY BE FREE; SOME MAY BE BY DONATION. SOME TAKE PHOTOS – SOME MAY BE BYOC aka BRING YOUR OWN CAMERA. BE PREPARED!)
Mansfield Winter Fest: On Saturday, Nov. 18, get free photos with Santa in Mansfield.
Gibson City Holiday Parade Santa’s Village: On Saturday, Nov. 18, children can meet Santa Claus in Ace Hardware and have their picture taken for free in downtown Gibson City.
Festival of Trees, Champaign: Children can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Festival of Trees on Nov. 19.
Gifford State Bank Country Christmas Craft Show: Pictures with Santa available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Visits with Santa in Downtown Champaign: Before the Parade of Lights, Santa will visit with children throughout downtown and will be at Big Grove Tavern starting at 3 p.m. on Nov. 25. Visits are free. Bring your camera!
Mahomet Village Christmas: On Dec. 1, Santa will arrive by fire truck at 6 p.m. in downtown Mahomet. Photos will be available then and on Dec. 2 in Mahomet.
Santa at Tolono Public Library: Bring your list in and have your picture taken with Jolly Old St. Nic! (no cost for pictures, which will be made available the following week) Free. Friday, Dec. 1 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Breakfast with Santa in Mahomet: Enjoy donuts and milk, crafts, activities and a visit with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Mahomet-Seymour High School Cafeteria. Parents are welcome to bring cameras for a photo opportunity with Santa. See link for ticket info.
Tuscola Christmastown: See Santa on Friday evening, Dec. 1 at the Community Building and again on Saturday immediately following the parade for pictures on Dec. 2 (both free). Or, there’s also Breakfast with Santa on Saturday morning in Tuscola (nominal fee). Please bring your own camera for pictures!
Visit Santa in Homer: On Saturday, Dec. 2, Santa will arrive by fire truck at the Village Hall and will visit with children at the Homer Library. Free.
Santa in Champaign: Santa visits with families at CJ Orthodontics. Free. Dec. 7.
Breakfast with Santa: Enjoy breakfast and snacks with Santa at the Douglass Community Center on Dec. 10. Registration is required.
CN-IC Santa Train in Gibson City: From 8-10:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. No tickets are necessary for Santa Train. Dress warm. Bring the spirit of the holidays (and patience) with you. Don’t forget your camera!
Santa Visits at the Virginia Theatre: Visit Santa Wednesdays in December at the Virginia Theatre at 203 W. Park St. in Downtown. The jolly man will be there from 5-7 pm on Dec. 6, 13, and 20 to visit with children. Free.
Breakfast with Santa in Rantoul: On Saturday, Dec. 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. Free.
Selfies with Santa: The Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique will host Selfies with Santa. Kids of all ages are invited to stop by and get pictures with Santa.
A Magical Day with Santa & Friends! Santa & his friends are visiting Carnival Land inside Dallas & Company on Dec. 16 and Dec. 23. Mark your calendars! This is a FREE family event. Santa visits will be from 10:00am-6:00pm with holiday magic shows at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. All ages welcomed. Remember to bring your cameras.
Santa Arrives at Marketplace Mall: Santa comes to Champaign-Urbana on Saturday, Nov. 18 and will be in town through Dec. 24. Santa has made his way from the North Pole and is ready to greet children of all ages. Special deals available if purchased in advance, and reservations can be made. Reservations and photo packages are NOT required to visit with Santa, but payment is required to get a photo.
Santa at Lincoln Square Mall: Photos start at $7. This is a fundraiser for the Urbana High School choir. Saturday mornings, starting Nov. 25.
Let us know what we missed, and check back often for new opportunities.
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