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Santa Stops (in Boston)

If you're looking for Santa, he's definitely making his way around the city. Below are some of the ways you can see (and contact) him.

AI generated image of multi-cultural Santas

  • September 18 - December 11 | USPS Operation Santa >

  • November 1 - December 2 | Letters from Santa >

  • November 20 | Trellis Lighting at Christopher Columbus Park >

  • November 24 - December 24 | Santa In The City >

  • November 25 - December 23 | Santa in Downtown >

  • November 25 | Roslindale Holiday Tree Lighting >

  • November 25 | Ship Lighting at Martin's Park >

  • November 28 | Copley Annual Tree Lighting >

  • November 30 | Boston Common Tree Lighting >

  • December 2 - 3 | Enchanted Trolley Tour >

  • December 10 | North End Christmas Parade >

When Does Santa Come To Boston?

The essence of Santa arrives as early as September and ends on Christmas Eve. The earliest Santa experience (that we know of) is hosted by the United States Postal Service (USPS). It's called Operation Santa and typically starts mid-September. This nation-wide program invites families to write their Christmas wish lists. Strangers from across state-lines can adopt and respond to these letters with the requested gifts. It's a beautiful holiday tradition that fulfills dreams and offers the opportunity for strangers to give (in an organized and efficient way). In regards to seeing Santa in-person, there are several events that host Saint Nick. One of the longest running events (that's also free) is Downtown on Summer Street. It starts after Thanksgiving and ends the weekend before Christmas.

What Should We Expect From A Santa Visit?

Santa is a pretty well-known guy, so most events are packed with families. However, we have been to an event that wasn't well publicized or attended. If you know of such event(s), please let us know here, so that we can add it to our list.

Will We Be Able To Speak To Santa?

Some events allow you to get up-close to the big guy -- others you'll just wave. This means that you may see Santa, but Santa may not see you. Whatever connection you're looking for, please know that Boston has a handful of Santa experiences to choose from. For example, Santa in a parade, Santa photos at the mall, and guest appearances at local tree lightings.

What Makes Santa Experiences So Magical?

Santa is all about imaginative play, magical fun, and the spirit of giving. He's a fictional character that is supposed to encourage children to be the very best they can be year-round. He is so celebrated that your child may know of him (even if you aren't intentionally teaching them about him). Similar to meeting Elmo, Baby Shark, or a Disney princess, seeing Santa is simply an opportunity to meet the jolly old guy in real life.

Plus Santa season can get kids excited about self-expression, writing, and reflecting on the year (via letters to him).

We're Not A Santa-Believing Family, Should We Still Go?

It's totally up to you! Witnessing different holiday traditions can really help you hone what you want (and don't want) to incorporate in your own family.

What Should We Do If Our Child Is Afraid Of Santa?

While some children are super excited to see the man in red, some are more hesitant. Santa can still feel like a stranger (especially for little ones). Our approach is to listen to our children and ensure they feel safe. If you were hoping to get a shot with Santa, you can always hop in the picture (holding your child) and make it a whole family photo.

If you're interested in exploring the holidays in other family-friendly ways. Here are some winter holiday books and here are some holiday games.

Until next time...

Love The Journey,

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