7 Spots to Snap a Photo with Santa

Get some time with Old Saint Nick at these nearby photo ops
photo with santa - somerset
Get your photo with Santa at his Holiday Castle at Somerset Collection. // Photograph courtesy of Somerset Collection

A tradition that never loses its excitement is the chance to meet Santa Claus. These seven spots are offering Santa experiences that go above and beyond a simple photograph.

Somerset Collection

The Santa at Somerset Collection Troy greets over 20,000 visitors annually. Through Dec. 23, Santa will be waiting at his winter castle with an open ear to hear Christmas wishes and to pose for photos. Traditional photo visits include six different images on a flash drive for $30, and on Dec. 5th, pets are welcome to take photos with Mr. Claus for $30, which will be donated to Leader Dogs for the Blind. More information can be found online. Somerset Collection, 2800 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy; 248-816-2087; thesomersetcollection.com

Twelve Oaks

Featuring a magical, 22-foot sleigh, Twelve Oaks’ Santa experience is sure to put a smile on any child’s face. The mall is offering both socially distanced photos as well as traditional photo options. Packages vary in price and photo offerings. Children can even meet a few of Santa’s elves, including George the Sleigh Mechanic and Flash the Reindeer Caretaker. Prices vary. Twelve Oaks Mall, 27500 Novi Road, Novi; 248-348-9400; shoptwelveoaks.com

The Santa Shed

This Santa Shed offers private, 20-minute meet and greets with Santa. Each session costs $50 per family and is great for those with plenty of children all eager to meet the man in red. Families may take their own photos and videos at no additional cost, and each child is sure to get time to let Santa know what they’re wishing for this year. The quaint and cozy decor makes for a festive experience. Reservation only. The Santa Shed, 8215 Elizabeth Lake Road, White Lake; facebook.com/thesantashed


A more interactive Santa experience, Frankenmuth’s Santa Sightings adds a scavenger hunt-spin on meeting Mr. Claus. Families can roam the city, stopping for sweet treats and shopping for ornaments, all while keeping a close eye out for Santa. The holiday guide on the Frankenmuth website includes events like Santa’s Reindeer Farm and Breakfast/ Lunch with the Clauses that are marked with Santa hats, meaning there’s a good chance that he’ll be spotted. Frankenmuth; frankenmuth.org

Laurel Park Place

Excited to continue its Santa’s Workshop, Laurel Park Place is accepting reservations and walk-ins to snap a photo with the big man. Visits are free to the public, and photo packages are also available for purchase from $40-$50. The mall is also hosting a Pet Night sponsored by Canine College on Dec. 13, so your four-legged friends can get their own photo with Santa. Laurel Park Place, 337700 Six Mile Road, Livonia; 734-462-1100; laurelparkplace.com

The Mall at Partridge Creek

Through Christmas, The Mall at Partridge Creek is offering a traditional Santa experience. Along with that, the mall will also host a sensory friendly Santa experience at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 in partnership with Autism Speaks. A portion of the photo purchases from this event will also be donated to the organization. The mall will also be offering a Story Hour with Santa at 10 a.m. on Dec. 7. Partridge Creek encourages online reservations for standard Santa visits, though they are not mandatory. The Mall at Partridge Creek, 17420 Hall Road, Clinton Twp.; shoppartridgecreek.com 

Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall hosts Santa and his reindeer from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4, 11, and 18 for Santa Saturdays. Photo-ops and a visit with live reindeer are included. A visit with Santa is also included in the historic mansion’s Holiday Walk event, which including holiday lights and a tour of the grounds. Tickets to these enchanting experiences are available online, prices vary. Meadow Brook Hall, 350 Estate Dr., Rochester; 248-364-6200; meadowbrookhall.org