Where to See Santa in Southeast Michigan

Kris Kringle is making a stop in metro Detroit to visit with kids before Christmas. Here are 13 places you can see him around town this holiday season.
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Photograph courtesy of The Village of Rochester Hills.

Santa Claus is coming to town — and in between making his list and checking it twice, he’s taking the time to see the kids of southeast Michigan at area events and shopping centers.

Don’t miss your littles telling him what they want for Christmas. Catch the Big Guy for a photo op at these local Santa appearances.

1001 Winter Wonders

Kris Kringle visits Downtown Detroit for free photos in a beautifully decorated holiday atmosphere on a first come, first served basis. He arrives Nov. 16 and departs on Christmas Eve, with sensory-friendly visits 4:30-6 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 1-3 p.m. Dec. 8. 1001 Woodward Ave., Detroit; deckedoutdetroit.com.

Briarwood Mall

Register in advance to visit Santa at this Washtenaw County spot and get a photo with The Big Guy Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Plus, a sensory-friendly Santa experience on Dec. 3, and Pet Photo Night on Dec. 10. Reservations encouraged but walk-ups are welcome. 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor; simon.com. 

Great Lakes Crossing

Santa’s Flight Academy takes off Nov. 16 through Dec. 24 and offers photos from Santa’s sleigh. Photos with Black Santa runs Nov. 18-19 and Dec. 9, Sensory Santa happens on Dec. 3, and Paws & Claus Pet Photo Night is Dec. 10. Reservations are strongly recommended, but walk-ups are welcome. 4000 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills; greatlakescrossingoutlets.com.

Laurel Park Place

Santa makes a stop at this shopping center on Nov. 17 and will stick around until Christmas Eve to take photos with visitors. Visits are always free, and a variety of photo packages are available. He makes time for your furry family members Monday nights Dec. 4-18. Reservations encouraged but walk-ups are welcome. 37700 Six Mile Road, Livonia; laurelparkplace.com. 

Macomb Mall

Visit with Santa at his workshop or drop off a letter for him in the mailbox. There’s a variety of photo packages and products that start at $4.95 for a keychain. Santa Arrives Nov. 24 and will remain at the mall until Christmas Eve. There are sensory-friendly visits Nov. 26 and Dec.3. Pet photos on Dec. 5 and 12, too. 32233 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; shopmacombmall.com. 

Oakland Mall

The mall welcomes its Winter Wonderland Extravaganza on Nov. 24. The event, which runs through Dec. 24, will feature special appearances and photo ops with Santa along with meet-and-greets with other holiday characters including Frosty the Snowman, The Nutcracker, Rudolph, and The Grinch. Plus, hundreds of Christmas trees, sparkling light displays, and more. 412 W. 14 Mile Road, Troy; oaklandmall.com.

Somerset Collection’s Castle

Ol’ St. Nick will greet thousands of children under the Northern Lights at this beloved three-story holiday tradition. He arrives on Nov. 18 and will stay for photos through Dec. 23. Photo packages with six poses are $35 or you can take your own selfies with Santa for $10. Reservations must be made at least 14 days before your visit. 2800 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy; thesomersetcollection.com.

Southfield Tree Lighting

Santa Claus is coming to Southfield to kick off the holiday season at the city’s tree lighting ceremony. Join him after the tree clicks in the Southfield Pavilion for photo ops, visits with his reindeer, cookies, hot chocolate and more. It all kicks off at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5. The Soulful Santa Celebration on Dec. 9 features photos with Black Santa, a Black-owned vendor marketplace, and more. 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield; cityofsouthfield.com.

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

The Big Guy makes a special stop at this educational hub for one weekend. Visit Nov. 24-26 to snap a photo with Santa in front of the museum’s 25-foot tree. No worries if you can’t visit that weekend, he hops on over to Greenfield Village to eat supper with the kids on select nights in December, but act fast, that event sells out quickly. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; thehenryford.org.

The Mall at Partridge Creek

Catch Santa between Versona and Sola Salons Nov. 21 through Christmas Eve this year. Don’t miss the sensory-friendly Santa event on Dec. 3, which offers the same holiday fun in a much calmer atmosphere, and pet pics with Santa, Dec. 4-10. 17420 Hall Road, Clinton Township; shoppartridgecreek.com.

The Village of Rochester Hills

Kris Kringle and his reindeer makes weekly appearances at this outdoor shopping center. Free walk-up visits will be available on select days starting Dec. 1. He will leave to deliver toys on Dec. 24. Bring your own camera. The Village of Rochester Hills; thevorh.com.

Twelve Oaks Mall

Sensory Santa happens at the mall on Sunday, Dec. 3, and Santa Paws runs Nov. 19-Dec. 10. Watch the mall’s website for updates on more Santa events this season. 27500 Novi Road, Novi; shoptwelveoaks.com.

This post has been updated for 2023.