Santa Claus is coming to town! Visiting with Saint Nick is one of our favorite holiday activities, and this season, we are thrilled to have the chance to catch him at local spots around the Ann Arbor area. He and his reindeer will be hosting pancake breakfasts, holiday events and plenty of photo opportunities up until Christmas Eve this year.
We found the best places to find Santa in the Ann Arbor area this year, so round up your little elves, make your Christmas wish list and get ready to meet everyone’s holiday hero in person!
Where: 100 Briarwood Circle
When: November 15-December 24, Times Vary
From mid-November through Christmas Eve, Santa and his shop will be set up in Briarwood Mall every single day. Hours vary each day and there are FastPass options to skip the line. For more information, click here.
Where: 6400 East Michigan Avenue
When November 22, 5-8 p.m.
You won’t want to miss Santa’s first stop of the season! Head over to the KBK Garden Center in Saline for their annual Christmas Carnival and enjoy a bonfire, caroling, s’mores, crafts and an ornament hunt. Santa, along with a crop of his reindeer, will also be in attendance and available for pictures.
Where: 897 Six Mile Road
When: November 29, Fri & Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 1-5 p.m.
The farm fun at Three Cedars doesn’t stop after Halloween. Country Christmas turns the farm into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas trees, wreaths, hot cocoa, roping and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Click here for hours.
Where: 301 West Bartlett Street
When: November 30-December 1, 7-8 & 14-15, Times Vary
Southern Michigan Railroad keeps this event small and inexpensive so the community’s kids can have a spectacular holiday experience. This December, hop on the train and enjoy a ride to meet Santa himself. From there, the train will take you back to your car for a 30-minute round trip. Book online today before tickets sell out and be sure to bring a toy for Toys for Tots!
Where: 1175 South Main Street
When: December 7 & 14, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Pancakes AND Santa? Count us in! This first-ever holiday brunch event at Pierce Lake Golf Course allows you and your family to mingle with Santa and his friends over fresh pancakes. Photos with the big guy will be available after breakfast—just don’t forget your camera! Pre-registration is required.
Where: 407 North 5th Avenue
When: December 7-8, 14-15, & 21-22, Times Vary
In Kerrytown, you can visit Santa for free on December 7th and 8th! They’re also hosting a Food Gatherers Can Drive so bring a can of food to donate in addition to your holiday wish list.
Where: 210 South Ashley
When: December 7, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Top off Midnight Madness weekend with an annual neighborhood Christmas party! You can expect smoked turkeys, Grandma Mooberry’s cranberry salad, hot cider and eggnog along with farm animals and live entertainment. But that’s not all—Santa will be hanging out as well!
Where: 50165 8 Mile Road
When: December 7-8 & 14-15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. Each December, the farm celebrates the season with Santa Visits. Available two weekends in December, families can come to the Holiday Open House to enjoy delicious treats like hot cocoa and cider, shop in the General Store, see the farm in the snow and meet Santa. There is no admission charge for this event but donations are appreciated.
Where: 2105 Washtenaw Avenue
When: December 7, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Children of all ages are invited to come talk to Santa at the Gene Butman Ford in Ypsilanti this holiday season! Completely free, this event will also feature cookies, hot cocoa, coloring pages and more. The MotorCity Greyhound Rescue will also be on-site with dogs available for adoption.
Where: 1866 Woodland Drive
When: December 12, 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Don your favorite pajamas and get cozy as one of the Saline District Library’s storytellers reads some holiday stories. In addition to a festive tale, there will also be a sing-along, crafts, milk and cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa!
Where: 3500 South State Street
When: December 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
This year, Brunch with Santa is happening at Kensington Hotel on December 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Past events have included omelet stations, vegetarian options like the Michigan Apple Cherry Salad, potatoes, a dessert bar, and the always popular waffle and pancake topping bar.
Where: 1800 North Dixboro Road
When: December 14, 12-2 p.m.
Each year, Father Christmas himself comes to Matthaei Botanical Gardens for one day. A Visit with Father Christmas allows parents, kids, individuals and families to come to the gardens for free and get a great, festive photo with Santa!
Where: 5221 Church Road
When: December 14, 6-7 p.m.
This year, Dixboro Village Green will host a Holiday Celebration complete with a tree lighting, carols and a visit from Santa. In addition to this event, the Dixboro United Methodist Church has scheduled a Cookie Walk at the church (adjacent to the Village Green). So come out and enjoy the opportunity to buy a wide variety of delicious, homemade holiday cookies!
Where: 5200 Polo Fields Drive
When: December 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 15th, guests to Polo Fields Country Club can eat, drink, visit and take photos with Santa! Prices are $36 for adults, $16 for children between ages 3 and 12, and free for children two years and younger. To see the menu, click here, and call (734) 998-1555 to make reservations.
Where: 8801 North Territorial Road
When: December 15, 1-2:30 p.m.
The Santa Central events at Hudson Mills Metropark on December 15th allow you and your family to meet Santa and take photos with your own camera. Then, you can all enjoy a hayride and make seasonal crafts to take home. For pre-registration information, click here.
Where: 47884 D Street
When: December 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Yankee Air Museum
Santa does love to make a grand entrance; that’s why he’ll be arriving by helicopter to this unique holiday event in Belleville! The museum is offering free admission all day and the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center will be providing animals and activities.
What’s on your wish list this year? Share with us in the comments!