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 Lincoln. He and his reindeer will be hosting pancake breakfasts, holiday events, and plenty of photo opportunities up until Christmas eve.
We found the best places to find Santa in Lincoln this year, so round up your little elves, make your Christmas wish list, and get ready to meet everyone’s holiday hero in person.
Daily, November 15-December 24, Hours Vary
Visit Kris Kringle himself at Lincoln’s Gateway Mall, and receive a commemorative holiday cookie plate in return! He will be located in the Younkers/Dillard’s wing of the mall from November 15 to December 24, and photos will be available for purchase.
Weekends, November 24-December 24, Hours Vary
Santa will be posting up at SouthPointe Pavilions beginning on Black Friday! On Saturday, November 25, he will host a grand celebration to flip the switch on one of the area’s biggest Christmas trees. There will be music, family activities, performers, refreshments and giveaways throughout the center!
After his grand entrance, catch him for a photo on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays up until Christmas eve, and on Wednesday and Thursday the week before Christmas. You can find his full schedule here.
While you’re there, make sure to drop your Santa letter off in the Mistletoe Mailbox, located in the lobby of First National Bank in SouthPointe. You’ll get an authentic response from the Big Guy himself!
December 1, 5-7 pm
On the first Friday of every month, the Lincoln Children’s Museum hosts First Friday Family Night — a chance for kids and their parents to explore the museum free of charge. In December, this event will be extra festive. Come get a photo with Santa, compete in a gigantic indoor snowball fight, make a craft in Santa’s workshop, enjoy live performances, sip hot chocolate, and more. The photos with Santa are free of charge, and you’ll be able to capture them on your own cameras and mobile devices as well.
December 2, 8 am-10 pm
Lincoln High School FBLA and Lincoln Parks & Recreation are teaming up to host this fun, family-centered event. Come enjoy a breakfast with Santa filled with pancakes, sausage and all of your favorite morning classics. Afterward, the kids will have a chance to share their wish list with the Big Guy, grab a gift from Santa and his elves, and create a special Christmas craft. No kids? Adults are welcome to come enjoy the magic of it all as well!
All proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization which strives to improve the health of babies.
December 1, 3:30-8 pm
Come one, come all, and ring in the holiday season at the Holiday Market this year! The lobby will be lit up with dazzling decorations, bright holiday lights and a giant Christmas tree. Local vendors will have booths set up for all of your holiday shopping. Sip on complimentary cider and hot chocolate, and make sure to stop by and meet with Santa! He needs to hear your wish list.
December 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17, 11 am-4 pm
Image Courtesy of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo
All aboard! The North Pole Express will be running at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo on weekends this December. The train will take you through Candy Cane Lane, where you’ll stop at the Hive to write your official letter to Santa and meet some of his favorite animal friends. Then continue on to Santa’s Village, where you’ll be able to meet Kris Kringle himself! Enjoy treats made by the elves, hot chocolate and candy canes — but don’t eat too much! Your last stop is Mrs. Claus’s Bakery for cookie decorating.
December 9, 8-11 am
Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s in the mood for breakfast food! You and your family are invited to sit down with him, his reindeer and a team of elves for a delicious meal catered by Lazlo’s. There will also be coffee from The Mill, and holiday music provided by pianist Dorothy Applebee. After you’re done eating, head over to Santa’s sleigh to get a photo with him, and then enjoy live performances, toy trains and holiday movies on the big screens. Tickets are just $6 for those ages four and up, and children three and under get in for free!
Immediately following this breakfast event, head to Haymarket Unwrapped, which will take place from 11 am-6 pm. You’ll be able to get some shopping done at the unique array of specialty shops offering artisanal products and culinary delights.
December 9, 9 am-1 pm
Come join in the fun at this family-friendly event! Kids can see Santa, make a craft and decorate a cookie. After meeting with the Santa himself, peruse the local craft fair to get some of your holiday shopping out of the way.
What’s on your Christmas wish list this year? Share with us in the comments!