Where to take a photo with Santa in Seattle

The tradition began here nearly 80 years ago.

A black and white photo of Santa Claus greeting children in Seattle in 1959.

Hey, don’t be shy — now’s your chance to ask for that new bike.

Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives, No. 200208

Love those Santa baby snapshots? You can thank Seattle for that. 🎄

According to lore, the practice of taking a pic with Kris Kringle began here nearly 80 years ago. In 1943, Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographer Arthur French had the bright idea to charge $1 per shot with Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick at the Frederick and Nelson department store. The rest is “OMG that’s me crying as a kid on a stranger’s lap” history.

Here are some Santa meet-and-greets around town to make new memories. 🦌

  • The Space Needle | Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 24 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | There’s a glass sleigh and some elves, too.
  • Alderwood Mall | Sunday, Dec. 4 | 9-10 a.m. | This time is reserved for those with sensory sensitivities.
  • Kirkland Urban | Saturday, Dec. 3 + Saturday, Dec. 10 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Check out Santa’s magical snow globe at this Eastside winter market.
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