Where to See Santa Around Columbia


No holiday season is complete without a visit to the man in red! Below is a list of places you’ll be able to find Santa Claus around Columbia between now and when he loads his sleigh!

Lights Before Christmas

Date: Select Evenings in November and December

Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens, 500 Wildlife Pkwy Columbia 29210

Details: Experience Columbia’s longest running holiday tradition at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Visit the zoo at night with holiday lights and activities for the family. $15 for adults and $12 for children ages 2-12. Tickets can be purchased here.

Photos with Santa at Columbiana Centre

Date: Thursday, November 17 – Saturday, December 24, 2022

Time: Varies – All guests are strongly encouraged to make advanced reservations and appointments to visit Santa Claus. Walk-in guests will be accepted on a space-available basis.

Location: Columbiana Centre, 100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia 29212

Details: All dogs and cats are welcome to take magical pics with St. Nick! Plus, children of all spectrums of special needs and abilities are welcome to join us before the mall opens for Santa Cares Day! Pose for photos with Santa where extra care is taken to support sensory needs.

Season’s Greetings Sunday in Five Points

Date: Sunday, November 20, 2022

Time: 1 – 3 p.m. 

Location: Five Points Fountain, 532 Congaree Avenue, Columbia 29205

Details: Snaps with Santa at the Five Points Fountain. FREE (digital) pic with Midlands Santa and Mrs. Claus! Bring your family, friends and even Fido for a holiday pic at the iconic Five Points Fountain. The first 25 attendees in line will receive a $25 Gift Card to a FPA Merchant. Photos by Curated with Lynn.

Smores With Santa

Date: Saturday, November 26, 2022

Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Location: The FARM 1780, 1127 Corley Mill Road, Lexington 29072

Details: Smores with Santa will be held during our Small Business Saturday Farmer’s Market. Advanced Ticket purchase for your session with Santa is required. Spaces are limited. Tickets are $45 PER FAMILY.

Pet Photos With Santa

Date: November 26 – 27, 2022

Time: Noon – 3:50 p.m. 

Location: White Knoll Veterinary Hospital, 516 Kyzer Rd, Lexington 29072

Details: Once again Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting White Knoll Pet Resort for photos with your pets and family. No appointments taken. First come, first serve bases. What a great time to get your family Christmas card photo! This is a fundraising event to benefit the pets of Make A Friend In Animals (MAFIA).

Photos with Santa at Ho-Ho-Hotel Trundle

Date: Sunday, November 27, 2022

Time: 1 – 3 p.m. 

Location: Hotel Trundle, 1224 Taylor Street, Columbia 29201

Details: Come take your holiday photos with Santa at the most magical hotel in Columbia! Hotel Trundle will create a whimsical holiday backdrop so that you may take as many photos as your hearts desire for 10 minutes. Enjoy hot chocolate, games, and other holiday activities while you’re visiting our friend from the North Pole. This event is first come first served, so make sure to come early to take advantage of our holiday gift to you!

Metro Mortgage 5th Annual Cookies with Santa

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022

Time: 4 – 7 p.m. 

Location: Metro Mortgage, 7223 St. Andrews Road, Columbia 29212

Details: Join the team at Metro Mortgage in Columbia, SC for their 5th Annual Cookies with Santa! Join the Metro team along with Santa and Mrs. Claus for fun, fellowship and a whole lotta Christmas goodies! The kids will have a chance to write their letters to Santa and drop them in his special mailbox and have a chance for mom and dad to take their picture with Santa!

Pictures with Santa

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time: 9 a.m. 

Location: River Bluff High School, 320 Corley Mill Road, Lexington 29072

Details: Come join us for Pictures with Santa craft and vendor event. Admission and parking are free!! Enjoy some hot cocoa and browse booths from local artists and vendors. The big man himself will be there to pose for pictures with your family!!!! Bring your camera and $10 and enjoy the amazing experience of getting your picture taken with Santa. All proceeds from pictures go to River Bluff High School Choir.

Snaps with Santa

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Lawyer Lisa, 5175 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1, Lexington 29072

Details: Photos with Santa and Mrs Klaus.

Pictures with Santa and His Friends

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: Cayce’s Best Afterschool and Summer Camp, 1350 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce 29033

Details: Bring your own camera to take lots of pictures! There will be cookies and hot chocolate for the everyone to enjoy and a coloring station for the kids as they wait their turn. And Santa has some friends that will also be attending!

Cooking with Santa!

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time: 10 – 11 a.m. | 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 1 – 2 p.m.

Location: Seven Oaks Park, 200 Leisure Lane, Columbia 29210

Details: What better time to grow a child’s love of cooking and baking than the most magical time of the year. Bring your child into the kitchen with Flavored Fork to cook alongside the jolly old elf himself making his favorite snacks and other Santa approved recipes.

Train Rides with Santa-SC Railroad

Dates: December 3, 10, and 17, 2022

Time: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.

Location: South Carolina Railroad Museum, 110 Industrial Park Road, Winnsboro 29180

Details: Santa returns to the Rockton, Rion and Western Railroad.  As you enjoy your ride through the countryside of Fairfield County, he will walk the train during the ride and talk to everyone but cannot sit with children or have them in his lap. The train does not return until Santa has talked to all the children. Santa will take letters from children, but limited touching is requested. 

Cayce Historical Museum Christmas Open House

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022

Time: 6 – 9 p.m.

Location: Cayce Historical Museum, 1800 12th Street, Cayce 29033

Details: Step back in time and enjoy the magic of Christmas at the Cayce Historical Museum Open House. Enjoy characters in period dress, reenactments, carolers, lots of Christmas goodies and of course, a visit from good old Saint Nick himself!

Sundaes with Santa

Date: Sunday, December 4, 2022

Time: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: Cantey and Goodman Buildings at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia 29201

Details: Dress your children in their Sunday best for photos with Santa, enjoy games and crafts with your family, and top off the fun with an ice cream sundae bar! Tickets sold only at the door for $8/child.

2022 Christmas Open House at the SC Governor’s Mansion

Date: Monday, December 5, 2022

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Location: Governor’s Mansion, 800 Richland Street, Columbia 29201

Details: Governor Henry McMaster and First Lady Peggy McMaster invite South Carolinians and their families to join them for a Christmas Open House. There will be Christmas carols and light refreshments will be served. The event is free of charge, open to the public, and no reservations are required. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be outside at the mall area to meet and greet and listen to any special Christmas wishes.

Free Photos with Santa

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Time: 6 – 8 p.m.

Location: 803 Realty, 5599 Sunset Blvd, Lexington 29072

Details: Bring your own camera! FREE photos with Santa and Mrs. Klaus.

Story Time with Santa

Date: Friday, December 9, 2022

Time: 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Location: South Congaree-Pine Ridge Branch Library, 200 Sunset Drive West Columbia 29172

Details: Visit with Santa and Mrs Santa for a fun afternoon of stories, special gifts and goodies! Be sure and bring your letter to Santa to put in his special mailbox!

Pancakes and PJs with Santa

Date: Friday, December 9, 2022

Time: 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Location: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 119 N Church Street, Lexington 29072

Details: Your ticket price ($10 per child accompanied by an adult) covers pancakes, a craft for each child, and a visit with Santa. This is a fundraiser for our 2023 Youth Mission Trip to Puerto Rico. Please reserve your tickets by contacting Shannon Burnett ([email protected]).

Bagels with Santa!

Date: Monday, December 19, 2022

Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Location: Bruegger’s Bagels, 945 C Lake Murray Blvd, Irmo 29062

Details: Enjoy a delicious bagel breakfast and while you’re there meet Santa and Mrs. Claus! Be sure and bring your letter to Santa to put in his special mailbox! Parents are welcome to take pictures of the little ones with Santa while they’re there! 

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