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Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Really)

It’s that time of year. When the clock chimes at midnight, a young girl’s adventure is jumpstarted in The NutcrackerThe Rockettes will be kicking up a storm for the next month at Radio City Music Hall. But most importantly, Santa Claus has officially landed in New York City. As far as we’re concerned, our town is his base for the holiday season. How else can you explain why there’s more than one place where you can meet the great gift-giving, sleigh riding, cookie-chomping one, whether or not you’ve been naughty or nice? (Let’s hope for the latter; naughty may get you bupkis. Been there, gotten nothing. Just saying.)

Here are a bunch of the options if you want to meet the big guy:

ABC Carpet & Home in Union Square is kind of fancypants–and free. The decor is elaborate and Victorian-esque, and after the kiddos divulge their wishes to Santa, they’ll be given a free ornament. (Sundays only, 11 am – 3 pm.)

At Santa’s Corner at Bryant Park’s Winter Village, head to Le Carrousel for your free Santa confab. Be sure to BYOC (that’s Bring Your Own Camera) to capture the big moment with St. Nick. (Sunday, December 16-Sunday, December 23, 1 pm-3pm.)

Bloomingdale’s, photo packages start at $22. The cool thing about this is that kids will be entertained with various interactive holiday activities while waiting for their audience with the jolly one. (Through December 23, 10 am-6 pm, Monday to Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm on Sundays.)

We bet that Eloise frequently visited Santa at the Shops at the Plaza Hotel. This year. Santa is receiving his public at the Food Hall. (Hey! He’s chubby; he has a sweet tooth. Don’t judge!) What do we love about this? The Plaza is partnering with SantaCares to provide private, sensory-friendly photo session for kids with special needs and their families. Pretty cool. Photo packages start at $30. (Through December 22.)

And finally, the Big Daddy of them all, Macy’s Santaland! Your kids will find an enchanted forest, elves, trains and more. (It’s really quite something.) Be aware that reservations are required, but a little planning will lessen your wait time. (Through Christmas Eve; times vary. Free, although photo packages are available for purchase.)

Image via svensmail/Flickr