A Guide to Photos with Santa Claus in the Tampa Bay Area

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Santa Claus travels to the Tampa Bay area to enjoy our beautiful weather and visit children. My son is finally at the age where he can truly appreciate this magical season. There are so many places to take pictures with Santa but don’t feel overwhelmed. If you are looking for something traditional or elaborate, Tampa Bay offers the best with affordable options. Here’s a list of the top venues to see Father Christmas while he is in town. Make sure to bring your camera to capture the smiles (or tears) of your little ones. 

holiday picture


Family Day Out: Holiday Bazaar | December 2 | 11am – 2pm

It’s that time of year again!  We love the holidays here at TBMB.  Our team has been hard at work on our holiday event!  Bring your family to the Bob Sierra YMCA on December 2 for a day of cookies, crafts, food, shopping, jumping, and SANTA!!!See site for more details.

The Shops at Wiregrass | November 11- December 24 | Hours Vary

Come visit Santa and enjoy this memorable moment with the family. Also, avoid the long lines by purchasing a Santa FastPass. See site for more details.

Bass Pro Shops | November 11- December 24 | Hours Vary

Every year the showroom is transformed into Santa’s Wonderland. Families can enjoy free crafts, games and activities. Make sure to get a Bass Pass. It is required and provides time slots to see Santa. Furthermore, they go quickly so arrive early. 

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens | November 19- December 31 |  Hours Vary

Capture holiday memories with Santa in his private room. Skip the lines by purchasing priority access package. Visit site for pricing to enter theme park as well as priority access.

International Plaza and Bay Street | November 9- December 24 | During Mall Hours

This is an interactive and magical journey that transforms kids into members of Santa’s flight crew. Each child will receive a personalized badge. Also, there’s dancing under lights and snowfall. It is located in the Grand Court inside the mall. Avoid the long lines by reserving your time slot and purchasing a photo package in advance. Do not miss out on this spectacular experience for the children. 

Tyrone Square Mall | November 18- December 24 | During Mall Hours

Visit Santa in his temporary home at the Dillard’s Court. 

Land O’ Lakes Public Library | December 16 | 10:30- 11:15am

How cool is it to party with Santa at the library? There will be dancing and storytelling for the little ones. Stay afterwards to get a photo opportunity with Kris Kringle. 

Christmas Lane at Florida Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds | November 24- December 24 | 6- 10pm

Have a great time visiting Santa and taking pictures.  Get ready for some live entertainment as well as rides. Check the website for pricing details.

Glazer Children’s Museum | December 2 | 5:30- 8:30pm

Get in the holiday spirit with a Polar Express Pajama Party. Dress in your most festive pajamas. Enjoy delicious cookies and hot cocoa with the family. There will also be crafts and a screening of the movie. Make sure to get a photo with Santa before heading home.  General admission is $35 and $30 for members. Seats are limited so make sure you purchase tickets in advance. 

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park | December 2 | 12- 4pm

Santa Fest is back! The park is transformed into a beautiful winter wonderland for all to enjoy. There will be holiday entertainment, crafts, games and so much more. Make sure to bring your camera to snap photos with Santa. Expect long wait times so come prepared with toys, snacks or electronics to keep children busy. 

North Straub Park | December 2 | Open until 9pm

Enjoy a free visit with Santa and a chance to go “glice” skating in the park. Visit site for more details.

Pinellas Park Senior Center | December 9 | 9- 11am

Join Santa for a delicious breakfast. The cost is $5 per person and includes a photo with Father Christmas. Also, advanced registration is required so sign up early.

Yacht Starship | December 17 & 24 | Boards at 1pm

Finally, have a great time with this holiday brunch and a special visit from Santa.  The two-hour cruise includes an assortment of food as well as a cookie decorating activity for children.  A complimentary photo with Santa takes place at boarding with an option to purchase more pictures. Please visit site for more details about the cost and dress code.

Karimah Henry
Karimah is a SAHM residing in Wesley Chapel with her family. She is married to her husband of seven years. They have two adorable boys, a preschooler and a toddler. They also have a stubborn but loving dachshund who enjoys eating whatever his human brothers drops on the floor. Karimah grew up in Lakeland but became a Tampa resident after graduating from the University of South Florida. (Go BULLS!) Her weekdays are filled with fun activities like library programs, exploring the local playgrounds, visiting local theme parks and crafting at home (Pinterest mom). Karimah enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, participating in 5k races, watching Netflix, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends. You can follow her on Instagram and Pinterest @craftingafunlife.