Take the kids to see Santa Claus
We love the holiday season. Some parents may have a problem with telling their kids to be good or they’ll get coal on Christmas morning, but c’mon. It works for one month to get them to behave, so we’ll use it.
Go clean your room, Santa is watching. Help wash the dishes, Santa is watching. Don’t hit your sister, Santa is watching.
Ahhhhh, that’s what it’s about.
So get ready to take them to see the big guy in red so they can rave about how they have been on their best behavior while giving him their wish list.
And here’s to hoping yours will make the nice list. If all else fails, the outing will make for fun photos to remember for Christmases to come.
Location: 3000 E. First Ave., Denver Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Dec. 24 Website: ShopCherryCreek.com/ SantaPhotos
Cherry Creek Mall turns into Cheery Creek Mall over the holidays. They know how to bring the magic alive with gorgeous decorations and one of the best Santas in the Mile High City. Fine, we know he’s the real deal. Santa takes cookie breaks at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. New this year: Lovepop Cards, a 3D paper sculpture designed by naval engineers on cutting-edge software and then hand-crafted in the Asian art form of sliceform kirigami.
Santa HQ at Flatiron Crossing Shopping Mall
Location: 1 W. Flatiron Crossing Drive, Broomfield Hours: Dec. 1-11, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 11-23, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Christmas Eve from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Website: FlatironCrossing.com/Events/Details/389600
Flatirons Crossing is by far one of the coolest Santa displays on the Front Range. Presented by HGTV, Santa’s Headquarters lets kids stand on a “Naughty or Nice” meter to see if their names are on the nice list — and then they get to work all the controls in his workshop as they wait in line for their turn with Santa. Pro-parenting tip: You can book a reservation online before your visit to help cut back on wait times. We know how tough it is for kiddos to stand in line for a long time. Like, it’s impossible.
Santa’s Wonderland 2016 at Bass Pro Shops
Location: 7970 Northfield Blvd., Denver Hours: Dec. 4-22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with free crafts from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturdays have free crafts from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with free crafts from noon to 5 p.m. On Dec. 23, Santa will be there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with free crafts from 3 to 7 p.m. On Christmas Eve, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free crafts 3-5 p.m. Website: Basspro.com/Santa
We didn’t realize Santa was in so big with the fine folks at Bass Pro Shops, but the Christmas charisma they pull out is truly spectacular. A lot of Colorado parents have started taking the kiddos to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa. The little ones walk into Santa’s Wonderland and have loads of toys, attractions and more holiday entertainment to keep them busy, such as a foam toy arcade, remote control trucks, Lincoln log building and more.
Bonus: You can get the hunter-fisher-hiker-camper-outdoors fanatic in your life their presents while you’re there. Y-E-S.
Make Memories with Santa at Park Meadows Mall
Location: 8401 S. Park Meadows Center Drive, Lone Tree Regular hours: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Special dates: Dec. 3 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Dec. 16-23 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to8 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (no breaks, Santa!) Website: Parkmeadows.com/ en/events/photos-with-santa-8760.html
Put on those holiday sweaters that grandma made the kids last year and head to Park Meadows Mall for photos with Santa. He takes occasional breaks to feed the reindeer, but other than that, he’ll be taking wish list requests and chatting with kids about how good they’ve been this year. Santa’s headquarters at Park Meadows is located at Dillard’s Court. Maybe you can sneak away while the kids are ordering an Orange Julius with grandma to do a little shopping.
Pro-parenting tip: If you book a reservation online, you’ll save 30 percent on your Santa photos.
Where is Santa? At Colorado Mills
Location: 14500 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood Store hours: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Special dates: Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 5-10, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 12-17, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Website: Simon.com/mall/ colorado-mills/stores/whereis-santa
Ho-Ho-How about you take the kids to Colorado Mills to see Santa Claus this year? Santa manages to sneak away from the North Pole to Lakewood to make kids holiday wishes and gift lists come true at Colorado Mills. Get them all dressed up — or in whatever they fight you to wear — and make sure to purchase some keepsake photos so you can cherish the memories forever. To save you more holiday stress, Santa is located at Entry 5 near Off Broadway Shoes. If you want a fun family outing, go on the weekends; they usually have a bounce house set up at the food court, along with a carousel the kids love to ride.
Breakfast with Santa at Downtown Aquarium
Location: 700 Water St., Denver Hours: Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18, 20-24 with seating at 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. There’s an extra Christmas Eve seating at 11 a.m. Price: $22.99/adults; $20.99/ seniors; $16.99/children ages 3-10 Website: AquariumRestaurants.com/downtownaquariumdenver This has become one of our favorite festive events during the holiday season. Take the family to Denver’s Downtown Aquarium so the kiddos can have Breakfast with Santa. Sharkey and Santa Claus will be spreading holiday cheer with a full-on breakfast buffet loaded with all sorts of goodies. You can walk around the aquarium, indulge in waffles, and take photos of the kids with Santa. That’s what it’s all about. Hurry, because spots tend to fill up fast.
Saturdays with Santa in Downtown Arvada
Location: Olde Town Square, 57th and Olde Wadsworth, Arvada Hours: Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, from noon to 3 p.m. Prices: Photos with Santa are free; Carriage rides are $10/ adults; $5/kids ages 2-16 Website: OldeTownArvada.org/2016/09/celebratethe-holidays-Saturdays-withSanta
Get the kids bundled up, toss on their Santa hats and head to downtown Arvada for Saturdays with Santa. He’ll be at Olde Town Square for picture opportunities with his happy elves. There will also be a horse-drawn carriage giving rides through Olde Town plus holiday entertainment. Pictures with Santa are free with a donation of canned food for The Rising Church. Feel free to bring your own cameras and Santa’s Elves will be happy to snap some pics so you can share immediately with friends and family. There will even be hot chocolate on-site and holiday treats to really sugar up the kids. Now we’re talking.
North Pole Colorado: Home of Santa’s Workshop
Location: 5050 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade Hours: Open through December, but closed on the occasional Tuesday and Wednesday to make more toys. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $22/general admission (ages 2-59); $17/active military, military family or retired military; $20/small group rate (6 or more); Free for seniors (60+)
Website: NorthPoleColorado.com Everyone assumes the North Pole is the northernmost point on Earth. That’s totally wrong. The actual North Pole is located right here in the Centennial State! It’s true. Go to North Pole, Colo., for a full day of fun. The kids can talk to Santa, get pictures, ride festive holiday rides (such as the Santa’s Sleigh zipline or giant Santa Slide), write letters to Santa, eat loads of treats, pick out personalized ornaments and much more.
St. Nick on the Bricks
Location: Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center, 1301 Pearl St., Boulder Hours: Every Saturday through Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Website: BoulderDowntown.com
Head to Boulder’s famous Pearl Street Mall to see Santa for the special St. Nick on the Bricks event. Kids can visit with Santa and you can bring your own camera for photos. Bonus: Maybe you can get some holiday shopping done after you’re done. (OK, who are we kidding? It’s impossible to go shopping with kids.)
Holidays at The Orchard Town Center
Location: 14697 Delaware St., #850, Broomfield Hours: Through Dec. 24, Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays, noon-5 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Website: TheOrchardTownCenter.com/go/mallevents.cfm
Enjoy the magic of the holiday season at The Orchards. Santa has a new workshop inside the grand holiday tree at Town Center Square. Pro-parenting tip: Skip the line and save 30 percent on photos by booking a reservation online. Free horse-drawn carriage rides start in Town Center Square near guest services. Select Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons.
Town Center at Aurora
Location: 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora Hours: Now through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on most dates
Website: Towncenterataurora.com/events-news/event/ santa-photos
Santa is pulling his sleigh into the Town Center at Aurora for photos and to chat with the kids. He’ll be in front of Dillard’s on the lower level of the mall.
Pro-parenting tip: When you’re on the Town Center at Aurora’s website, check out the ‘sales and deals’ page for any discounted prices for photos.
Santa on the Square
Location: 1450 Larimer Square, Denver Hours: Santa will be on Larimer Square on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. On Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Website: Larimersquare.com/ event/santa-on-the-square
Larimer Square brings the spirit alive over the holidays every Saturday and Sunday in December. Bring the little ones to see Santa Claus on Denver’s most historic block and get a picture with him as well. You can make an afternoon out of it as well. Eat at one of the many wonderful restaurants, go shopping and enjoy the day with your family.