The ultimate guide to downtown Santa sightings

By Angela Gagnon and Nicole Vandeboom | Staff Writers

November 16, 2017

With the holiday season drawing near,

Santa will be in Chicago, spreading cheer.

Perched in his chair at State Street Macy’s store

Or appearing in downtown places galore.

Wonder where you’ll find him this year?

Look no further, this list makes it clear.

*Schedules subject to change. Check with locations for updates.

The Cozy Cloud Cottage

5th floor of Macy’s Department Store, 111 N. State St.

For special Santaland hours, visit

Midwest Headquarters Santa Claus House in Millennium Park

Located in Chase Promenade.

Open to children of all ages with free entry. Photography is not provided.

Friday, November 17, to Sunday, December 17, 12-6 p.m.

Santa at 900 North Michigan Shops

900 N. Michigan Ave., Level 3

Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, November 19, 12-5 p.m.

Monday, November 20 to Friday, November 24, 12-6 p.m.

Santa Suite at Swissotel

Swissotel, 323 E. Upper Wacker Dr., Presidential Suite on 41st floor

Starting November 30, the entire suite will be decorated

in the spirit and magic of the season, with 12 Christmas

trees and a table set for Santa.

Entry is free. The suite is also available for private group

visits and holiday receptions.

For hours and more info, visit

Santa at Water Tower Place

835 N. Michigan Ave., – Level 7

Monday–Saturday, 12–7 p.m. Sunday, 12–6 p.m.

Saturday, December 16–23, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

Sunday, December 24, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Santa at Chicago Tree Lighting Ceremony

Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Ave.

Friday, November 17, 4-8 p.m.

Santa at Magnificent Mile

Festival of Lights

Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Ave.

Saturday, November 18, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Parade 5:30-7 p.m., proceeds south along

Michigan Ave. from Oak St.

Santa at Thanksgiving Day Parade

Santa’s magnificent sled will cruise down State

St. from Congress Pkwy. to Randolph St.

Thursday, November 23, 8–11 a.m.

Santa at Museum of Science

and Industry

5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Enjoy Christmas Around the World and the Holiday of Lights.

December 2–17, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Tickets for Santa photos in the museum’s entry

hall cost $30. Members get 10 percent off.

Santa at Merry Merry Chicago

Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

Ashley Brown, CSO members and the Chicago

Children’s Choir will be featured performing holiday

songs and a sing-along of festive favorites. For ages five and up.

Friday, December 15, at 7 p.m.; Saturday,

December 16, 3 p.m.; Sunday December 17,

4:30 p.m.; Friday, December 22, 7 p.m.; and

Sunday December 23, 3 p.m.

Santa at Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

2001 N. Clark St., inside the Kovler Lion

House. Free Santa event with photos available for purchase.

Open 4:30–9:00 p.m. November 24-26, December 1-3 and December 8-22.

Santa at Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest

600 E. Grand Ave.

Go inside Santa’s home at the foot of the giant tree,

available December 2–24.

Open Fridays through Sundays, 11 a.m.–6

p.m.; Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.–4

p.m.; and Sunday, December 24, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Skate with Santa at Maggie Daley Park

337 E. Randolph St.

For ages 2-13, morning skate, holiday crafts

and pictures with Santa.

Saturday, December 16, 10 a.m.-noon.

Entry is free. Skate rental is available for


Holiday Breakfast with Santa at the Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lakeshore Dr.

Hot chocolate, Polar Express, and meet and

greet with Santa.

7:45 a.m.–11 a.m. on weekends, December 9–10, 16–17 and 23.

Entry costs $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for children,

is free for kids under age 3 and includes admission to the aquarium.

Spirit of Chicago Santa Lunch Cruise

Departs from Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

Holiday lunch buffet, DJ for music, dancing

and dazzling views of the water.

Saturday, December 9, 1:15–3:15 p.m.

Boarding begins at 12:30 p.m. $44.90 per person

CTA Holiday Train and Bus

Traveling all el lines in late November and

December as part of regular rail service.

3-7 p.m. on select weekdays and 1-8 p.m. on

weekends. Visit for full schedule.

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