See Santa when you pick out your tree

tree cutting

The perfect time to see Santa is when you pick up your tree this year. See where you can do both at the same time here.

Advertise with Santa in Chicago

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Say “cheese” with Santa

Have your picture taken with Santa this year. Don't miss the opportunity to capture an image with Santa that you won't forget anytime soon. Find Places

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Free Santa & Christmas Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois

Santa in Chicago

There are hundreds of free Santa events all over the Chicago area and Northern Illinois. To make it easy to find any free events when you are scanning through the the Santa listings look for the headline: FREE SANTA EVENT . Please note, while events may be free often you’ll have to pay for parking, pictures—if a photographer is present, and many other things you may not have considered.

While all shopping malls have free Santas to attract shoppers, they underwrite the cost by charging you for photographs and videos. While some malls allow you to take your own pictures, most of them now ban personal camera and video equipment. It’s always a good idea to check things out ahead of time. If you are on a tight budget, go to an event where free pictures are allowed. Also, keep in mind, most events do not have a photographer, so it’s always a good idea to have a camera with you.

Some of the best free Santa & Christmas Events that we recommend are:

Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza

The Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza is a Top 10 Christmas Event in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois.

Christkindmarket at Daley Plaza                                              Christkindlmarket photo credit Choose Chicago


Santa at Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Santa the Lincoln Park Zoo is a Top 10 Santa Event in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois.

                        Photo Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo


Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park

Caroling at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park is a Top 10 Christmas Event in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois.

Caroling at Cloud Gate photo credit Choose Chicago

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