The Playful Parent



As Christmas draws nearer and nearer, the family tradition of taking your little one to see Santa is upon us. If you are looking for the perfect photo opportunities with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas himself than the St. Charles Towne Center is the perfect place to go for this seasonal ritual.

The St. Charles Towne Center is my favorite place to take my boys to every year to meet with Santa. He always makes time to talk and play with the children so that they feel welcomed and excited about the coming of Christmas. He is patient, amazing with children and a baby whisperer.

I could write many examples of his passion of working with children.  On days when the mall wasn’t crowded we’d walk by his workshop just to say hi. Even though we weren’t getting pictures, Santa would always make time to wave, greet us and even talk to the boys. I think giving kids a glimpse or even dry run helps them to become familiar and less nervous during the actual photo shoot day. Santa always encourages this when he is St. Charles Towne Center!

On the day we got pictures taken my oldest son was excited to see Santa. He was smiling ear to ear, almost so excited he was speechless. However, my youngest was apprehensive about taking pictures. Santa of course had the solution… he sneaked behind the chair while my two boys sat in the chair for the photo. It was really cute to have Santa peering from behind, as if he’s watching to make sure they are on the nice list…lol! We got a few family shoots and individual shoots of little man sharing his wish list.

Santa truly listened to my sons; he would repeat his wishes to make sure it was clear. My son kept saying he wanted trains for around the Christmas tree so that his family members especially his brother would have one. I love that Santa reflected on his generosity for requesting presents for other people. It’s great that Santa identified with my sons understanding of Christmas as a time for giving not just receiving.

While I picked a package and paid for the pictures; Santa entertained the little ones as he magically knew their head measurements to make them a reindeer hat! They left smiling ear to ear with candy cane in hand!

If you haven’t had a change to make your special visit yet, don’t worry…Santa makes his way from the North Pole every year to visit good little girls and boys at the mall in Waldorf, Maryland from November until Christmas Eve when he makes his big trip back up to the North Pole. Make sure your family stops by so your little ones can whisper their wishes into Santa’s ear; all while having their magical moment captured. Santa is available Monday thru Saturday 10AM-9PM and Sunday 11AM-6PM. His workshop is located right by the elevators on the first floor right below the food court and next to the Star Bucks Kiosk.



11110 Mall Circle

Waldorf, MD 20603



  • Take a dry run. Plan a day to just go up to the mall to meet Santa during an off peak time.
  • Make an appointment to avoid the lines. You will pay ten dollar for your spot but get it back at your appointment to use towards a photo package.
  • Come prepared. Bring a few snacks and a favorite toy. This will keep them occupied in line.
  • Write a letter or color a picture for Santa. If they are shy this can help take away some of the anxiety.
  • Photo packages range from $25-$30 and come with a free Shutterfly gift card. Costumers get to take their own photos too so bring along your personal camera.
  • If you are looking for the quickest way in and out park by Macy’s and enter through the shoe section.
  • Another good place to park is near Ruby Tuesdays. It’s will lead you by coin rides and right to the play area, if you are looking to make the trip extra fun. There is also a ride on train that is located on the lower level near Old Navy.

***The Playful Parent does not receive payment to write articles, all information and opinions shared are my own.  I enjoy writing articles about my families experiences so that parents feel encouraged to get out and try something new with their kids.***



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