Looking back on the guide I wrote from last year, I’m having a hard time believing that Christmas is already on its way again and fast. It really made my heart smile to look back on photos from previous years of our family tradition of taking the boys to see Santa. Visiting the Jolly Old Saint Nicholas himself was the perfect way to start off the holiday season.


The best place to go for photos with Santa is at the St. Charles Towne Center. It’s my favorite place to take the boys to every year to meet with Santa. He always makes extra time to talk and play with the children so that they feel welcomed and excited about the coming of Christmas. He is patient and amazing with children… a true baby whisperer.


I could go on and on about the many examples of his passion of working with little ones. Every year when the mall isn’t too crowded we walk by his workshop just to say hi. Despite the fact that weren’t actually getting photos did matter. Santa always encourages the kids to stop by anytime and say hello.  He’s always finding a moment to wave, greet  and even talk to the boys when he can. I think giving kids a glimpse or even dry run helps them to become familiar and less nervous during the actual photo shoot day.

On photo day this year both my sons were over the moon about seeing Santa. They were smiling ear to ear, almost so excited my youngest (3) became speechless at the sight of Santa. My oldest (5) was so over joyed he ran right to Santa and hopped up on his lap ready to share all his excitement about Christmas. Last year, my youngest was very apprehensive. Last year Santa sneaked behind the chair while the 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! I love that Santa and his team have solutions for minor situations that could arise.


I think what touches me the most is that Santa truly listens to my kids; he would repeat their wishes to make sure it was clear. My son shares what other people would like for Christmas. It’s great that Santa identified with my sons understanding of Christmas as a time for giving not just receiving.


Last but not least Santa look at me for approval and then gave the kids candy canes and reindeer hats. It always seems that Santa magically knows their head measurements to make their a reindeer hats! They left smiling ear to ear with candy cane in hand!


This year things are done a little differently as far as picking your photos. To speed things up photos are taken with Santa and than you go to a station to work with a attendent to pick which photo and package you would like.


Santa just arrived to the mall this past weekend on November 18th and will be at the mall until Christmas Eve when Santa makes his big trip back 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 most days 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM; however always double check the schedule before going. His workshop is located right by the elevators on the first floor right below the food court and next to the Star Bucks Kiosk.


Date:  November 19 & December 3, 2017- 8:00 – 10:00 AM
Place:  St. Charles Towne Center
Information: Caring Santa provides a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families to visit Santa. https://www.facebook.com/events/1793213414319061/ 

Date: December 15, 2017 5:00 PM
Place: St. Charles Towne Shopping Center
Price: FREE
Information: Snuggle up with your little elves in your favorite Holiday pajamas and listen to a story. Enjoy milk and cookies and make Holiday crafts. https://www.facebook.com/events/919043064915488/

Date: December 2, 2017 8:30AM-10:30AM
Place: St Charles Town Center Food Court, Waldorf, MD
Price: FREE
Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/543396032660394/


Adress: 11110 Mall Circle, Waldorf, MD 20603

Website: Santa Is Waiting Event Link


  • 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.  Fast Pass Link
  • 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 $29.99-$49.99 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.
  • If you don’t have a outift or fancy dress for Christmas yet, consider having your kids wear pajama’s. I dressed the kids in the their polar express robes and they were adorable.


  • Winner will receive a $20 Shutterfly Gift Card
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***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.***