As I write this years article and look back on photos of the years past; my heart smiles to see the look of joy in my children’s eyes as they visit with Santa. Visiting Jolly Old Saint Nicholas himself is a annual event that we always look forward too. It’s truly magical to capture the excitement in our little ones faces. I say this with full honesty, I feel blessed that St. Charles Towne Center hosts Santa each year.  I’m sharing this article experience, in hopes that it will help families in their planning for capturing magical moments with Santa this year.


(Photo above from Christmas 2017)

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. This jolly old elf is a baby whisperer, so it’s easy to see why families from all over Southern Maryland travel far and wide to visit him at this location.


I could go on and on about the many examples of his passion for 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 (4) became speechless at the sight of Santa. My oldest (6) was so over joyed he went to him right away to read the letter he worked hours on for him. As a baby, my youngest was very apprehensive. I love that no matter a child’s comfort level Santa knows how to interact with that child. One year we captured moments of Santa sneaking in from behind 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 and his concern for those impoverished countries. It’s great that Santa identified with my sons understanding of Christmas as a time for giving not just receiving.

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I also have to share that Santa always looks to me for approval and then gives the kids candy canes and reindeer hats with my permission. It’s remarkable that Santa always seems to magically knows my boys head measurements to make them their reindeer hats! Every year they leave smiling ear to ear!


This year things are done very efficient when it comes to speeding things after your photo has been taken with Santa. They have stations set up with attendants to help you pick which photo and package works best for you.


Santa is at the mall everyday now 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.


For details on events or other events at the mall and around town visit The Playful Parents Calendar.

Image may contain: food

Date: December 1, 2018 8:30AM-10:30AM
Place: St Charles Town Center Food Court, Waldorf, MD
Price: FREE
Event Link

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, hat and text


Date: December 2,  2018

Time:  8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Location: St. Charles Towne Center, Waldorf, MD

Details: Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photo taken with him. St. Charles Towne Center will make necessary adjustments to the environment to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities for this special event.

Event Type: Holiday

Age Group: All Ages

Cost: FREE

Event Link


Date: December 15, 2018 1:00 PM
Place: St. Charles Towne Shopping Center
Price: FREE
Information: Come out enjoy Gingerbread house decorating while supplies last.

Event Link


No automatic alt text available.STORY TIME WITH SANTA
Date: December 16, 2018 7:00 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.

Event Link



Adress: 11110 Mall Circle, Waldorf, MD 20603

Website: Santa Is Waiting Event Link


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  • 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 where Ruby Tuesday’s used to be. 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.

***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.***