Where to Meet Santa in Pinellas (2023 Update)

Your guide to photos with Santa in St.Pete-Clearwater

Looking for Santa this holiday season? Check out all these places that you can take pictures with Santa in Pinellas, all updated for 2023.

We are two local moms and put together this list to help other families in the area save time planning their Christmas fun. Having searched things to do around Pinellas for our own kids and frustratingly always finding lists for the huge greater Tampa Bay area, we decided to make our own resources.

This list focuses specifically on Santas near the Clearwater-St. Pete area & Pinellas County. You’ll find a few Tampa area listings, but only ones we’d go to ourselves (no sifting through Polk County stuff on this list!).

Below you’ll find local community events where you can visit with Santa, malls and stores with Santa, personal Santa visits and even Santas on fire trucks!

We also make sure to highlight events with sensory sensitive Santas and signing Santas in their own sections, and budget & free Santa photos.

Let’s find Santa!

Looking for more Christmas fun?
Ultimate List of Christmas Events in Clearwater-St.Pete
Can’t Miss Christmas Lights in Pinellas

Local Photos with Santa in Pinellas

Santa on a Christmas parade float
Santa on a float at the Safety Harbor holiday parade

First up, here are local St.Pete-Clearwater community events where you can get photos with Santa.

We want to highlight these events first because they are the most budget-friendly (many are free!) and are put on by cities and organizations as community building. Some also serve as fundraisers for local non-profits.

Festival of Trees

  • LOCATION: The Long Center
  • DATES: Nov 15-19
  • COST: Free to attend
  • Website

Festival of Trees is a decorated Christmas tree and wreath sale for charity. You can explore the Christmas tree forest and visit with Santa.

Tree Brothers Christmas Trees

  • LOCATION: Oldsmar Flea Market
  • DATE: Nov 26 from 12-3
  • COST: Free
  • Website

Tree Brothers has a professional photographer on site and you get a free 5×7 photo at this event.

H&R Trains: Santa Photos & Story Time

  • LOCATION: 7900 49th ST N, Pinellas Park, FL 33781
  • DATE: Nov 26 11am-4pm (photos), 5:45pm (cookies & story time)
  • Website

H&R Trains’ Santa event includes Santa photos from 11am-4pm. He takes a short break and then at 5:45 cookies are served. 6pm Santa returns to read the Polar Express and then more photo opportunities after the story.

Note: you have to scroll nearly the bottom of the linked site to find the Santa info.

Countryside Reindeer’s Lane

  • LOCATION: Countryside Rec Center, 2640 Sabal Springs Dr., Clearwater, 33761
  • DATE: Dec 2
  • Website

This community party put on by the city of Clearwater also includes Santa meetings.

Dunedin Breakfast with Santa

  • LOCATION: Dunedin Community Center
  • COST: $8/person before Nov 29th, $12/person after
  • Facebook event

This event includes breakfast with Santa, along with crafts and entertainment. There’s an early bird discount if you buy your tickets early.

Morningside Ho Ho Holiday Party

  • LOCATION: Morningside Rec Complex, 2400 Harn Blvd., Clearwater, 33764
  • DATE: Dec 8
  • Website

The Ho Ho Holiday Party is another city of Clearwater event with photos with Santa.

North Straub Park

  • DATES: Dec 9-10 & Dec 15-23 from 6-9pm
  • COST: Free
  • Website

You can have your own camera at this Santa meet and greet, making it a great budget option.

Clearwater Santa Trolley Tours

  • Dec. 8: North Greenwood Rec Complex, 4:30-5:45 p.m.,
  • Dec 8: Clearwater Beach Library & Rec Center, 6:15-7:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: Long Center, 4:30-5:45 p.m.
  • Dec 15: Countryside Rec Center, 6:15-7:30 p.m.

Santa tours around Clearwater on a Trolley Tour and you can meet him at a few of Clearwater’s recreation centers at the times listed above. There are also holiday activities for kids.

Crest Lake Park Movie & Santa

  • DATES: Dec 9 at 6pm
  • COST: Free
  • Website

St. Pete Rec will be showing Home Alone 2 in the park and before the showing you can meet Santa and do holiday crafts.

Winter Holiday Social

  • LOCATION: North Greenwood Rec Complex, 900 N. MLK Jr. Ave., Clearwater
  • DATE: Dec 15 from 4-6pm
  • COST: Free
  • Website

In addition to getting a photo with Santa, this Clearwater city event also has a cookie decoration station and hot chocolate

Heritage Village Santa Saturdays

Santa Saturdays includes Santa and also holiday activities for the family.

St. Pete Libraries

  • Dec 19 @ North Community Library
  • Dec 20th @ Childs Park Community Library
  • Dec 21st @ West Community Library

Santa is stopping by some of the St. Pete library branches. You can take pictures with Santa and kids attending will also be given a free book.

YMCA Santa Events & Breakfasts

Toddler being handed a candy cane from Santa
Santa at a YMCA breakfast with Santa Event

A number of the local YMCA clubs host Santa events and breakfasts with Santa in December, some of which are open to the community. We will add to this list as more YMCA Santa events are announced.

  • James P. Gills YMCA in Trinity – December 2 from 9-11 a.m.
  • $10/family 
  • Greater Palm Harbor YMCA –  December 9 from 9:30-11:30
  • $7/full members and $10/basic members
    $21/full family members and $30/basic family members
  • Clearwater YMCA – December 16 from 9-11:30 a.m.
  • $3 per family, open to the community

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Malls & Stores with Santa

Perhaps the first Santa that comes to people’s mind is the quintessential mall Santa. Here are the malls and stores near the Clearwater area hosting Santa.

Note: Mall Santa photos are definitely pricier than the community options listed above.

  • Countryside Mall, Nov 11-Dec 24 (website). Reservations highly recommended
  • Tyrone Mall, opening Nov 24 (website)
  • International Plaza, Nov 9-Dec 24 (website)
  • Citrus Park Mall, Nov 24-Dec 24 (website)
  • Bass Pro Shop – Tampa, now until Dec 24 (website)
  • JcPenny’s Portrait Studios (website)
  • Tyrone Square – 11/28
  • Countryside Mall – 12/5
  • Citrus Park – 12/6

Christmas Festivals with Santa Photos

The following Christmas festivals and events have Santa meet and greet opportunities. They take place on select dates through December.

  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium Sea of Holiday Joy (website)
  • ZooTampa Christmas in the Wild
  • Raprager Christmas Festival (website)
  • Busch Gardens Christmas Town
  • DK Farms
  • Enchant at Tropicana Fields

Read more about all the Christmas events happening around Pinellas!

Meals & Desserts with Santa

Looking for more thank just a quick photo with Santa? Here are some breakfasts with Santa, cookies with Santa and dinner with Santa events happening around Pinellas.

  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium Santa Breakfast – Dec 3rd, $65 (website)
  • Cookies with Santa at Pinellas Pioneer Settlement – Dec 15 & 16, $5 per child (must register online in advance)
  • Dinner with Santa at Largo’s Very Merry Christmas Party (Sold out!) – Dec 5 (website)
  • YMCA Breakfasts with Santa – multiple locations and dates
  • Trinity YMCA – Dec 2
  • Palm Harbor YMCA – Dec 9
  • Clearwater YMCA – Dec 16
  • Zaxby’s at 11619 W. Hillsborough Ave: Pictures with Santa & free kids meal with adult purchase! – Dec 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 & 23
  • BONUS TIP: here are 35 more places you can find free kids meal around Pinellas

Sensory-Sensitive Santas Near Pinellas

These Santa meet and greets are designed for kids with sensory, developmental or physical needs. These meetings are supposed to be less overstimulating, calmer and with few people to give time and space for varying needs.

  • Dec 3 – International Plaza (website)
  • Dec 3 – Tyrone Square Mall (details have not been announced but you can find the “Caring Santa” event on their reservation website)
  • Dec 8 – Sensory-Sensitive Santa Meet & Greet at Ulmer Park, 6-7:30pm (website)
  • Dec 10 – We Rock the Spectrum (instagram)
  • Dec 15 – Largo Community Center, must register by Dec 1 (website)
  • Dec 15 – Sensory-Sensitive Santa Meet & Greet at Ulmer Park, 6-7:30pm (website)

Signing Santas Near Pinellas

These signing Santa meet and greets are for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They may also include other signing interpreters as well.

  • Nov 19 – International Plaza (website)
  • Dec 8 – Sensory & Signing Santa at Ulmer Park, 6-7:30pm (website)
  • Dec 15 – Sensory & Signing Santa at Ulmer Park, 6-7:30pm (website)

Santa Calls & Personal Visits

If your child doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap, you can also get into the holiday spirit with calls from Santa. A few Pinellas Parks and Rec departments organize Santa calls to kids.

Note that pre-registration is required to get a call from Santa so do that early.

Calls from Santa

Local recreation centers organize volunteers to call kids as Santa, Mrs. Claus elves during set times. Find more information for each Santa Calling here:

  • Nov 29-30 through Bellair (sign-up form, Belleair residents only)
  • Dec 11th @ 6-8pm through Largo Rec (website)
  • Dec 12-14 through St. Pete Rec (website)

Personal Santa Visits

A few towns in the area do personal Santa visits where Santa will come to your house on a designated night to deliver a present (that you provide).


  • DATES: Dec 12-16 (must register for lotto between Nov 1-15)
  • WEBSITE: https://www.myoldsmar.com/1304/Santa-Visits

Oldsmar residents can enter a lotto to have Santa personally visit your house. If selected, you drop off a gift for Santa to deliver your child.


Belleair has Santa visit residents under 12 to deliver a gift you provide.

Fire Truck Santa Tours

Local fire departments drive Santa around on top of a decorated truck to wave at kids. I loved this so much as a kid and am so glad it is still a local tradition.

The following cities have announced their fire truck tours:

Dog & Pet Photos with Santa

There are many dog and pet photos with Santa in the area too! We have a whole list of nearby pet-friendly Santa photos with “Santa Paws” for you.

Check out our list of dog and pet photos with Santa near Pinellas

Read More:

Looking for more Pinellas holiday fun? Don’t miss our other holiday guides:

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