Bass Pro Shops — Winter Wonderland activities return to Bass Pro Shops — including free photos with Santa. Kids can tell Santa their Christmas wishes and get a free photo through December 24. Avoid lines with the Bass Pass if the line is more than 30 minutes. Simply get a ticket with a specific time and return later. Located in Katy and Pearland. Check the online Santa schedule. Times vary by week.
Dickinson Festival of Lights — Kids can sit with Santa for a free photo (or $5 from the festival camera) beginning November 28-29 (6 pm – 8:30 pm). December dates are Fridays – Sundays, 6 pm – 8:30 pm and then December 21-23. This is an amazing walk-through event celebrating its 18th year. Free admission, free parking, and free shuttle. Open nightly through December 31 at Paul Hopkins Park in Dickinson.
Frost Bank — Houston-area Frost Bank locations are offering Cookies with Santa and free photo opp! Check the schedule for one near you!
Pearland Financial Center: December 3 (4:30 pm – 7:30 pm), 5208 W. Broadway
Northgate Financial Center: December 9 (4:30 pm – 7:30 pm), 2715 FM 1960W
Missouri City Financial Center: December 12 (10 am – 1 pm), 3600 FM 1092
Harrisburg Financial Center: December 12 (10 am – 1 pm), 1001 Broadway
Downtown at City Hall — Free Santa photos will be available at the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting December 4, 6 pm – 8 pm. This is located at Hermann Square near City Hall.
Missouri City — Enjoy free photos with Santa at Snowfest Festival, December 4, 5:30 pm – 9 pm. Bring your own camera! Located at the Civic Center in Missouri City (1522 Texas Parkway).
Houston Humane Society — Pets (and kids!) can get free photos with Santa Saturday, December 5 and December 19, 11 am – 2 pm, at Houston Humane Society. A donation is suggested to help the organization, such as a Kong toy or pet food. The afternoon also features a shopping market and bake sale. Located at 14700 Almeda.
Santa Paws — If you treat your pet like your child (me!), then don’t miss Santa Paws Saturday, December 5, noon – 3 pm at GreenStreet. Bring your pet to GreenStreet to meet Santa Paws. It’s a free photo when you bring your own camera. The afternoon also includes live music and Kriser’s Pet Pop-Up Shop and adoptable animals from Pup Squad. Located at 1201 Fannin.
John Daugherty Realtors — Santa is coming to your neighborhood for free Santa photos, thanks to John Daugherty Realtors. Here is the neighborhood schedule December 5, 10 am – 1 pm:
River Oaks: River Oaks Park, 3600 Locke Lane
Tanglewood: Tanglewood Corporation, 1661 Tanglewood Blvd. Plus enjoy carriage rides!
Memorial: Memorial Drive Baptist Church, 325 N. Piney Point Rd.
West University: Southwide Place Park, 3743 Garnet St. Plus enjoy Winter Carnival.
Bellaire: Nature Discovery Center, 7112 Newcastle St
Heights: Donovan Park, 700 Heights Blvd.
Briargrove Park: 2301 Seagler Rd.
The Woodlands: Christ Community School, 1488 Wellman Rd.
CityCentre — It’s Santa’s Holiday Market Friday, December 18, 10 am – 5 pm, at CityCentre. Kids can get a free photo with Santa (noon – 5 pm) and parents can shop at the outdoor holiday market. Don’t miss the strolling Dickens carolers.
Champions Village — Head to Champions Village Shopping Center Saturday, December 12, 11 am – 2 pm, for free photos with Santa, carriage rides, cookie decorating, petting zoo, face painting, balloon artists, trackless train, and more. Located at Champions Village, FM 1960 and Champions Forest.
Kingwood — Enjoy free photos with Santa at Holiday at the Harbor Saturday, December 12, noon – 5 pm. The afternoon also features ornament decorating, a DJ, hot chocolate and more. Located at 1660 W. Lake Houston Parkway at Kings Harbor Waterfront Village.
Tomball — Enjoy free photos with Santa at Christmas in Commerce December 12, this month’s 2nd Saturday event in Tomball. The event also includes vendors, games, activities and live entertainment. 12 pm – 5 pm. Located on Commerce Street in historic Tomball.
YMCAs — Many Houston-area YMCAs are offering free photos with Santa. Check with your local area Y. Here are a few I found:
Breakfast with Santa –South Montgomery County YMCA
Saturday, December 5, 9 am – noon (6464 Creekside Forest, The Woodlands)
Free light breakfast and photos with Santa plus crafts, holiday music, face art, and balloon art.
Admission: Non-perishable item for food bank.
Cookies with Santa — Alief Family YMCA
Saturday, December 5, 10 am – noon (7850 Howell-Sugarland Road)
Cookies and photos with Santa. Free to all facility members
Cookies with Santa — Fort Bend Family YMCA
Saturday, December 5, 10 am – noon (4433 Cartwright Rd., Missouri City)
Cookies & milk, photos with Santa plus arts-n-crafts.
Breakfast with the Grinch — Langham Creek YMCA
Saturday, December 12, 9 am – 10:30 am (16725 Longenbaugh)
Breakfast, holiday craft, and photos with Santa. $10 per family.
Santa Photos for Cheap or Donations Benefiting Others
Sugar Land Town Square — This outdoor venue will have free Santa photos Sunday, November 29, and Sundays in December (December 6, 13, 20) from 1 pm – 5 pm. Head to the lobby of 16190 City Walk. A donation box will be available to support Fort Bend Rainbow Room’s Christmas Project.
Traders Village — Santa is at Traders Village Saturdays and Sundays November 28 – December 20. $5 photo with Santa. Admission is free with $4 parking.
Children’s Museum of Houston — Snap a photo with Santa November 28, noon – 4 pm, at Children’s Museum of Houston. Santa will be accompanied by his Texas Reinsteer longhorn! Or catch Santa pics at another meet-n-greet December 19, 11 am – 2 pm. Free with $10 museum admission. Located at 1500 Binz.
Toys and Candy On the Park — Santa is returning for his 21st year at Toys and Candy On the Park in Kingwood. He will be visiting with children and taking pictures beginning November 28, noon – 4 pm and Saturdays and Sundays through Christmas. Suggested donation is $10 to help families in need. Located at 1271 Kingwood Drive.
Unleashed by PetCo. — Pets love Santa, too! Bring your pet for a pic with Santa December 5 and December 12, 1 pm – 4 pm. For $10, you get a photo and frame, which benefits a local animal charity. Find a location near you online.
Topgolf Houston — The first 200 kids playing Topgolf Saturday, December 19, 9 am – 11 am, get a free photo with Santa plus free cookies, cocoa, and holiday-themed gift. No reservation required.
Breakfast with Santa (fee)
Ellen’s Cafe — Head to Old Town Spring for this special Breakfast with Santa, November 28, 9 am – 10 am, sponsored by Ellen’s Cafe. $6 per person. Located at 307 Gentry in Old Town Spring.
MainStreet America — Enjoy an unforgettable Ho Ho Holiday Breakfast Buffet with Santa November 28, December 5, 12, and 19 from 9 am -11 am. Breakfast with Santa includes full breakfast buffet, photo opportunities with Santa, and goodies bags for kids. Tickets sales end 2 days before event. Tickets are $25 a person.
Cheesecake Factory at First Colony Mall — Kids can enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Cheesecake Factory December 5, 8:30 am – 10 am, at First Colony Mall. Santa also will read The Night Before Christmas. Bring an unwrapped toy per child to attend the event.
Downtown Aquarium and Kemah Aquarium — Enjoy a Breakfast with Santa and Sharkey buffet December 12, 13, 19, 20, 22 -24, 8 am – 10 am. You might catch Santa swimming in the aquarium! $18.99 adults, $12.99 kids. Free Santa photos. Call for reservations: 713.223.3474.
The Westin Houston, Memorial City — Families can enjoy Breakfast with Santa December 12 and 19, with seatings at 8 am and 10 am. The morning includes a full-breakfast buffet, photo with Santa, holiday craft station, and Goodie Bags for kids 12 and under. Price is $14 for up to age 12 and $20 for 13 and up. Reservations are required.
iT’Z Family Food & Fun Willowbrook — Families can enjoy Breakfast with Santa December 12, 8:30 am – 10:30 am for just $9.99 each. This includes breakfast, activities and kids’ crafts, and $5 game card. Located at 1855 Tomball Parkway.
Klein ISD Multipurpose Center — Children and their families are invited to Breakfast with Santa December 5, 9 am. The event includes pancakes, appearance by Santa Claus, life performance by Express Children’s Theatre, and holiday crafts. Advance registration is required. A $5 donation is suggested to cover costs. Located at 7500 FM 2920 in Klein.
Laurenzo’s — Enjoy a breakfast buffet with Santa at Laurenzo’s Restaurant December 12 from 8 am- 11 am. Kids can take photos with Santa and ride on Santa’s train in the parking lot. Tickets are $15 per adult, $8 per child (under 12 years of age). Call 713-880-5111 for reservations. Located at 4412 Washington.