This story originally appears on TodaysMama – Portland.
I admit it, my kids (and I) have always hated going to see Santa in the mall. From the long lines, to the crying children around us, it’s never been our idea of a jolly good time. Add my lack of zeal for shopping and you can imagine how hard it was for my kids to talk me out of taking them again this year. But that doesn’t mean I want to take Santa out of the Christmas equation entirely! Instead, we’re on the lookout for Santa sightings in Portland (sans malls). And we’re not talking about the rogue-Santa impostors roaming the city for SantaCon either! We’re talking the jolly ol’ fat man that will listen carefully to your child’s secret holiday wish (or, at the very least, take their tears in stride).
Here’s my list of Santa sightings to come around town during the last week before Christmas. If I’ve forgotten any, please, let me know! Add it to the comments below.
Portland Children’s Museum
4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland
Dec. 20-21, 5-8 pm
Pre-registration is required for this event, but if you do you will have VIP access to the big man himself! One on one contact and no lines! Plus, there will be story times, ornament decorating crafts and even a holiday scavenger hunt! Come out of the cold rain and enjoy the warm, winter-themed museum.
6149 SW Shattuck, Portland
Dec. 20-22, all day
Alpenrose Dairy’s Storybook Lane offers professional photos with Santa. While you still have to stand in line to see Santa, at least you’re doing so amongst a beautiful backdrop of over 300 decorated live trees, live animals, festive music and train displays. You won’t get bored here and admission is free!
Pioneer Courthouse Square (corner of Morrison and Broadway)
Cedar Hills Crossing (3205 SW Cedar Hills Blvd)
Dec. 18-23, 11 am-9 pm and Dec. 24, 11 am-5 pm
With rain tents and hot chocolate, standing in line to see Santa here doesn’t seem so bad after all. Plus, they’re around on Christmas Eve and I don’t have to go to the crazy-frenzied mall to see Santa!
Special thanks to my dear friends, The Curreys, for letting me use their ‘Happy’ Holidays 2013 Christmas picture. I hope all of you have a very merry Christmas full of joy and good tidings – and no coal!