Holiday lights, ornately decorated trees, fun annual events... They're all unmistakeable parts of Christmas, just like the big man, Santa Claus. For many kids, no holiday season is complete without a visit to see Santa, a chance to tell him what they want for Christmas, and perhaps take a photo with the right jolly old elf himself.
So here are opportunities to see Santa in the Oklahoma City metro area. The list is updated for 2013, and if you know of another to add, just drop me a note.
Area Shopping Malls
Each year, Oklahoma City area shopping malls such as Quail Springs, Northpark, Penn Square and Sooner are top spots to see Santa. He typically sets up shop around Thanksgiving and is there through Christmas Eve. Photo packages are available at each.
Downtown in December
This annual holiday favorite lasts over a month and allows multiple opportunities for kids to visit with Santa Claus. Devon's Saturdays with Santa let them sit on his lap, take pictures, write letters to him, hear stories from Mrs. Claus and maybe even meet the live reindeer.
Bass Pro Shops Santa's Wonderland
Make your way to Lower Bricktown for Santa's Wonderland at sports and outdoor store Bass Pro Shops. There are free games and activities, crafts and, of course, Santa. In 2013, the event runs through Christmas Eve, and kids can get a free 4 x 6 photo.
Oklahoma Railway Museum's Christmas Train
It's only one day a year, but the Christmas Train is not to be missed. Kids get to meet Santa, drink hot chocolate, sing carols and hear a reading of "The Polar Express." In 2013, the Christmas Train will be held on December 21st.
Doughnuts with Santa at the Oklahoma City Zoo
The zoo hosts a popular annual event that affords kids an opportunity to meet Santa in a fun way. 2013 Doughnuts with Santa is on December 9th from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Orr Family Farm Pancake Breakfast
The 2013 Pancake Breakfasts with Santa will be held on December 14th (10 a.m. to noon or 1-3 p.m.) and the 21st (10 a.m. to noon) A reservation also includes a carousel ride and a train ride.
Metro Library's Holiday Open House
Admission is free for the annual party that features crafts, pictures with Santa, gifts and holiday treats. The 2013 edition is December 8th from 1-4 p.m.
Fort Reno's Christmas Guns
Christmas Guns is Fort Reno's "timeless celebration from German and American folklore." It includes snacks, story-telling and a visit from Santa, and in 2013, it will be held on December 15th from 2-4 p.m.