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Santa Mail and Photo Ops in San Diego

***Some of the Santa Mail events have not been verified for 2018 so I've left last year's info in case you want to check them out. Santa Photos noted below have all been verified for 2018.***

Our Believe Meter is HIGH this year! My boys don't seem interested in Santa photos this year, so we may have to skip our annual tradition. But they still wanted to mail him their Christmas lists to make sure he still brings them presents.

Below are some places in San Diego where your kids can mail their letters to Santa. The last 3 options, including the USPS, will even send a reply letter back to your kids postmarked from the North Pole! Note that some of these locations have deadlines of Dec. 10th or 15th, but Macy's and the Fashion Valley Mall accept Santa mail up until Dec. 24th.

Further down is a list of Central San Diego locations where you can get photos taken with Santa. Please share in comments if you know of any other locations that aren't listed.


(click on each title to link)

Macy's and Macy's Home Stores (all locations)

DATES: Now through Dec. 24, 2018

WHERE: All Macy's Stores, including Macy's Home Stores. Santa mailboxes are at Macy's Home store at Mission Valley Mall, and Macy's stores at Fashion Valley Mall on the 3rd Floor in the Children's Dept. and at UTC Mall on the 2nd Floor.

WHAT: Bring a letter to Santa to your local Macy's (and Macy's Home) store and drop it in the big red mailbox. Or, you can email your letter at For each letter received through Dec. 24, Macy's will donate $1 per letter received, up to $1 million, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. #MacysBelieve

Mission Valley Mall (Mission Valley)

DATES: Nov. 17 - Dec. 15, 2017

WHERE: Next to the Christmas Tree in front of the Yard House Restaurant

WHAT: Mail your letters to Santa Claus!

Fashion Valley Mall (Fashion Valley)

DATES: Nov. 3 - Dec. 24, 2017

WHERE: In front of Macy's. There's a small mailbox on the counter inside Santa's House.

UTC Mall (La Jolla/UTC)

DATES: Dec. 2-17, 2018

WHERE: At the Concierge Desk, next to the water fountain and food court, near the Art of Shaving and Godiva stores.

Ocean Beach Business Center (Ocean Beach)

DATES: Now-December 10, 2017

WHAT: Mail your letters to Santa AND receive a letter back from him!! Click title link for details.

Coronado Community Center (Coronado)

DATES: December 1-14, 2017

WHAT: Mail your letters to Santa AND receive a letter back from him!! Click title link for details.

USPS Letters From Santa

DATES: Letters must be received by the Anchorage, AK post office by 12/15/17

WHAT: Click the title link for details.


(click on each title to link)

Seaport Village (Point Loma)

DATES: Nov. 17 - Dec. 24, 2018

TIMES: 11am-5pm most days, closed some Mondays & Tuesdays

WHERE: East Plaza Gazebo

SeaWorld Santa's Christmas Village (Mission Bay)

DATES: Nov. 17, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019

WHERE: Santa's Christmas Village. Not sure if Santa photos will be available all the way through Jan. 6th or not.

Christmas on Crystal Pier: Santa Photos & Tree Lighting (Pacific Beach)

DATE: Dec. 1, 2018

TIME: 2-5pm

WHAT: Join in celebrating the holiday season and get a one-of-a-kind photo on historic Crystal Pier taken with Santa, just in time for holiday cards to go out. Photos cost $10, or $5 with a donation of school supplies for Pacific Beach schools. Photos are first-come, first-serve, and will end at 5pm (no guarantees if you arrive after 3:45pm). Be sure to stick around after the photo shoot, because Santa will help turn on the holiday lights along the pier and tree after sunset. (Some needed school supplies include: hand sanitizer (large family size), sanitizing wipes, Kleenex boses, color & white copy paper 8x11.5, staplers & staples, adult scissors, post-its, white cardstock paper, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, colored pencils & markers.)

Belmont Park Santa Saturdays (Mission Beach)

DATES: Dec. 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2018 from 1-4pm


Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo (Balboa Park)

DATES: Dec. 14-24, 2018 (from Noon - 8pm, except on 12/24 from Noon - 4pm)

WHERE: New Location! He'll be at the new Santa's Factory at the Gingerbread Landing waiting to talk with kids about their wish lists. Not sure if they'll be taking photos or not since this is new location event for Santa. (The Gingerbread Landing is next to the Treetops Cafe and right at the entrance for the new bridge just before crossing.)

Fashion Valley Mall (Fashion Valley)

DATES: Nov. 9 - Dec. 24, 2018

APPTS: Make an appointment online to see Santa and skip the line!

WHERE: In front of Macy's.

Mission Valley Mall (Mission Valley)

DATES: Nov. 16 - Dec. 24, 2018

APPTS: Make an appointment online to see Santa and skip the line!

WHERE: Next to the movie theaters

WHAT: Come visit Santa in his brand new toy shop nestled in the heart of Westfield Mission Valley! Santa’s quaint toy shop of rustic wood and iconic red roof, is the perfect place to capture a photo with the big man himself. He’s surrounded by lush greenery, twinkling lights, hand-crafted art and vintage toys – all in an intimate setting which boasts a blend of rustic décor with a modern twist. His toy shop features fun interactive elements such as a countdown to Christmas calendar.

Grossmont Center Mall (La Mesa)

DATES: Nov. 24 - Dec. 24, 2018

Liberty Station (Pt. Loma)

DATES: Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 2018 from 5-8pm

WHERE: North Promenade

WHAT: Every Saturday of the month before December 25 from 5 to 8 p.m., friends and family are invited to Liberty Station to celebrate the holidays and take pictures with Santa in the North Promenade! In addition to a visit from Saint Nick, the Salute the Season Celebration with Santa and Friends will provide live entertainment including bands and carolers for all to enjoy!

UTC Mall Santa (La Jolla/UTC)

DATES: Nov. 9 - Dec. 24, 2018 from 10am-7pm

APPTS: Make an appointment online to see Santa and skip the line!

WHAT: Santa will be at Westfield UTC for photos starting Nov 9-Dec. 24 from 10am-7pm. Plan your visit in advance and skip the lines by making an appointment and pre-paying for your photo package via the reservations link online! Reserve your spot today: is located in the gilded ornament tree near Pottery Barn.

The Village Walk at Eastlake (Eastlake/Otay Ranch)

DATES: Dec. 9 & 16, 2018 from 4-6pm

WHERE: Near the Children's Play Area

WHAT: Giant Snow Globe Photos! Looking for the perfect photo or backdrop for your holiday photo? Stop by the Giant Snow Globe where you can take photos of you inside. Be sure to catch the Family Fun Day on Dec. 8th from 12-3pm and NIGHTLY SNOWFALL on Dec. 8-24 from 6-7pm.

Pacific Highlands Ranch Tree Lighting, Santa Photos & Free Train Rides (Carmel Valley)

DATES: Dec. 1, 2018: Tree Lighting from 5-7:30pm

Dec. 9, 2018: Santa Photos from 3-6pm

Dec. 1, 2, 8 & 9, 2018: FREE Train Rides from 11am-8pm

WHAT: TREE LIGHTING: Enjoy live music, photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus – courtesy of Keane Studios – and sweet treats. SANTA PHOTOS: Enjoy Live music and photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus – courtesy of Keane Studios.


I can't be everywhere all the time so your input is greatly appreciated. If you have any updates to this place or post please send me a message or a DM here.

If you like a place that I've suggested please share it and tag me on Instagram @famdiego 🤗 I always LOVE to see everyone getting out to enjoy all the fun in our wonderful city and making special memories together with your kids. 💕 I put a lot of time and work into all that I share and it truly helps me if you can spread the word to others. That will keep partnerships coming in so I can share new updates, host fun giveaways and help you discover fun new places. Thank you so much. 💛


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