Skip to main content

Santa's marching into the Mall of America 2 weeks before Thanksgiving

There are actually a few different Saint Nicks at MOA.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Target might be waiting until after Thanksgiving to break out the holiday decorations, but it's already Christmastime at the Mall of America.

The megamall wasted no time getting prepped for the biggest shopping season of the year. Two giant trees and a ton of lights and decorations were assembled in the rotunda earlier this month. Now it's time for the big guy in red to make his debut.

Santa's arrival ceremony is going to be a big to-do. Saint Nick will march into Nickelodeon Universe on Thursday night, accompanied by the Rosemount High School marching band.

The parade will kick off a holiday light show for spectators featuring lights, music, fog, and snow effects. After that, Santa will march over to Santa Land and begin meeting families for traditional photos.

Guests can sip hot cocoa while enjoying a bunch of other holiday activities in the rotunda, including letters to Santa, balloon artists, face painting and a "DJ Santa dance party."

The celebration kicks off at 5:30 p.m., and Santa will be available for photos until 9 p.m. 

If you can't make it, here's a complete listing of Santa's schedule this season. The holiday light show will play for mall guests every night through Dec. 24.

So many Santas

If you want to have your kid's picture taken with Santa, there are a couple of options at the Mall of America – Photos with Santa at Santa Land, which doesn't require appointments, and the Santa Experience, which is appointment only.

What's the difference? Mainly, you'll wait in line if you go to Santa Land, on Level 1 in the north atrium. Pricing between the two is similar – each offers a 5x7 print for $16 – but they each have their own unique packages available.

If you go with the Santa Experience, you'll have to book a time slot in advance. There are two locations in the mall – one on the first floor next to Macy's, the other on the third floor next to Best Buy.

While you're choosing a time, you also get to choose a Santa. There are four Kris Kringles to pick from (maybe don't tell the kids that.)

Santa Larry is back by popular demand this year. He's the Army veteran who made headlines last year when he became the Mall of America's first black Santa.

Larry will be in town from Nov. 30 to Dec. 8, and according to KARE 11, most of his openings are already booked.

Don't have kids? The Santa Experience will also offer pet nights on Nov. 19, Dec. 3, and Dec. 10. Photo sessions start at 7 p.m., with no appointment required.

Next Up

Crane Lake

Flooding expected to worsen in MN's Arrowhead region

Hundreds of private homes are at-risk in northern St. Louis County.

St. Paul Police crash

St. Paul police: Kids in stolen car rammed squad, hid in porta-potty

The incident sent the Minnesota Capitol into a brief lockdown.

IMG_7030

Watch: Storm updates after heavy hail slams Twin Cities

Sven Sundgaard is providing an update after Thursday's flash hail storm.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP apologizes over antisemitic sequence in candidate's campaign video

Party leader says candidate didn't know the imagery perpetuated an antisemitic trope.

storm, severe

Tornado, severe thunderstorm watches issued in Minnesota

In addition to possible tornadoes, there is a threat for damaging winds and very large hail.

House sale keys door

High prices, stiff competition putting off homebuyers in Twin Cities

Prices continue to rise in the metro, but there are signs of buyer fatigue.

Screen Shot 2022-05-19 at 1.59.51 PM

Series of explosions at manufacturing plant injures 6 in Wisconsin

The blast rocked the Wisconsin town just before 7:45 a.m.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Medford man dies in Le Sueur County crash

The 49-year-old was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Denisovan molar

MN researcher part of team behind 'revolutionary' discovery of ancient tooth in Laos

The molar found in a remote cave is believed to have belonged to a Denisovan girl who lived 164,000-130,000 years ago.

Eagle Ridge Middle School

Charges: Sting catches MN principal trying to hire child prostitute

Authorities alleged Mohamed Selim attempted to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex on Tuesday.

cub donuts 1

Nominate a 'local hero' to get a dozen Cub donuts from Salvation Army

The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help with the effort in the metro.

Related

Mall of America put an ugly Christmas sweater on Paul Bunyan

For the first time ever, the iconic Log Chute ride has been decorated for the holidays.

CCI 3

Mall of America is offering a virtual Santa experience this year

People can virtually tour Santa's Candy Cane Institute.

Mall of America reveals its plans for Black Friday

It's closed for Thanksgiving, but is making a huge deal of Black Friday.

Mall of America will close for Thanksgiving – but that doesn't mean every store has to

The megamall will be closed – but will all its stores follow suit?

'Project Runway' takes over the Mall of America this weekend

A fashion show featuring 7 fan-favorite designers, plus a chance to shop their new collections.