Skip to main content

Pet photos with Santa are a thing – here's where you can get some


Holiday Open House. #Santa #santapaws #saveapetil

A photo posted by Save-A-Pet (@saveapet) on Dec 5, 2015 at 9:54pm PST

Not interested in getting photos of small humans with Santa Claus?

Well maybe consider heading to the mall with your dog or cat. Or cockatiel. Maybe even a turtle.

A handful of Santa photo opps in the Twin Cities area are hosting an animal night, where you can bring your beloved family pet to sit with Mr. Claus himself.

That includes the Mall of America, which has two pet-Santa photo sessions: Dec. 6 and 13, both Sundays, from 7:30-9 p.m.

Sidewalk Dog has a list of similar events elsewhere, including at Southdale, Rosedale, Ridgedale, Eden Prairie and Northtown malls.

Some also serve as part-fundraiser. At Northtown Mall in Blaine, "Pet Photo Nights" will include a donation to the Animal Humane Society's Coon Rapids Shelter for every photo package that's purchased.

There are two more nights of that – Dec. 7 and 9, 5-9 p.m.

Ark Pet Hospital held a fundraiser event Saturday, and Wag 'n Woofs offered pictures with Buddy the Elf.

Mall of America guidelines

If you're planning on heading to the Mall of America, there are some (admittedly kind of amusing in parts) guidelines to know beforehand. Here are a few we pulled out.

Pets you can not bring

  • Wild animals such as lions, raccoons, or bears.
  • Farm animals (baby goats, calves, etc. etc.)
  • Snakes or lizards longer than 6 feet
  • Venomous animals
  • Wolves or wolf-dog hybrids

A few other rules

– If your animal poops (or creates some other sort of mess), you're responsible for cleaning it up.

– All pets must be up to date on vaccinations, and you have to bring proof.

– You have to sign and bring a waiver before the visit.

– All animals must be on a leash, or, if that's not possible, in an appropriate cage/crate.

– Mall of America staff can turn away any pet if they feel it doesn't meet these guidelines, or if the animal is being aggressive toward anyone or anything.

Next Up

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.


1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.


St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.


LUSH in Minneapolis to reopen under new ownership in December

FOX 9's Jason Matheson and two popular performers are among the new owners of the revived bar and restaurant.

unsplash roller blade close

Lace up: Indoor skating returns to US Bank Stadium this winter

The venue announced 13 Winter Warm-Up dates for both skaters and runners.


Ho, Ho, Ho: Santa arrives at MOA two weeks before Thanksgiving

Santa Claus has returned to the Twin Cities early this year, two weeks before Black Friday. Fox 9 reports Santa officially arrived at the Mall of America on Thursday and will stay through Dec. 24.