Here comes Santa Claus! We don’t know how he does it, but somehow the jolly old elf finds time during his busy season to leave the North Pole and visit with children across Centre County. Here are some of the places local parents can take kids — and pet — to get up close and personal with the man who embodies the magic of Christmas.
Nov. 22, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Downtown State College Tree Lighting, Allen Street. After local performers and Mrs. Claus herself warm up the crowd, Santa will arrive to light the tree. He’ll then be available for photos at Kish Bank, 114 S. Allen Street.
Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Milesburg Hometown Christmas. Santa and Christmas carolers will stroll the streets of Milesburg throughout the day.
Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to noon. Perry Wellington Realty, 170 Rolling Ridge Drive, State College. Santa will pose with your pet, with all donations going to support Centre County PAWS.
Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Christmas Crystals in the Cave, Penn’s Cave, Centre Hall. Santa will be making appearances at this event which includes light displays, lantern tours and free admission to the Merry Maze with the donation of a non-perishable food item. www.pennscave.com/events
Nov. 30 to Dec. 24. Nittany Mall, State College. Santa will arrive at the Nittany Mall during the Candy Cane Carnival on Nov. 30, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that, he’ll be available for photos Mondays through Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. (with a break from 3 to 4 p.m.) and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. (with a break from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.) through Dec. 15, with extended hours from Dec. 16 to 23 on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (with breaks from noon to 1 p.m. and from 5 to 6 p.m.) He’ll also be available on Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a break from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.). Photo packages will be available to purchase.
Dec. 1, noon to 2 p.m. Brunch with Santa, Hope Fire Company Recreation Center, 500 N. 6th Street, Philipsburg. Price of admission is a non-perishable food item.
Dec. 7 and 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dec. 8 and 15, 2 to 4 p.m., “The Polar Express,” State College Municipal Building. Families can enjoy a free showing of “The Polar Express” at the State Theatre and a trolley ride to Santa’s Workshop at the Municipal Building, where Santa will be available for photos. Free tickets will be available starting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 3. www.downtownstatecollege.com/polar-express/
Dec. 7 and 14, Breakfast with Santa. Nittany Lion Inn, 200 W. Park Ave., State College. Santa will be posing for complimentary photos. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling (814) 865-8590.
Dec. 7, 14 and 21, Breakfast with Santa. The Corner Room, 100 W. College Ave., State College. No reservations necessary; just stop in for breakfast on Saturday mornings in December for your chance to meet Santa and take a free photo.
Dec. 7, 1 to 3:30 p.m., Milk and Cookies with Santa. Dolce Vita Desserts, 2490 Commercial Blvd., State College. Kids will decorate cookies before meeting Santa. Cost: $7 per participant (prepaid by Dec. 6) or $8 at the door. Parents can attend and take photos for free. Order tickets at dvdesserts.com.
Dec. 7, 8:30 to 11 a.m., Breakfast with Santa. Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 E. Pine Street. This event is part of Boalsburg Hometown Christmas. Reservations are not required. Admission is $5. facebook.com/BoalsburgHometownChristmas
Dec. 7 and 8, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Pet Photos with Santa. Pets Come First, 2451 General Potter Highway, Centre Hall. Santa will pose for photos with your pet for a monetary donation to the nonprofit animal shelter.
Dec 7, 14 and 15, 1 to 4p.m., Pet photos with Santa. Petco, 40 Colonnade Way, State College. For a $9.95 donation, you can get a digital portrait of your pet posing with Santa. Donations support local rescue organizations like Nittany Greyhounds and Nittany Beagle Rescue.
Dec. 13, 5 to 7 p.m., Winter Celebration. Penn State Arboretum. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be strolling the gardens and posing for pictures throughout this free event at the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens.
Dec. 13 and 14, noon to 4 p.m., Santa’s House. Bellefonte Victorian Christmas. Santa will arrive at his house on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. He’ll be there throughout the holiday season; look for the “Santa Is In” sign on his house on the Diamond.
Dec. 14 and 15, Festival of Trees. CPI, 540 N. Harrison Road, Pleasant Gap. Santa will visit the Festival of Trees from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Kids will be invited to make a Christmas craft during those times.
Dec. 14, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Breakfast with Santa. Bellefonte Victorian Christmas. This annual event will take place at a new location this year: Faith United Methodist Church at 512 Hughes St. No reservations necessary, but tickets are $6 per adults and $3 per child.
Dec. 14, Jingle Bell Bazaar. Undine Fire Company, Bellefonte. Santa and Mrs. Claus will drop by this event at Lambert Hall from noon until 2 p.m.
Dec. 17, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Boalsburg Santa Run. Boalsburg. Santa makes the rounds throughout the Boalsburg Fire Company’s coverage areas of Harris and College townships, going neighborhood to neighborhood via fire truck, handing out treats to all who come out to see him
Dec. 20 to 22, Santa Express Train Rides. Bellefonte. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets for this event, you’ll enjoy an hour-long train ride with old Saint Nick on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad. Tickets went on sale on Nov. 1 and sold out very quickly, but the railroad says a few additional tickets may become available on Nov. 30 at 8 a.m. Check BellefonteTrain.org.
Dec. 21, Penns Valley. The Millheim Fire Company will drive Santa across Penns Valley on a fire truck to see families and give out treats throughout the day.
Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Breakfast with Santa. Millheim Fire Company, 103 North St. Meet St. Nick and enjoy breakfast in the Engine Room.
Dec. 24, Santa Run. Throughout State College. On board an Alpha Fire Company fire truck, Santa will make his way through every neighborhood in State College on Christmas Eve beginning at 4 p.m. Visit www.alphafire.com to see the routes.
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