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Where to find special Seattle-area Santas this December

Photo: Kevin Dooley/Flickr


Are you bored by the prototypical Santa sitting on his cushy velvet throne? Or perhaps your kids would rather visit a Santa who shares their ethnicity or understands their needs? Well, you’re in luck – several places in the Seattle area offer wonderfully diverse Santa experiences this season.


Santas of color

Nordstrom stores in downtown Seattle, Southcenter and Tacoma offer African-American and Asian-American Santas in addition to Caucasian Santas. Call to find out when each Santa will be available. 

The Wing Luke Museum in Chinatown/International District will have photos with an Asian-American Santa on Dec. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. Photos are $3 to $12; admission is not required to take photos with Santa. 

The Northwest African American Museum in the Central District will host an African-American Santa on Dec. 5 and 12, from noon to 4 p.m. Plus, on Dec. 12 you can celebrate Kwanzaa with crafts, story time and more.


Santa for special-needs guests

It’s true that Santa is generally a patient and loving guy, but there are some Santas who are especially sensitive to the needs of children with sensory, physical or developmental differences.  You’ll find a quieter, slower-paced experience with a well-prepared Santa (by appointment) on Dec. 6 at Northgate Mall, and at Redmond Town Center starting at 10 a.m. on Dec. 10. The Northgate Santa is by appointment; the RTC one is not, but they do recommend arriving early in the day.

Guests who communicate with American Sign Language can visit an ASL Santa at Nordstrom in Downtown Seattle. He’ll be available 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 16.


Santa sans sleigh

It’s Santa 2.0 at the Space Needle, where you can take a professional photo with a futuristic Santa in a rocket sled on select days in December (photo is a free download; admission fees apply).

Santa’s Landing Party at the Museum of Flight on Dec. 12 lets you watch Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by airplane. They’re scheduled to land at 11:45 a.m. Afterward, they’ll be visiting with families inside the museum until 4 p.m. Outdoor activities are free; indoor activities are included with admission.

Take a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus in a 1906 Cadillac at the LeMay America’s Car Museum in Tacoma. They’ll be available for DIY photos for several hours Dec. 12-13 and 19-20. It’s included with museum admission, and we hear they’ll be giving kids who visit them a voucher for a free turn at the slot car track.

Where else but Seattle Aquarium can you find a scuba-diving Santa?! Watch him in his water wonderland at noon and 3 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 20. Plus, check out live musical performances at 1:30 p.m. on select days – it’s all included with admission.

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