Wondering where to get a Santa photo on Sydney’s North Shore this Christmas? Things are a little different in 2020, but you can still get a photo with Santa… just a physically distanced one! No more screaming kids and no more bribing them onto Santa’s lap… Santa is still popping up all over Sydney’s North Shore. We will share the best places to go for a visit, and keep updating this list regularly.
Santa is popping up all over Sydney’s North Shore – from our trusty shopping centres right through to the beach and the bush. We will be regularly updating this guide throughout November 2020, to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about where to see the guy in the big red suit.
Once you decide where you want to go, be sure to book your session online to secure your spot and avoid the queues! Merry Christmas…
Check out our quicklinks to find where to get a Santa photo on Sydney’s North Shore.
Note: Chatswood Chase is not doing Santa photos in 2020 due to Covid-19
Something a bit different!
- Santa in the Garden (St Ives)
- Santa at Luna Park (Milsons Point)
- Santa on the Sydney Harbour Bridge (BridgeClimb)
- Snow Globe (Roseville)
- Christmas Mini Sessions (Artarmon)
- Xmas Sessions with the Best Real Santa in town (Killarney Heights)
- Santa on the Beach (Narrabeen, Bayview, Clontarf & Mosman)
- Aussie Santa on the Beach (Long Reef Beach)
Local ‘pop up’ Events
Westfield Chatswood have everything you need to create incredible Christmas memories! Things are a little different this year (as expected) and physical distancing will be practiced throughout the visit. Families will have their own seat next to Santa’s thrones. Kids are encouraged to bring their favourite toy to join the photo, and everyone will receive a reindeer headband to take home. They will again be offering Sensory Santa (for kids with special sensory needs) and Pet Photography. Book here.
- When: Saturday 7 November – Christmas Eve
- Where: Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson Street Chatswood
FREE Family Christmas Portraits
St Ives Village is inviting customers to have a complimentary family portrait taken at their Christmas Set, from Friday 20 November. Photos will be taken (without Santa) at the Christmas Set, and sent via email.
Bookings are essential. You will have a five minute session time within your booked 1 hour window. Shoots will be on a first come first serve basis. Click here to book
- When: Tues 24 Nov: 10am – 12pm | Wed 25 Nov: 10am – 1pm | Thurs 26 Nov: 1pm – 4pm | Friday 27 Nov: 9.30am – 12.30pm
- Where: St Ives Shopping Village, Level 1 (near Nextra)
Santa photos at The Village
With a new look Santa Set this year, St Ives Shopping Village is a great local option to get your Santa photos taken. This year, they are providing a Covid Safe Santa photo experience, including a socially distanced Santa! To ensure safety, you must book online from Friday 20 November. No walk ins are available. Pet Photos will also be held every Thursday in December from 3.30 – 7.30pm
- When: Saturday 28 November – Thursday 24 December
- Where: St Ives Shopping Village
What will you ask Santa for this year? Create a memory that captures the magic of Christmas and book your photo with Santa at Westfield Hornsby. Physical distancing will be practised and families will have their own seat next to Santa. Children that meet Santa and have a photo taken with him will receive a wearable gift, either a cute reindeer or elf headband. There will also be options for Sensitive Santa photos and pet photos with the whole family. Click here to book your Santa photo time slot online and skip the queue.
- When: Saturday 6 November 2020 – Christmas Eve
- Where: Westfield Hornsby, Centre Court, Level 3 (near Food Court), Pacific Highway, Hornsby
Santa’s Secret Garden is back at Macquarie Centre, bringing the outdoors inside with their stunning Christmas set. If you’re looking for a unique Santa photo on Sydney’s North Shore, this is it. Santa’s Secret Garden at Macquarie Centre, made from native and drought tolerant plants, will take visitors on a journey from the beach to the bush, encompassing a lush green set with tropical plants and coastal pathways for visitors to enjoy, showcasing over 250 plants – a combination of drought tolerant, low maintenance and natives, tall gum trees and a large glow worm cave.
They will be offering a COVID-safe SAnta photo experience, maintaining a 1.5m distance from Santa. There will be limited hourly time slots to ensure families can have a safe and enjoyable experience. Book now.
- When: Saturday 21 November – Christmas Eve
- Location: Centre Court (outside Target), Level 1, Macquarie Centre, Cnr Herring & Waterloo Roads, North Ryde
Top Ryde City
The Santa you know and love lands at Top Ryde City from Saturday 14 November. Sensitive Santa photos will be offered this year. Families with children with special needs are invited to a sensory-friendly visit with Top Ryde City’s famous Santa. This inclusive program invites families to meet Santa one-on-one with low background noise, sensory considerations and without the queues.
Physical distancing measures are in place, with a throne set up next to Santa for photos. The stools will be cleaned and sanitized between each sitting. Bookings are required and limited – click here to reserve your spot.
- When: Saturday 14 November – Christmas Eve
- Location: Top Ryde City, Ground Floor (near Harris Scarfe), Cnr Devlin St & Blaxland Road, Ryde
High Tea with Santa, Queen Victoria Building
In 2020, the QVB are replacing their traditional Santa photos with something a lot more special… High Tea with Santa! Santa and a team of helpers will be ready to welcome you, where you’re invited to capture your own photos, as well as have a professional photographer capture a family photo with Santa at his throne.
Ticket includes Standard High Tea (sweet and savoury treats, finger sandwiches, choice of tea, coffee or soft drinks), entry The Tea Room QVB for a maximum session time of 1 hour, professional general event photography.
Here’s what North Shore Mum, Ava Louise had to say about her experience in November 2020…
“I know Santa photos are a big topic right now and I wanted to let everyone know about my experience at the QVB. I know a lot of people are disappointed about the normal Santa photos not being available but I think the Covid-safe option is really lovely. We had a fantastic time this morning. It will not be the best option for everyone, but if you want an experience, this is it. The website doesn’t do a good job of explaining the process so I’ll elaborate for everyone here…
- There are proper Santa photos. The website makes it seem like Santa is only roaming around and you take your own photos. This is not the case. There is a nice set up with the throne. There is also a bonus swing set up to take photos. That being said, you do get to take photos on your phone which you couldn’t do if it was the normal QVB set up.
- You don’t just hope for the best. The attendants usher tables up when it’s their turn with Santa. The attendants are wonderful.
- The food is fabulous, as to be expected with the tea rooms’ high tea.
- If you can, do the 7.30am session, very few people are taking advantage of this session. It was basically empty for us and we got a lot of time with Santa.
- The professional photos are available online that day at no extra cost. This is not the case for the normal set up, so it’s definitely a bonus.”
- Where: Tea Room QVB, Level 3, 455 George Street, Sydney (Town Hall is the closest train station)
- Session Times: 1 hour morning sessions available between 9 Nov – 24 Dec at the following times 7.30-8.30am | 9-10am | 10.30-11.30am
- Tickets: $55 per person (adults and children over 12 months old). Book now.
Santa photos with a twist!
Santa in the Garden, St Ives
Santa is coming to the Wildflower Garden in St Ives this year for a unique outdoor photo opportunity. Come and experience the first year of Santa in the Garden where you will be able to meet Santa whilst being surrounded by the beauty of the natural bushland. The set is flexible and the choice is yours!
- Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420 Mona Vale Road, St Ives
- When: Saturday & Sundays until 13 December
- Cost: $80. Package includes 5 minute session and 3 high res digital images. Book here.
Santa at Luna Park
Santa is coming to Luna Park! Come and take part in some socially distanced Santa photos that will be taking place at the Coney Island stage. Photos will occur for half an hour after each X-mas Factor show (first session 11:30am). Watch the show and stay for a photo after.
Available to Day Session ticket holders only. Limited availability.
- Where: Luna Park, Milsons Point
- When: 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 December. 30-min Session Times: 11:30, 12:45, 14:00, 15:15
- Cost: $50 for Day Session Ticket + $12.95 = 6×8 photo in folder with a digital copy | $24.95 = 6×8 photo in a hand painted frame, two 6×4 photos and a digital copy. Book here.
Santa on Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bridgeclimb
Santa is visiting BridgeClimb for one-of-a-kind Christmas Snaps at the Summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge every Sunday from 29 November – 20 December 20, 2020.
This festive season, climbers booked on departing Climbs within the period can get a COVID-Safe photo with Santa and their family and friends. For the first time ever Santa will be positioned at the Summit with the Opera House sails in the background whilst 1.5m away from climbers.
Christmas cheer add-ons include a Santa hat to take home and the chance to sing-a-long to your favourite Christmas carols whilst you soak in the sights of Sydney Harbour.
- Where: BridgeClimb, The Rocks
- When: 9am-11am every Sunday on all Climb routes – Summit, Summit Express and Ultimate.
- Cost: $99 per Child | $248 per Adult. Book now.
Snow Globe, Roseville
Travel anywhere you like this Christmas in Naomi Reiter Photography’s special Snow Dome! No border restrictions, no shopping centre madness and no queues. Just your beautiful family, even bring your pets if you wish! Choose from four wonderful destinations:
- Relax on a beach holiday with a few special native Aussies
- Take a stellar adventure to a far flung galaxy…but don’t crash into the moon!
- Lose yourselves in the magic and be enchanted under the Christmas lights
- Cozy up on the mantelpiece with a roaring fire…beware of the Naughty Elf!!
Magical Christmas Mini shoots are $150 and include a family portrait Snow Dome photography session in your choice from four Snow Dome backgrounds, three 5×7” prints and a high resolution file.
- Where: Naomi Reiter Photography Studio, 72 Pacific Highway, Roseville
- When: Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 November
- Cost: $150. Book now.
Christmas Mini Session, Artarmon
Christmas Mini Sessions are a different take on your family Christmas photo! Whether it’s just the kids or you choose to jump in with them for a family shot, it’s the perfect Christmas keepsake, to create memories to share and look back on in years to come with beautiful festive themed sets.
It’s a safer, more premium alternative to the standard ‘Santa Photo’ – no shopping malls, safe physical distancing and a more intimate family experience.
The Christmas Mini Session package includes a 20 minute photo session that covers your shoot time in one or both of our Christmas themed sets, plus time to review and select your favourite six images! The images will then be delivered digitally to you within a few days.
- Where: Artarmon
- When: Saturdays & Sundays in November and December.
- Cost: $150 for 20-min session in one or both sets and 6 high-res digital images. Book now.
Xmas Sessions with the Best Real Santa in town
Lia Marx is one of the only photographers we’ve spotted doing photos with Santa – hey, you can even sit on his lap if you really want to! This particular Santa is a winner… he even has a real, white beard! Large families & pets are welcomed, and you can choose from three sets – modern clean, rustic or wood style.
She’s following all the Covid-safe protocols – like temperature check on arrival, cleaning surfaces between families, mandatory hand sanitiser. Only one family is permitted at the time, and Santa is required to have a Covid-test every 15 days!
- Where: Lia Marx Killarney Heights Studio
- When: Various dates in November & December
- Cost: $99 for 10-minute sessions, 2 prints and 2 digital photos. Other packages available. Book now.
Santa on the Beach
Get a photo with Santa on the beach in 2020! Come and have some fun, relaxed Christmas photos with all your family and friends – including 4-legged ones. Dog-friendly Christmas photos are available at Bayview, Mosman and Clontarf, while Narrabeen Beach is for humans only. This year you can choose to have a photo with Santa or without, with plenty of fun styling options to choose from.
- When & Where:
- Narrabeen Beach – Sunday 22 November, Saturday 5 December, Saturday 12 December
- Bayview – Sunday 29 November, Sunday 13 December
- Mosman – Sunday 15 Nov
- Clontarf – Sunday 6 Dec
- Cost: $75 per session. Book now.
Aussie Santa Photos, Long Reef Beach
Have your kids photos with Santa with an Aussie feel. This lovely Santa will be set up at Long Reef Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches for your family to come down and capture the essence of Christmas in Sydney. Bookings are 5 mins per family (made in advance) and you’ll receive 3 high resolution images to post, email, print as you wish. You could even use the photos for your family Christmas cards.
You will have the option of having Santa stand behind the bench, or near the surfboard at a safe distance, or if you wish to have photos with Santa on the bench he will wear a face mask. The bench will be cleaned between each session, and Santa will use hand sanitiser between each group. Book your session now.
- Company: J Roberts Photography
- When: Sunday 22 & Saturday 28 November; 6, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19 & 21 December
- Where: Long Reef Beach
- Cost: $80. Package includes 5 mins session and 3 high res digital images. Book now.
Santa appearances at North Shore locations
Saturday 28 November: PetO Chatswood
Santa Paws is back at PetO! Come in for a family portrait with your fur babies on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 November.
Celebrate the festive season by giving back. You will receive instant prints at PetO’s Christmas Wonderland for $9.99 , with all proceeds will be going to Animal Welfare League.
Due to COVID-19, Santa is still quarantining in the North Pole so he won’t make it to PetO but their PetO Dog in his Santa Paws suit and Meow the Elf is here to help!
- When: Saturday 28 November, 9am-5pm
- Where: PetO, 179 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
- Cost: $9.99 for emailed digital print. All proceeds to Animal Welfare League. Just turn up, no bookings required. More info.
Saturday 12 December: Orchard ELC, St Ives
Orchard ELC St Ives is expecting a very special visitor! Bring your family and friends, and get your FREE covid safe photo with Santa on Saturday 12 December.
Set amongst our beautiful Kitchen Garden and Orchard, your Family can hop on the tractor, cradle our chooks and capture Christmas whilst enjoying a morning with a socially distanced Santa and the Orchard ELC team.
Open to Families with children under 5 years only. Families will be provided with several photos from the morning.
- When: Saturday 12 December, 8.30am – 3.00pm
- Where: Orchard ELC, 58 Woodbury Rd, St Ives
- Cost: Free, but RSVP is essential. Book now.