The annual Santa photo is a tradition for many local families. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Santa photos. A social distancing Santa is what you can expect this year as well as enforcement of COVID safe protocols. Here are details on where to find the Man in the Red Suit around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter for Christmas 2020. There’s also Sensitive Santa photo sessions for kids on the autism spectrum as well as Santa Pet photos. [We’ll be adding Santa photo locations as we find out about them]
From Saturday 7 November to 24 December 2020
Capture the magic of Christmas with a memorable Santa photo experience at Charlestown Square. Online bookings are required this year so make sure you get in early. They have a new COVID Safe Santa experience in place this year so you can relax and enjoy your magical moment! No walk-in sessions available. Visitors will need to be temperature checked on arrival and use hand sanitiser before and after their session. 1.5m social distancing will be in place between visitors and Santa to keep everyone safe.
There’s also Sensitive Santa photo times available if you’re looking for a quieter Santa experience. These sessions feature lower lighting and background music for little ones (or big ones) with sensory needs. There’s also Pet Santa photos for those who want to include their furry friends in Santa photos.
For more information, visit the Charlestown Square website.
Darby Street & Hunter Street Santa Photos
Gather your friends, family and pets and shake it like a pole-oriod picture at one of the free Christmas photos spot at Darby Street or Hunter Street Mall from 10 December. Step into a classic Aussie Christmas scene, complete with a spectacular backdrop for the picture perfect moment that resonates good times.
Aussie beach-style Santa photos are available from 9am to 5pm weekdays and 9am to 1pm Saturday on 153 Darby Street, Cooks Hill from Thursday 10 December to Tuesday 15 December and at 145 Hunter Street in Newcastle from Thursday 17 December to Tuesday 22 December.
A dedicated hashtag (#newychristmas) has been created so visitors can quickly grab their polaroid snap and get on their merry way. A Very Newy Christmas has been produced by Enigma and is funded by City of Newcastle’s Special Business Rate Program, in an effort to attract locals and visitors into the city centre.
Hunter Valley Santa at Morpeth
From 1 October to 24 December 2020
The Hunter Valley Santa is doing Santa Photos in Morpeth this year. Day and times are 10am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Bookings are required. Please note that bookings are released one week at a time only on a Wednesday evening at approximately 7:30pm. Set your alarm and be ready to go. For more information, visit Hunter Valley Santa website.
JadyBugs Santa on the Beach
Book Santa on the Beach photos this Christmas with Santa in boardshorts and thongs. Choose from different locations including Blacksmiths, Catherine Hill Bay, Naru Beach and Redhead Beach. Due to COVID-19 Santa will be social distancing at all times. For more information, visit JadyBug Photography website.
From Saturday 21 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Capture a special Christmas memory at Jesmond Central. Packages start from $23.95 and are digitally printed on the spot. Your wellbeing is their priority, so physical distancing will be implemented during your photography session. Every child who has their photo taken will receive a small gift from Santa. The set will be located on the Gallery Level, near ALDI. Online bookings essential and please note there will be no walk-ins to maintain social distancing.There are also Paws & Claws Santa pet photos available on selected dates. For more information, visit the Jesmond Central website.
Lake Macquarie Square
Saturday 28 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Have your photo taken with Santa at Lake Macquarie Square. To monitor the number of people at the Santa Set you will need to make an online booking to visit Santa. He’ll be there at the centre starting Saturday 28 November. Lake Macquarie Square is also offering Sensitive Santa on Sunday 29 November, 2020, a quieter Santa experience for those who may have sensory needs. There’s also Pet Photography available on seelcted dates. Bookings open shortly. For more information, visit Lake Macquarie Square website.
The Levee, Maitland
Thursday 26 November – Saturday 19 December 2020
Shop local at The Levee this Christmas and enjoy a free photo with Santa. Santa will be at The Riverlink to do some last minute toy making and taking some time off to take photos with you and your family from Thursday 26 November to Saturday 19 December. He’ll be available on Thursday from 3pm (final photos at 7pm),Friday from 9am (final photos at 1pm) and Saturday from 9am (final photos at 1pm). Registrations open at start times. Limited spaces available per session. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. A digital photo will be emailed to you to add to your keepsake collection. For more information, visit The Levee website.
Minmi Santa Photos
November 24 & November 25, 2020
Get a photo with Minmi Santa. Every child makes a Christmas bauble with Santa to take home or can decorate their own cookie in Santa’s kitchen. Book via mobile 0413052122 or contact via Minmi Santa Facebook page.
MarketPlace Raymond Terrace
Sunday 8 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Visit Santa in his Castle at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace to have your 2020 Santa Photo. Book a sitting online with the amazing Santa and friendly photographers at MarketPlace to make your Santa Photo memory more magical and merrier than ever. In line with government restrictions and for the safety and wellbeing of all, guests will be asked to social distance from Santa and staff, hand sanitise and have a temperature check. There will also be additional cleaning on set. Your wellbeing, along with Santa and his helpers, is MarketPlace’s priority. We strongly recommend booking online in advance to secure your spot, this can be done via the MarketPlace Raymond Terrace website. Each child having a photo taken will take home a Christmas colouring book and a FREE toothbrush from Pacific Smiles Dental. See the online booking page for all package prices.
Natural Lights Christmas Photos
Selected dates are available from 31 October to 14 December 2020
Nestled in the heart of Catherine Hill Bay is this stunning location, perfectly stylised to look like an Australian winter wonderland. It is a unique backdrop for this year’s family photos. Are you sick of the generic shopping centre photos with Santa and are after quality print images good enough to hang on the wall? Natural Lights Christmas Photos want to capture real and honest moments in a non-intrusive way. They present to you treasured images, unlike anything you have seen before. Yes, they are COVID safe! They have a COVID plan in place and will provide you with hand sanitizer on the day. Their location also offers an outdoor setting that is great for social distancing and is an alternative to public space shopping centres. For more information, visit Natural Lights Christmas Photos
Photos with Sandy Claus
Saturday 31 October 23 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Have your Christmas photos taken with Santa on the beach this year. You can choose from Redhead, Merewether and Awaba House on Lake Macquarie. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Santa will be 1.5 meters away in ALL photos. For more information, visit Photos with Sandy Claus website.
Salamander Bay Square
Saturday 28 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Have your photo taken with Santa at Salamander Bay Square. Bookings are essential for your Santa photo at Salamander Bay Square this year. The health and wellbeing of Santa, Mrs Claus and all the families who visit is their highest priority. They have partnered again with Christmas Memories Photography and introduced several initiatives to keep everyone safe.
This year bookings are essential to limit the number of family visits at one time. To secure your booking, you will need to purchase a Starter Photo Pack for $25. Additional prints, packs and gifts can be purchased on the day of your visit. For more information or to book, visit Salamander Bay Square website.
Stockland Green Hills
Saturday 14 November – Thursday 24 December 2020
Santa is arriving at Stockland Green Hills, and this year he’s bringing a safer photo experience. As we approach the busy Christmas season, it’s important we all do as much as possible to keep ourselves and our fellow shoppers safe and healthy. Green Hills has made some changes to ensure that your time with Santa is fun, and that we can safely and comfortably deliver a magical experience to their visitors this Christmas. Bookings are essential for all Santa photography sessions, including Sensitive Santa and Pet Photos.
Due to COVID19, to ensure the safety of our staff, Santa, and of course you, a physical distance of 1.5m between customers and Santa will be required. There will be stools for customers to sit on to have their photos taken with Santa, as customers won’t be able to sit on Santa’s throne or knee. Physical distance between Santa, customers and Santa Photography staff will also need to be observed. The Santa Set will be cleaned after each group finishes their photography experience.
Sensitive Santa sessions will be available for families on Thursday 26 November, Thursday 3 December, and Thursday 10 December from 7am – 9am. Paws and Claus photos will be available on Sunday 29 November, Sunday 6 December and Sunday 13 December. Get the furriest member of your family in on the action and front and centre of the family photo this year. For more information or to book, visit the Stockland Green Hills website.
7 November to 24 December 2020
Santa is coming to Westfield Kotara. The much-loved tradition of visiting Santa will be balanced this year with prioritising the health and safety of customers - and of course, Santa and his helpers. While you won’t be able to sit on Santa’s knee this year, he’ll still be on his trusty red throne, with families positioned on separate seating, so everyone maintains physical distancing of 1.5 metres. The traditional portrait image will be replaced with a landscape shot, to allow for physical distancing. Westfield Kotara encourages you to bring festive props or a favourite toy to create a unique and interactive Christmas memory.
For your wellbeing, a few extra safety measures will be in place, including hand sanitiser, additional elves to manage cleaning, and a screen for families to view their Santa pictures. Contactless booking and payments mean customers can plan ahead and book online this year, with physically distanced waiting bays allotted to Santa’s nice list (reserved appointments).
Sensitive Santa sessions are available 28 November to 5 December. Sensitive Santa provides children with special needs an opportunity to meet Santa in a private and comfortable and sensory-friendly environment. These sessions are run before stores are open. Bookings are essential.
Pet Photo sessions are available on selected dates in November and December. Bring your furry friend in for a photo that will last a lifetime. Bookings are essential. For more information, visit Westfield Kotara website.
Want more ideas for Christmas fun including family-friendly Christmas events in Newcastle and the Hunter? Visit the Newy with Kids Guide to Christmas
Started in late 2012 by a local mum, Newy with Kids has grown into a thriving go-to family guide for the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter region. Parents visit the Newy with Kids website to find things to do with babies, kids and teens. Whether it’s local attractions, upcoming events, kids eat free, school holiday activities or birthday party ideas, Newy with Kids is the best website for local parents to find local kid-friendly activities and information 24/7.