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 2021. There’s also Sensitive Santa photo sessions for kids with special needs as well as Santa Pet photos. [We’ll be adding Santa photo locations as we find out about them]
From Saturday 6 November to Friday 24 December 2021
Charlestown Square have COVID Safe Santa Photography this year so you can relax and enjoy your magical moment! Santa will be at the Charlestown Square Wish Catching Outpost located in Centre Court outside Myer on Level 1. Bookings are essential as there will be no walk-in sessions available. Charlestown Square also have 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.
Charlestown Square Cringeworthy Christmas Set
From Friday 26 November to Thursday 23 December 2021
Too old for Santa but never too old for Christmas? Have your free photo taken at Charlestown Square Cringeworthy Christmas set. Bring your own sweater or chose from a selection of sweaters and props to get in on the Cringeworthy fun. Visit the Charlestown Square website for further information on dates and times.
Crafty Cookies & co – Photos with the Grinch
Saturday 11 December 2021
Bring Your Own Camera! Crafty Cookies & co will be setting up their display in East Maitland on Saturday 11th December between 4-5pm in a natural, bush environment setting. You can book your own 4 minute session and snap away as many images as you like for only $10! You can even bring your own Santa! Please note that Crafty Cookies & co will NOT have a Santa attending these sessions. Photos with the Grinch are available as well for an additional $20. Limited numbers available so get in quick! Message via the Crafty Cookies & co Facebook page for booking details! Please note- There will be NO photographer on site. This is a bring your own camera and photographer set up! “Perfect set up” from 4pm-4:30pm“ Destroyed (Grinch) set up” from 4:30-5pm.
Hunter Valley Santa at Morpeth
From Thursday 28 October
The Hunter Valley Santa is doing Santa Photos in Morpeth this year. No more bookings are available, however, walk ins will start on 2nd December. Until restrictions on non-vaccinated adults are eased, at this stage 15th December, walk in customers above 16yrs of age need to be double vaccinated. Those under 16 need to be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult. Hunter Valley Santa will be open for tickets from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday through to Sunday. For more information, visit the Hunter Valley Santa website.
JadyBugs Santa on the Beach
Book Santa on the Beach photos this Christmas with Santa in shorts and thongs. Choose from different locations including Blacksmiths, Catherine Hill Bay, Naru Beach and Redhead. Due to COVID-19 Santa will be social distancing at all times. For more information, visit the JadyBug Photography website.
From Saturday 27 November – Friday 24 December, 2021
Capture a special Christmas memory at Jesmond Central. Packages start from $25.95 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, outside ALDI. Online bookings essential and please note there will be no walk-ins to maintain social distancing. Pet photos are also available for bookings. For more information, visit the Jesmond Central website.
Maitland Riverside Plaza
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays from Thursday 25 November to Sunday 19 December, 2021
Maitland Riverside Plaza will release a simple and elegant photo opportunity with Santa. Families will have the opportunity to have a photo with Santa (with safe COVID distancing) in their themed The Night Before The Night Before Christmas photo opportunity with an arched backdrop and red throne seating to match the story book experience. Families will receive a free digital photo and gift from Santa. No bookings required, just visit Santa from 10am-2pm on the days listed on the Maitland Riverside Plaza website. Once the editing of your session is complete, they will send you an email with a gallery link to the daily Maitland Riverside Christmas gallery. Your free digital photo will be available to view in this gallery within 48-72hrs and can be downloaded, purchased and shared on social media anytime.
Marketplace Raymond Terrace
Saturday 27 November – Friday 24 December, 2021
Capture a special Christmas memory this year at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace. Santa will be on his throne every day between Saturday 27 November until Christmas Eve. There are both print and digital options available. Visit the Marketplace Raymond Terrace website for further information.
Memories to Keep Photography
Saturday 13 November, Thursday 2 December & Saturday 11 December, 2021
Memories to Keep Photography is a Newcastle-based photographer who loves nothing more than capturing your special moments. They are offering Christmas Ring Mini Sessions outdoors and in their studio in Stockton. For $60 you receive 2 x high quality, professional photos which can be downloaded from the link sent after the session. Pets are welcome. Please note: No Santa at these sessions. Visit the Memories to Keep Photography website for further information.
Minmi Santa Photos
From Saturday 30 October, 2021
Get a photo taken with Minmi Santa. In 2021 there are Baubles and Bears with Santa. Children can make their own bauble to take home to hang on the tree. Santa has Xmas Bears as well – 1 x Xmas Bear per family to take home. If you wish to purchase another Xmas Bear they are only $5.00 each. Book via mobile 0413 052 122 or contact via Minmi Santa Facebook page.
Natural Lights Christmas Photos
Selected dates are available from Saturday 23 October, 2021 to Saturday 18 December 2021
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 see the Newy with Kids article here or visit the Natural Lights Christmas Photos website.
Photos with Sandy Claus
Saturday 6 November – Saturday 18 December, 2021
Sandy Claus are at Redhead & Merewether again this year along with their Bush & Lake locations too. They also have a new “Surfing Santa” session coming this year. They will send you a confirmation email with details on where exactly you need to go, 48 hours before your photo day. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Santa will be 1.5 meters away in ALL photos. The set will be cleaned down after each family. They will have sanitiser for everyone on arrival and departure. It will help if you explain to children prior to arrival that Santa won’t be able to high five and cuddle this year. For more information, visit the Photos with Sandy Claus website.
Friday & Saturday nights in December from Friday 3 December to Saturday 18 December, 2021
Snap a Santa selfie! Santa and his elves will be available for photos in Wheeler Place between 6pm – 8pm every Friday and Saturday night in December, from Friday 3 December to Saturday 18 December. For more information, visit City of Newcastle What’s On Website.
Santa in the City
Wednesday 1 December – Friday 17 December 2021 | Various locations in Newcastle City | Various times | Free | Details
Santa’s coming to town! The Newcastle Business Improvement Association is aiming to bring local families to the area for some jolly Christmas activities. From December 1 Santa and his elves will be in Council St, under the trees, for free Santa photos. He will also be wandering around Hunter Street Mall,
Darby Street and King Street. In his travels, he will be popping into businesses with his elves to say hello to patrons and give local businesses an opportunity to take a photo with Santa. Santa will also be giving away special vouchers from various City businesses. Visit the Newcastle City BIA Facebook Page for dates, times and locations.
Santa in Hamilton
Monday 6 December – Saturday 18 December 2021 | Beaumont Street, Hamilton | 9.30-11am | Free | Details
Come along and see Santa and his elf from 9.30am to 11am in Beaumont Street. Have your photo taken and soak up the Christmas Joy! Santa will be at various locations during his visits, so don’t miss out. Proudly presented by Hello Hamilton – Business Improvement Association and supported by City of Newcastle.
Santa in Wallsend
Monday 6 December – Saturday 18 December 2021 | Nelson Street, Wallsend | 12-1pm | Free | Details
Come along and see Santa and his elf from Noon to 1pm in Nelson Street. Have your photo taken and soak up the Christmas Joy! Santa will be delighted to see you and have your photo taken too! Proudly presented by WOW Wallsend – Business Improvement Association and supported by City of Newcastle.
Saturday 27 November – Friday 24 December 2021
Create a Christmas memory and a special keepsake of the festive season by booking your photo with Santa at Stockland Glendale. Visiting Santa will be a fun and safe experience this year with additional health and safety measures for Stockland Glendale customers and of course, Santa and his elves. Online bookings are essential for Santa photography sessions, with a range of Santa photo packages available to choose from. Visit their website to book a time that is convenient for you. They also offer Pet Photos and Sensitive Santa Photos. All children who visit Santa will also receive a special gift from Santa to take home.
Stockland Green Hills
Saturday 13 November – Friday 24 December 2021
Create a Christmas memory and a special keepsake of the festive season by booking your photo with Santa at Stockland Green Hills. Visiting Santa will be a fun and safe experience this year with additional health and safety measures for Stockland Green Hills customers and of course, Santa and his elves. Online bookings are essential for Santa photography sessions, with a range of Santa photo packages available to choose from. Visit their website to book a time that is convenient for you. They also offer Pet Photos and Sensitive Santa Photos. All children who visit Santa will also receive a special gift from Santa to take home.
From Friday 26 November – Sunday 19 December 2021
Santa’s inviting you to his living room and is moving into Terrace Central (Raymond Terrace) for a limited time only! Terrace Central is giving local families the opportunity for a free digital photo with Santa, plus each child will receive a free gift from Santa. Santa and Santa’s Living room will be open from 10am – 2pm every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 26 November to 19 December. Customers will be asked to fill in a short form and check in on arrival. Find Santa’s Living room near the food court and next to Amplifon. For more information, visit the Terrace Central website.
The Levee Maitland
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Thursday 25 November – Saturday 18 December 2021
Meet Santa at The Levee for a free photo in Santa’s Kitchen every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 25 November to 18 December.
- Thursdays from 3.00pm to 7.00pm
- Fridays from 9.00am to 1.00pm AND 4.00pm to 8.00pm on Friday 17 December Mini Market evening
- Saturdays from 9.00pm to 1.00pm
Visit The Riverlink, join the digital queue by scanning the QR code then explore The Levee while you wait for your turn. Santa photos will operate under a strict COVID Safe Plan. Please respect directions given by staff.
From Saturday 13 November to Friday 24 December 2021
Create a Christmas memory and book your photo with Santa at Westfield Kotara. The much-loved tradition of visiting Santa will be balanced this year with ensuring the health and safety of Westfield Kotara customers - and of course, Santa and his elves. Still with the magic you know and love, Westfield Kotara will be offering a COVID-Safe Santa experience this year that reflects local requirements. The traditional portrait image will be replaced with a landscape shot, to allow for physical distancing. They encourage you to bring festive props or a favourite toy to create a unique and interactive Christmas memory. Online bookings are essential for Santa photography sessions. All children who visit Santa will also receive a Reindeer Headband to take home.
Westfield Kotara Sensitive Santa photography sessions are also available. Bookings are essential. Sensitive Santa sessions are limited and are available for families of children with special needs. Each booking allows for a 10-minute session.
Westfield Kotara Santa with Pets photography sessions are also available. Bookings are essential.
For more information, visit the Westfield Kotara website.
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.