Santa Photos are an annual festive tradition for many Sydney families and now that the Halloween pumpkins are packed away for another year, it’s time to hang up the mistletoe, dust off the Christmas tree (or hunt down a fresh one), and embrace the festive season. After all – Christmas is just a tad over 6 weeks away!
Whether you want a traditional backdrop, Santa Photos by the beach, a photo opportunity from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or a sensory-friendly Santa experience, we’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Guide to Santa Photos.
And if we’ve missed your favourite Santa Photo destination give us a heads-up at email@example.com.
This one books out early so get in quick! The theme for this year’s set is ‘a traditional white Christmas’ just like in the movies. Sounds magical! Plus this year you can also experience ‘Ginger Lane’ – a gingerbread world of quaint cobblestone streets, snow-capped gingerbread houses and hot air balloons being whisked through the winter air! Tip: arrive early or visit on the weekday if you want to miss the crowds.
When: Until December 24
Where: 2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Details/to book: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/2023-santa-photos-the-grounds-of-alexandria-tickets-723225927217
Sydney’s grand old dame – the Queen Victoria Building – certainly knows how to dial-up the festive spirit. There’s the stunning QVB Christmas Tree – this year’s decorations are courtesy of indigenous artists (read all about it here), not to mention an indulgent high tea at the QVB Tea Rooms complete with Santa himself. A preschool-aged daughter of the Inner West Mums’ team attended the Santa High Tea last year and still raves about it! It’s that special. Looking for more high tea destinations in Sydney – check out our guide to Sydney high tea experiences here.
When: November 13 to December 24. Sensory sessions are running November 11-19, plus some dates in December.
Where: The Tea Room at the Queen Victoria Building
Cost: $65 per person. Take your own photos or use the services of the on-site photographer. Two digital images are included in the price.
Details/to book: https://events.qvb.com.au/event/high-tea-with-santa-tfggv8?utm_source=acs&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=QVB%20FY24%20Q2&utm_content=QVBLaunch231023
Want to combine your Santa pics with stunning views from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Book in for a Bridge Climb and get a photo with Santa at the top. If you’ve got older kids, this might be a way to convince them to pose for a Santa photo one last time – not to mention an amazing family experience too.
When: Every Sunday morning from November 5 to December 24
Where: 3 Cumberland St, The Rocks
Cost: Climb prices start at $344 for adults and $149 for children.
Details/to book: https://www.bridgeclimb.com/climbs-prices/whats-on/santa-photos-at-the-summit
Get in quick as there are only 4 dates available this year for a meet-and-greet with the jolly red man!
High Tea with Santa will be packed full of magical moments to delight kids and adults alike, including a bespoke pantomime featuring Santa and other delightful Christmas characters, Christmas crafts, face painting, a meet and greet with Santa, a delicious high tea menu and gift bag with special David Jones offer. The event will be held in The Apartment on level 7 at the Elizabeth Street Flagship store. Children or babies who can sit on their parent’s lap can attend for free.
When: December 2, 3, 9 and 10
Where: David Jones Elizabeth St, 86-108 Castlereagh St, Sydney
Details/to book: Bookings now open – check this link for details: https://events.humanitix.com/high-tea-with-santa-03ghij3x
‘A Wonder Full Christmas’ is the theme for this year’s Santa Photo set – and the centre’s festive decorations. Expect a hot air balloon, mischievous elves and all the vibrant colour and festive decorations that Broadway Shopping Centre has become known for each year. Sensory-friendly sessions are available too and little ones will love the revamped playground on Level 3.
When: November 22 – Dec 24
Where: Bay Street, Ultimo. Santa will be set up on L1 near The Reject Shop
Cost: From $24.95
Details/to book: https://www.broadwaysydney.com.au/whats-on/events/bestmas-santa-photos
Hop on the Wonderland Rocket elevator and head straight to Wonderland on level 6 which has been transformed into Santaland for festive season. Kids will love the Myer North Pole train where they can take some fun photos in front of the green screen. There’ll also be a colouring-in station, post a letter to Santa, and of course, meeting the big man himself for a magical family Christmas photo.
Tip: Avoid wearing green if you want to get some great green screen photos.
When: November 22 – Dec 24
Where: 436 George St. Sydney
Cost: From $25.95
Details/to book: https://www.myer.com.au/mychristmas/santaland
Santa will be seated on a throne outside Panetta Mercato on the ground floor of the new building. Sensitive Santa sessions are available on December 2, 9 and 16, whilst fur babies can get their snaps taken from December 1-17.
When: November 25 to December 24
Where: Smidmore Street, Marrickville.
Cost: From $24.95
Details/to book: https://www.marrickvillemetro.com.au/what-s-happening/christmas-at-marrickville-metro
Santa set amongst the gum trees in the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, this Santa Photo experience can’t get more quintessentially Aussie – but with a 45 minute drive to get there, it can be a bit of a trek for most Inner Westies. So pack a picnic and have a wander through the gardens to make the most of your visit and the kids will want to go every year. In fact, a member of the IWM team had her family’s Santa photos taken at the Gardens one year and in spite of the torrential rain, she was happy with both the experience and photos.
When: November 11 – December 17, Saturday and Sunday sessions only.
Where: Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden, 420, St Ives.
Cost: $80 for three high resolution images
Details/to book: https://www.krg.nsw.gov.au/Things-to-do/Whats-on/Santa-in-the-Gardens-St-Ives
This is another popular one with IWM members, with one parent sharing that Santa even remembered her child’s name from the year before! How lovely is that! Sensory Santa sessions can also be booked on November 19 and 25, and December 2.
When: From November 12
Where: Corner Devlin St & Blaxland Rd, Ryde.
Cost: Packages start at $25
Details/to book: https://www.christmasmemories.com.au/trc/
Some days even Santa wants to ditch the toy workshop for a day on the beach – so why not meet him there for an Aussie beach side photo session? Best of all, you can bring the entire family – fur babies included. With only limited dates available, be sure to book in quick (or join their waiting list) if this is an experience you’d like to try this year.
When: Various dates in November and December.
Where: Curl Curl Beach
Cost: 5 minutes for $89 at Curl Curl Beach
Details/to book: https://santaonthebeachpics.com.au
If you love your Santa Phots with a spot of Ikea shopping thrown in, Rhodes Waterside is the destination for you (and the family). To keep the kids entertained post-pics (because we know a ‘quick stop’ at Ikea is never quick), Australia’s first Virtual Sleigh Ride (exclusive to Rhodes Waterside) will be available from December 10. Santa has a new sleigh and for a gold coin donation, your little ones will get to trial it and experience Christmas magic like never before.
When: November 29 – December 24 (Virtual Sleigh Ride from December 10)
Where: The Santa Express, Level 4, 1 Rider Blvd, Rhodes
Cost: Packages start at $30.95
Details/to book: https://www.rhodeswaterside.com.au/experience/events/santa-photos
Who said Christmas photos were all about Santa? At this Penrith studio you can pick from having your photo taken with Santa, Santa and Mrs Claus or even two Santas! At this fully Christmas themed studio, kids will be greeted by the elves or Mrs Claus herself on arrival and will get to take a Christmas gift home (depending on whether they were on the naughty or nice list – just kidding, whilst stocks last!).
When: October 28 to December 20.
Where: Ground Floor Skiptons Arcade, 541 High Street Penrith
Cost: From $115
Details/to book: https://www.lcphoto.com.au/christmas/
If you’re keen on a Santa beach photo experience, Santa By the Surf – the Eastern Suburb’s answer to the Northern Beaches’ Santa By the Beach – could be the surf-side photo shoot you’re looking for. Located at three iconic beaches – Bondi, Bronte and Watson’s Bay – bring the whole family (pets too) and don’t forget to pack some swimmers too!
When: Various dates from December 3 – check website for availability
Where: North Bondi Surf Club, Bronte Surf Club, Watsons Bay Hotel
Cost: Packages from $57 for 2 photos photos with Santa
Details/to book: https://santabythesurf.com/#santa-packages
This has come highly recommended by IWM members in previous years. Quieter, sensory sessions can be booked too. Plus an outdoor Santa set will be located outside the Brett Street Foyer for fur-baby photos.
When: December 2 – 24
Where: 2B Brett Street, Revesby. Santa will be set up in the Brett Street foyer.
Cost: Packages start at $35
Details/to book: https://rwc.org.au/whats-on-event/photos-with-santa/