I was hosted to dinner with the real Santa at Phipps, but we purchased our own photos. Affiliate links are used.
Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around, I’m the first to proclaim the Chrismas season. My husband and those around me (those darned scrooges!) feel like Thanksgiving has to have its own day, but as soon as Santa rides down 34th street at noon in his sleigh, I’m decking the halls and singing, “Fa la la!” This Christmas, Phipps Plaza is readying the main atrium for the REAL SANTA to meet and greet guests holding wishlists and wearing their Christmas gear. If you’re ready to meet the award-winning real Santa Claus, here is what you’ll need to do!
Make a Reservation
Sorry, New York City, but Santa has been making reservations to meet folks in Atlanta for a number of years. Congratulations on catching up! You’ll want to sign up for email alerts in the summer and make your reservation when your email comes.
Enjoy Phipps’ Offerings
Our family likes to stay for a meal at Tavern at Phipps for appetizers, a kid’s meal or to ride the kids train through the mall. It’s a long five-minute ride down the mall and back, with plenty of guests to wave at, turns and twists to enjoy. You can also get a Sprinkle’s Cupcake or enjoy the many luxury shops in the mall before or after your visit with the real Santa.
Make a Wish List While You Wait
Santa’s waiting line has certainly shrunk, thanks to the reservation system, but you can still find paper wishlists and sharpened pencils near the velvet rope. Bring your kids a few minutes early so they can scratch out a wishlist or a short note to Santa. After all, Santa has a lot to remember, and I know I adore cute lists!
Bring Your Camera, But Step Back
Santa’s helpers welcome your cameras and phones but be sure to stay behind the line. This allows Santa to have a moment with your kids and for them not to be distracted from the large camera. There are a few shrubs that make the perfect cover for you to snap a shot or two or record the interaction. Just be sure to stay back a bit! 🙂
My kids have worn their Sunday best as well as our fun Christmas t-shirts to see Santa. Whatever Christmas means to you, wear it! I think next year I may just don my Mickey Santa ears to see the big guy in red!
Bring Cash or Check to Pay For Photos
A rookie mistake for Santa at Phipps is to not bring cash or check. Santa can’t process credit cards, so be sure to bring some cash not only for photos or a video, but to take a Sprinkles Cupcake break.
You can find updated pricing each year on Santa’s website, which includes a yearly PDF of pricing. Prices have certainly gone up over the last six years or so, but the gorgeous photos that result are really worth the price.