Have you seen Santa yet? If you’re wanting to get a professional photo, might I suggest skipping the lines and heading to the North Pole?
The North Pole at the Fair is home to the Santa that used to be at the South Hill Mall (He moved to the fairgrounds last year), and his photographer pal, Steve James. It’s a very different kind of Santa experience.
Instead of standing in a long line, you make a reservation.
When you arrive, there are all kinds of fun areas for the kids to explore before they get to see the big guy. They’re welcome to play more after! Henry is a pretty big kid, but he still loves imaginative play, and he had a great time making pretend pizza, playing at the grocery store, and, of course-we spent plenty of time in the Lego area. It’s a lot like a Christmas themed children’s museum or preschool.
There are some crafts and sweets and treats for sale, as well as a small gift shop, but otherwise, all the play and activities are included with your reservation. If you went last year you should know that there is Much More this year, and they have definitely worked the kinks out of the system. We were behind maybe two or three families max when it was actually time for our photo.
As far as the photos themselves, I’m probably biased because we’ve gone to Steve and, “Our,” Santa since Henry was born, but I think his beautiful pictures are second to none.
One final word of advice? If you can swing it, do try going on a weekday. I think everything this time of year is better if you can skip the weekend crowds!
If you have more questions about the North Pole At The Fair, they have lots of info at their site, which is also where you make reservations, and they’re super good about answering questions on their Facebook page. I’d also be glad to try and help out based on our experience. It’s definitely not your typical Santa-and that’s a good thing!
Disclosure: Santa’s photographer Steve James and his family are long time friends of the site. I also try to stay on Santa’s nice list.