Where to visit Santa in Halifax

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It’s that time of year when everything starts pumping up for the holidays. Christmas is upon us, Hanukkah is just around the corner, Kwanzaa is fast approaching. Whatever celebration your family observes, there is one constant between us all. The holiday season is busy!

Our family celebrates Christmas, observing both secular and Christian traditions. I’ve never been a big fan of the commercial aspects of celebrating, I am not a fan of malls, crowds or shopping in general to be honest. I look for a way to meet my children’s desires for all-things-Christmas with a middle of the road approach. Can I find the most authentic experience with the least amount of stress?

If you have ever stood in line for an hour amongst impatient children and their devoted parents, you know how trying a visit to Santa can be.

Parents cringe while slowly inching your way to the big Christmas display, where Santa sits on his throne (or so it feels) listening to crying toddlers who are terrified of the big, jolly, boisterous, grey-haired man with more facial hair than they’ve ever seen and the reddest suit outside of children’s storybooks. They think to themselves how they will incorporate this visit into making the rest of the season easier: Remember what Santa said? You have to make your bed and get along with your sister if you want that ___ you asked for!

Bedford is a great place to both visit Santa and watch the parade.

The mall Santa experience at Sunnyside Mall can be likened to that of the real mccoy in Miracle on 34th Street. Santa is so familiar, coming back every year with his soft-spoken joyfulness and authentic, classy red suit. Line-ups are relatively short and photos are taken by donation only with proceeds benefiting the food bank. Even as children grow too big for Santa’s lap they want to return every year to share their wishes and have a photograph of their annual tradition!

The Light Up Bedford Parade is a great size and location. It is not too challenging to find parking, the parade lasts just the right length of time and it typically ends with Santa at the waterfront for tree lighting! Due to construction of the park, this year’s tree lighting was moved to a different night and location, at the end of the parade. You can find more info here. This year’s parade is Sunday, November 18 at 5:45pm!

Other great parades:

Saturday, November 17th 6pm – The Chronicle Herald Holiday Parade of Lights, Halifax

Sunday, November 25th 2pm – Spryfield Santa Claus Parade

Other tree lightings:

Thursday, November 15th 7pm – Bedford Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 24th 6pm – HRM Christmas Tree Lighting

Other great spots to see Santa:

Mic Mac Mall

Halifax Shopping Centre

Bedford Place Mall

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