Santa Photos and Holidays at the Mall in Northern Virginia

Enjoy holiday shopping and capture perfect Santa photos at Northern Virginia shopping centers with sparkly trees and special deals to brighten the season. We’ve rounded up the details from Northern Virginia malls that are decked out for family-friendly holiday fun throughout the season. Holiday shopping events are listed in order of opening date.

There are also plenty of opportunities to shop local at Washington DC area holiday markets. Find your fun with our guide: Favorite Holiday Markets in Northern Virginia and the DC Region.

2020 Update: Some malls are hosting contact free photos with Santa in 2020, Reservations and masks are generally required. Follow the links for reservations and rules. Photos below are from prior years.

Tysons Galleria, Tysons, Now – Jan 7

Enjoy a virtual visit with Santa at the North Pole. Your “visit” includes pre-session entertainment for up to 4 guests. You can also schedule storytime with Mrs. Claus, or a personalized message from Santa to watch at home. Extend your visit with a Ritz-Carlton staycation for extra fun and easy access to the Galleria.

Springfield Town Center Santa Photos, Springfield, Nov 6 – Dec 24

A real-bearded Santa will be back in the Grand Court for holiday photos (closed Thanksgiving). Reservations are required and ew safety measures are in place. Follow the link to schedule your time with the big guy.

Dulles Town Center, Dulles, Nov 20 – Dec 24

Santa will return to Dulles Town Center for photos in 2020. Details are coming soon.

Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, November 27 – December 24

Kids can join the crew at Santa’s Flight Academy to help Santa and his elves get ready for their Christmas Eve journey. The 2020 experience is reimagined to provide a contact-free photo opp with Santa.

Potomac Mills, Springfield, Nov 27 – Dec 24

Santa and his helpers are setting up a socially distanced experience this year where you can capture the perfect holiday photo. There are no Pet Photo sessions in 2020.

Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Corner, November 20 – December 24

Santa returns to the Fashion Court, at the intersection of the Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s wings, on November 20. He and his elves will provide a memorable and contact-free experience, so reserve your spot now. A visit with Santa is always free and photo packages are available for purchase.

Santa HQ Tysons Corner Center
Santa HQ Tysons Corner Center

If time allows, stop by the Tysons Corner Plaza to see the 50-foot decorated tree.

Christmas tree on Tysons Corner Plaza
Christmas tree on Tysons Corner Plaza

Fairfax Corner, Fairfax, No Santa Photos

Santa won’t be visiting Fairfax Corner this year, but you can reserve special s’mores and igloo experiences for your group. Or just stop by to shop and see the festive decorations including a fun JOY mural where you stand in for the Y.

Reston Town Center, Reston, No Santa Photos

The annual holiday celebration and parade is canceled in 2020, but you can still visit Reston Town Center to capture your own photos at the big tree by the fountain. The popular ice skating rink under the Pavilion opens in early November so reserve your time on the ice.

Explore more 11 Fun DC and Northern Virginia Ice Skating Rinks.
Reston Town Center holiday decorations in 2019
Reston Town Center holiday decorations in 2019

Mosaic District, Merrifield, Holiday Events TBA

During the holiday shopping season, Mosaic District makes a great Girls Night Out destination, with a nice selection of unique shops and plenty of restaurants for a break from the deals. We love the quirky holiday decor including a run-through tree on the central green and lounging reindeer throughout the district. Mosaic has not announced holiday events at time of publication, but we’ll update if they do.

Funky reindeer are among the quirky holiday decorations at Mosaic District in Fairfax VA
Funky reindeer at Mosaic District
Kids love the walk-through Christmas tree at Mosaic District, Fairfax VA
Run-through tree at Mosaic District

Manassas Mall, Manassas, No Santa Photos

We look forward to Santa’s return to Manassas Mall in 2021.

Things are a little different in 2020, but we’re happy to see so much holiday fun returning to local shopping centers.

Find the perfect Virginia inspired gift in our fun Virginia Gift Guide for Residents and Visitors Who LoveVA 

Find more local holiday events and celebrations:

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This article was published in 2016 and updated in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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