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.
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.
Holiday shopping events are listed in order of 2022 opening date. Most Santa photo opportunities open in November and run into December 24. There are also special Pet Nights so your furry friend can get a pic with the big guy. Reservations and masks may be required; follow the links for reservations and rules.
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something, at no additional cost to you.
Find the perfect gift: Virginia Gift Guide for Residents and Visitors Who LoveVA
Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Nov 10 – Dec 24
Kids can step inside Santa's Flight Academy and experience magical snowfall before the big pic. Pet nights are Nov 20, 27, and Dec 11.
Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Corner, November 11 – December 24
Santa returns to the Fashion Court, at the intersection of the Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's wings, on November 11. He and his elves will provide a memorable experience, so reserve your spot now.
If time allows, stop by the Tysons Corner Plaza to see the 50-foot decorated tree (tree lighting Nov 18).
New in 2022, the DC Winter Lantern Festival lights up Lerner Square, a short walk from the Tysons Corner mall. This beautiful walk-through light display includes lots of interactive fun and stunning lantern sculptures to dazzle the whole family.
Dulles Town Center, Dulles, Nov 11 – Dec 24
Santa Photos return to Center Court at Dulles Town Center where kids can sit with the big guy and share their Christmas wishes. Pet photo nights are Nov 21, 28, Dec 5, 12. Kids can also leave a letter in Santa's mailbox.
Springfield Town Center, Springfield, Nov 12 – Dec 24
A real-bearded Santa will be back in the Grand Court for holiday photos (closed Thanksgiving). Reservations are recommended to avoid long wait times. Follow the link to schedule your time with the big guy.
Tysons Galleria, Tysons, Nov 18 – Dec 24
Capture the perfect Christmas photo when you visit with Santa. There are sensory-friendly hours on Dec 4 and Pet Nights with Santa are Nov 21 and Dec 5. Extend your visit with a Ritz-Carlton staycation for extra fun and easy access to the Galleria.
Potomac Mills, Springfield, Nov 18 – Dec 24
Santa and his helpers are back so you can capture the perfect holiday photo. Sensory-friendly night is Dec 4.
Mosaic District, Merrifield, Nov 25 – Dec 11 Weekends
Target returns to the Target Atrium Friday through Sunday for three weekends. Bring the family and allow time to check out Mosaic's quirky holiday decor including lounging reindeer and a big Christmas tree on the green (tree lighting Nov 25).
Reston Town Center, Reston, Nov 25
See Santa and Mrs. Claus when the annual holiday celebration and parade return on Nov 25, 2022. 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.
Manassas Mall, Manassas, Nov – Dec
2022 details TBA.
Santa is usually at the Manassas Mall for photos from Thursday to Sunday, Black Friday to Christmas Eve.
Fairfax Corner, Fairfax
Santa won't be visiting Fairfax Corner this year, but you can meet up with the Grinch at a Holiday Plaza Grinchmas Party on Dec 16.
Santa is back at many area malls in 2022, and we're happy to see so much holiday fun returning to local shopping centers.
Find more local holiday events and celebrations:
- Fun Holiday Favorites from Northern Virginia Experts
- Favorite Holiday Markets in Northern Virginia and the DC Region
- Holiday Lights in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC Area
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more fun travel in and from Northern Virginia.