A visit to Santa at the mall or the annual Christmas party is fine, I’m not knocking it. But if you really want to up your holiday game, you’ll want to see the man in red at one of these, the 5 Coolest Spots for Santa Sighting in Canada!

Water’s Fine!

His natural habitat might be the land of ice and snow, but melted ice is also totally Santa’s jam. SCUBA Claus takes a dip in the Strait of Georgia exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium daily from November 24-December 24, listening to fishy wishes and doling out high fives through the glass! The Vancouver Aquarium website has all the information, including Santa’s dive schedule and daily activities to take part in!

Santa’s Suite Life

It’s a little known fact that come Christmas time, Santa sets up a second home at select Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. He doesn’t like to wander too far from his Northern workshop, so it isn’t surprising that most of them are at Fairmont properties in Canada (although he does set up a residence in the Presidential Suite of Swissotel Chicago as well.) As the King of the North Pole, he’s most comfortable in an elegant suite, and you can visit one that’s been specially decorated in his festive tastes at the Fairmont Winnipeg, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Fairmont Banff Springs, and Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton. At the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Mr and Mrs Claus have had a cabin decorated to their festive tastes, and parked their sleigh out front!


The Nutcracker themed living room of the Royal Alexandra suite in the Fairmont Winnipeg. courtesy Tourism Winnipeg

 Dashing down the Hill

All work and no play makes Santa a dull boy, and nobody wants that! Santa will be taking to the slopes at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden BC in the morning of December 17 and 18th. In the afternoon he’ll be receiving visitors at his castle, taking pictures and listening to kids’ Christmas wishes. The following week, he’ll  be at the Lake Louise Ski Resort to meet the kids and do a few runs too! It’s one of his last chances for some outdoor fun in the mountains before the elves need his help in the workshop!


Santa loves getting in some runs, especially if there’s fresh powder! courtesy of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

 Surf’s Up!

Santa surfs across the border in Fort Erie, ON and makes a splash for the less fortunate in the Niagara Region on Dec 23rd. Depending on the weather, he hops on his wind surfboard or stand-up paddle board and makes his merry way to Buffalo, NY. Santa uses the day before his big night to raise awareness about homelessness, collecting donations of warm socks and underwear (high need items that are always in short supply) plus cash or gift cards in Fort Erie Ontario. For more information see Surfing Santa.

There’s No Place like Home

Pictures with Santa are cool no matter where you are, but photographic evidence of St Nick right in your very own living room? That might be awesome beyond belief! Capture the Magic is a photo editing service that lets you add Santa into your photos to prove to your kids he really was there! They also have tooth fairy and Easter Bunny apps available. There is a free version, but for the fancy ones, you are going to have to pay for pro. Instant Santa offers a similar service for free. Ho ho ho!

There are plenty of off-beat places to see Santa! Where is your favourite place to visit with Kris Kringle?