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Santa, selfies and skates: Where to get your picture taken with Santa in the Baltimore area

Luke Durant has been Santa Claus at Mondawmin Mall for years.
Luke Durant has been Santa Claus at Mondawmin Mall for years. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun)

As you balance office parties, family gatherings, “Die Hard” reruns and other holiday obligations, don’t forget to bring your child to meet Santa Claus. With tons of options around greater Baltimore and only a few weeks to get holiday wishes in before Mr. Kringle drops them off, make sure to include the following options:

Santa Claus (Luke Durant) gives a hug to Nathaniel Thomas, Jr., almost three.
Santa Claus (Luke Durant) gives a hug to Nathaniel Thomas, Jr., almost three. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun)

Santa Luke at Mondawmin Mall: Most popular depictions of Santa envision him as a portly white man. That’s not the case at the Mondawmin Mall, where Lucas “Santa Luke” Durant offers Baltimoreans a Kriss Kringle that looks more like most of the city’s population. After more than three decades, the holiday celebrity returns again for the next generation of Charm City’s children with wishes to grant. Guarantee your spot by RSVPing for a “Santa Fast Pass” online. Through Dec. 24, 12-7 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and 12-5 p.m. Sun., Mondawmin Mall, 2401 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore. $30-$40 for photo packages. mondawmin.com.

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Mark Nettleship, left, president of the mid-Atlantic chapter of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, is joined by Greg Miller, another Santa, in front of the Arbutus Santa House in 2017.
Mark Nettleship, left, president of the mid-Atlantic chapter of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, is joined by Greg Miller, another Santa, in front of the Arbutus Santa House in 2017. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Arbutus Santa House: The Baltimore county community turns into the North Pole every year for local children trying to find Santa at his cozy home. Come for the pictures and stay for the 26th annual Christmas garden, featuring a festive display of model trains and Lego models, courtesy of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department across the street. Every Thurs.-Sat. through Dec. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Arbutus Town Hall, 1349 Stevens Ave., Halethorpe. Free. arbutus.org.

Santa meets with Michael Jordan, 5, of Perry Hall on his first visit of the season to The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson.
Santa meets with Michael Jordan, 5, of Perry Hall on his first visit of the season to The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Shops at Kenilworth: Few local holiday spectacles rival those within this iconic Towson mall. Come through the holiday season to visit Santa by the About Faces Day Spa & Salon (2nd floor) and marvel at the annual train garden. Through Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. every day (except 11 a.m.-7p.m. on Sundays), The Shops at Kenilworth, 800 Kenilworth Ave., Towson. Free. theshopsatkenilworth.com.

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Jasmine Deese and Josh Deese of Ft Meade shop for things at Bella U in Baltimore's Christmas Village.
Jasmine Deese and Josh Deese of Ft Meade shop for things at Bella U in Baltimore's Christmas Village. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Meet Santa at the Christmas Village in Baltimore: You won’t find a more festive holiday display in the Inner Harbor than the annual Christmas Village in Baltimore. Santa visits the German-inspired village for a lantern-making session and parade on Dec. 7, but if you miss that one, don’t fear. You can catch Kriss Kringle every weekend for pictures, alongside the village mascot, Gingy. Every Fri.-Sun. through Dec., plus Dec. 23 and 24, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., The Christmas Village in Baltimore, 501 Light St., Baltimore. Free. baltimore-christmas.com.

Breakfast with Santa John: The First Abyssinia Baptist Church in West Baltimore hosts Santa John, another Santa who better represents Baltimore’s black majority, for the third year in a row. Bring your children for pictures, games and breakfast. Dec. 14, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the First Abyssinia Baptist Church, 2500 Arunah Ave., Baltimore. $15. fabc2500.org.

Breakfast with Santa at The Point: The popular Fells Point corner bar plays host to its own breakfast with Saint Nick 11 days before Christmas. Attendees should purchase $5 tickets, as well as bring a wrapped toy for Toys for Tots, so their little ones can pose with Santa. Adults can take comfort in the availability of The Point’s full brunch menu. Dec. 14, 9-10 a.m. at The Point in Fells, 1738 Thames St., Baltimore. $5 plus a wrapped toy donation. thepointfells.com.

Maryland SPCA’s Pet Photos with Santa: “But wait,” you might say, “what about my dog? She’s basically like a daughter to me!” Don’t worry, the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has you covered. Bring $5 and/or a gift of pet supplies and your furry friend can get a photo with one of two Santas. Bring more money for the so-called “flea-less market” of pet-related goods, as well as food and craft beer from Well Crafted Kitchen and host Union Craft Brewing, respectively. Dec. 14, 12-3 p.m., Union Craft Brewing, 1700 W. 41st St. #420, Baltimore. $5 and/or a donation of pet supplies. mdspca.org.

Free Selfies with Santa: Well, Santa’s clearly very busy on the 14th, but with all he has to deliver 10 days later, he needs as much facetime as possible! Saint Nick swings by Harford County’s American Design and Build for this four-hour selfie session. Bring your kid, and if you want some home remodeling or solar energy options (courtesy of co-presenters American Sentry Solar), you can find that, too. Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., American Design and Build, 1221 Gateway Drive, Bel Air. Free. facebook.com/AmericanDesignandBuildMD.

Grab a glass of inventive craft beer with Santa at Farmacy Brewing.
Grab a glass of inventive craft beer with Santa at Farmacy Brewing. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Santa at Farmacy Brewing: Drive to this picturesque farm brewery for a glass of inventive craft beer with Santa. In addition to a photo opp with Santa, expect a new special beer release, some last-minute gift options, splendid decorations and live music at 5:30. You’ll be hard pressed to find Santa in a place more scenic. Or close to such great beer. Dec. 21, 3-5 p.m., Farmacy Brewing, 3100 Black Rock Road, Reisterstown. Free to attend, beer and gifts for purchase. farmacybrewing.com.

Skate with Santa: Sure, Santa can fly a sleigh, but did you know he’s a champion-level skater? Well, that’s not quite true, but the Baltimore city Recreation and Parks department’s giving you a chance to hit the ice with him anyway! Dec. 21, 3-5 p.m., Mimi DiPietro Family Skating Center, 200 S. Linwood Ave., Baltimore. $5, $3 to rent skates. bcrp.baltimorecity.gov.

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