It’s a holiday tradition that many of us remember fondly. The big guy in the bright red suit, white beard and rosy cheeks invites us to visit with him and share all our Christmas wishes. I visited Santa at the same location throughout my childhood and returned when my children were ready to join in the fun.

There are memories of beautiful lights, colors, scents and sounds of our visit and of course, years later, we can look back at those precious photos.

Hendricks County, Indiana, has many opportunities for families to visit with Santa this season. Some might include professional photos and others are selfies with your own camera but either way, be sure to experience the magic before the big night.

Here are just a few of the many locations your family can see Santa this year and grab a special photo or two.

Community Lighting Events 

Christmas Under the Stars (Photo Courtesy of Town of Brownsburg Facebook page)

Avon Town Hall Tree Lighting

The Town of Avon is lighting a brand new 34-foot tree this year and visitors can enjoy a variety of free activities from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Avon Town Hall Park.

Enjoy model trains, live reindeer, carolers, holiday crafts, hot chocolate and the official tree lighting with Santa and Avon Community School Corporation’s Teacher of the Year.

Christmas Under the Stars

Brownsburg’s annual parade features Santa and a variety of new events for the entire family at the Brownsburg Town Hall

Not only can visitors enjoy the Winter Market, Santa’s Workshop and vote for their favorite decorated business beginning at 4 p.m., the annual parade begins at 6 p.m. at Main Street and Eastern Avenue and will travel north down Green Street, ending at Enderly Avenue.

Once the parade concludes, don’t miss the tree lighting at 7:15 p.m. and photos with Santa in the Town Hall lobby.

Christmas Under the Stars is a family tradition for many, and the evening won’t disappoint. For more information about this free event for the community, visit the Brownsburg Parks website.

Pittsboro Scamahorn Park

At 6 p.m. on Dec. 2, Santa and a special North West Hendricks student will light the official town Christmas Tree at Scamahorn Park. Afterward, stick around and visit with Santa, take selfies and enjoy some special holiday snacks.

While there, check out some of the new lighting displays at the park, giving the holidays a festive kickoff to the season. This event is free to the public.

Unique Experiences 

Beasley's Orchard (Photo Courtesy of Beasley's Orchard Facebook page)

Beasley’s Christmas at the Orchard

Looking for classic photos with Santa featuring the stone fireplace, greenery and old-fashioned sleigh?

On Dec. 2 and 9, Beasley’s Orchard transforms their Civil War-era barn into a winter wonderland and invites the community to come join in the fun. Cost is $20 to attend and includes a digital image from the professional photographer on site.

Additional photos will be available for purchase. The event is scheduled in pre-purchased time slots so be sure to register here for your visit.

Cookies & Cocoa

At Natural Valley Ranch, guests can register for a visit with Santa by the fireplace, along with holiday snacks and crafts from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 2. Stick around for an opportunity to visit the petting zoo on the farm, too.

In addition, another opportunity to visit the ranch will involve a candy cane hunt and pony rides. Santa will return from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and again from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Dec. 9. The entire event is outdoors so be sure to bundle up.

Both days of fun will fill up quickly. Register here to schedule your time slot and pre-pay for the event. Natural Valley Ranch will collect non-perishable food items for a local food pantry on both dates.

Red Curb Comedy Theatre

There are just a few slots left to register for a unique experience with Santa at the Avon comedy club, Red Curb Comedy Theatre. Pick your date and time to arrive for a one-on-one visit, and the best part – no lines!

A professional photographer will snap natural and posed photos, and families will receive at least six digital pictures of your special time. Pets are welcome, too. The cost starts at $60 per time slot. Register for photos here

New this year, families can order a personalized Santa video. Submit the form with messages you want to be sure Santa sends to your loved one, and he’ll send a downloadable video from his workshop. The deadline to order videos is Dec. 10 and the cost is $75.

Hometown Holiday at Hummel Park

The 13th annual Hometown Holiday event will return from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at Plainfield’s Hummel Park. The indoor and outdoor event offers trackless train rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, crafts and of course, St. Nick himself.

The free event will keep the family entertained for hours and dropping off your list to Santa is just the tip of the iceberg. Visit the Guilford Township Hummel Park website for more information.

For a Good Cause 

Plainfield Kiwanis Club Santa House (Photo Courtesy of Kiwanis Facebook Page)

Breakfast with Santa in Amo

The Amo Fire Department hosts their annual Breakfast with Santa event as a fundraiser for community assistance during the holidays.

Visit from 8 to 11 a.m. on Dec. 9 at the Amo Fire Station, and check in with Santa, snap a photo and enjoy breakfast with the family. There will be plenty of entertainment for everyone, including touch-a-firetruck, a highlight for young community members.

Brownsburg Kiwanis Christmas

Stop by Bundy Lodge at Arbuckle Acres Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15 for selfies with Santa. The event is free but donations will be accepted for Riley’s Children’s Hospital.

Be sure to check out the lights within the park and a lighted firetruck from the Brownsburg Fire Territory.

Plainfield Kiwanis Christmas

It’s been a long-standing tradition for the Plainfield Kiwanis Club to invite the community out to The Santa House, but they’ll be in a new location this year.

From noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, visit with Santa at the Chimney Safety Institute of America in Plainfield.

A $5 donation is requested for photos and includes free Woodfire Pizza and hot cocoa.

Christmas with Santa and the Ponies

Strides to Success will once again host their annual Santa and the Ponies event. From 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 9, visitors will make a wish list for Santa, snap a digital photo, make crafts in Santa’s workshop, play reindeer games and visit with the horses.

The event is indoors. Light refreshments will be available and not only is it a fun experience for the family, it supports the barn that provides equine therapy for adults and children with emotional, mental, behavioral and social challenges. Cost is $25 per family.

Traditional Visits 

Santa Photos (Photo Courtesy of Danville Parks and Recreation Facebook page)

The Shops at Perry Crossing

From now to Dec. 24, the The Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield will offer photos with Santa with various hours of availability. There are even some special hours set aside for pets (on a leash) and sensory needs throughout the month.

No reservations are needed. Just stop by and visit Santa and his elves at the space next to JCPenney. You can also purchase photo packages, starting at $25.99. See available Santa hours

Winterland Light Show

The Winterland Light Show in Danville’s Ellis Park is a must-see any day, but from now through Dec. 23, families can visit with Santa in Santaland every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.

It’s $10 for entry per vehicle, and no pre-registration is required. A visit with Santa is an additional $5 per child or $20 per family. Snap a photo and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while supplies last.

Once your visit is complete, hop back in the car and check out a variety of beautiful lighting displays, including an animated tree set to music.