Looking to take your kids to see Santa, take a photo, and tell him their Christmas lists? You can find Santa at a variety of places in the Rockford area starting as soon as the second week of November!

CherryVale Mall

Places to See Santa in the Rockford Area

Santa in Center Court

When: Friday, November 9 through Monday, December 24


  • Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am – 6 pm  | Christmas Eve: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Special Hours:
    • Saturday, November 24: 9 am – 9 pm
    • Sunday, December 16: 11 am – 7 pm
    • Saturday, December 22: 9 am – 9 pm
    • Sunday, December 23: 9 am – 8 pm
    • Christmas Eve: 8 am – 5 pm

Please note that Santa takes a break to feed the reindeer from 1 pm to 2 pm and 5 pm to 6 pm on Monday through Saturday, and from 3 pm to 4 pm on Sunday.

Santa’s Arrival on Friday, November 9th

Welcome Santa back to Rockford on Friday, November 9th from 4:30 pm – 6:10 pm. The arrival party starts at 4:30 pm with free cookies and milk and storytime! Santa arrives at 6:10 pm on the Jolly Express Train. The Salvation Army Band and Bell Ringers will be there and WREX will broadcast the event!

Photo Packages

CherryVale Mall offers a variety of photo packages starting at $24.99.


You can book a FastPass to order your photo package, reserve a time slot, and skip the line to see Santa.

Special Events

Pet Nights

Image Credit: CherryVale Mall website

Bring your pet to meet Santa from 6 pm – 9 pm on November 12, 19, and 26 and December 3 and 10.


Holiday Music Showcase

Image Credit: CherryVale Mall website

Come listen to Holiday Music from local schools, groups, and organizations.

  • Tuesday, December 4th from 11 am – 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, December 5th from 11 am – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, December 6th from 11 am – 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, December 12th from 11 am – 6:30 pm
  • Thursday, December 13th from 11 am – 6:30 pm


Santa Cares: Sensory Friendly Santa Experience

Places to See Santa in the Rockford Area
Image credit: CherryVale Mall website

Sunday, December 9th from 9 am – 11 am

CherryVale Mall is teaming up with Cherry Hill Programs and Autism Speaks to host Santa Cares, a sensory-friendly event for children and family members with all spectrums of special needs to enjoy the time-honored tradition of the Santa Photo Experience in a calming environment prior to public hours. We want this to be an opportunity for families to visit and capture keepsake photo memories with Santa, so sensory triggers such as music, bright lights, and mall traffic will be muted.

Families are given numbers when they arrive, and can enjoy sensory friendly activities at a nearby table until it’s their turn to individually visit with Santa. We hope Santa Cares will bring smiles and holiday magic for many families who would not have the opportunity to visit Santa otherwise. Photo packages are available for purchase during the event.

The Santa Cares event will be held Sunday, December 9 from 9 am-11 am. Please RSVP in advance by reserving one free ticket per group. Click HERE to RSVP.


Story Hour with Mrs. Claus

Places to See Santa in the Rockford Area

Thursday, December 20th at 10 am in the play area

Mrs. Claus will read a story to the kids. This is a free event.


Places to see Santa in Rockford IL

Open House and Pictures With Santa at The 3Rs

When: Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 10 am – 4 pm

Where: The 3R’s Learning Materials Center
1643 N Alpine Rd, Ste 106, Rockford, IL

Cost: Free

Santa will be visiting our store on November 17th from 11 am to 3 pm! Make sure you stop by to take a FREE picture with Santa, start your Christmas shopping, or to have your child make their Christmas list! If you picked up one of a coupon at Lockwood’s Pumpkin Fest, November 17th is the first day to start using them!

Places to See Santa Claus in Rockford

Santa’s Coming to Town in Cherry Valley

When: Sunday, November 25, 2018 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Where: E.State Street, Cherry Valley

Cost: Free

Santa will be at the Log Cabin from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., so don’t delay. Start working on your letter for Santa’s mailbox right away and please remember to include your return address. There will be plenty of hot chocolate and cookies being served.

*In case of bad weather, Santa will be at the Cherry Valley Village Hall, 806 E. State Street.

Places to see Santa in Rockford IL

Santa Visits the Museum

When: Sunday, December 2, 2018 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum
5151 Orth Rd #A1, Poplar Grove, IL

Cost: Information pending

Help us welcome Santa to the Wings and Wheels Museum. Santa will greet children of all ages and take their requests. Parents won’t want to miss this chance for a great picture of their little ones (and some bigger ones) and Santa. We will be entertained by the Belvidere North Choraliers with a variety of Holiday music. Kid’s activities and an opportunity for to write a letter to Santa. Santa will have gift bags for all children. Cookies and Cider for everyone.

Places to see Santa in Rockford IL

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

When: Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Where: Roscoe YMCA
9901 Main St, Roscoe, IL

Cost: Information pending

Join us as we get a visit from Jolly Old Saint Nick! We will be decorating cookies and taking pictures with Santa. We will also have games, bouncy houses, crafts and face painting. Please help the Rockton Food Pantry by donating a non-perishable or canned food item.

We’ll update this post as we find more places Santa is visiting. If we missed an event, let us know! Email hello@statelinekids.com.

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