It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s also the most financially stressful time of the year.

And if you’ve got kids, you are racking up credit card bills this holiday season.

And running around chasing Santa all over New Jersey can get expensive.

This time of year, so many of you are looking for ways for your kids to hang out with Santa.

Also, this time of year, you are looking for ways to save money.

Checking his special list.

Jersey family fun is a great resource for all kinds of family activities in New Jersey.

And they feel your pain. They have some ideas and I found some too.

These visits are also great because this isn’t just “throw your screaming kid on Santa’s lap-get a picture—and the next guy in line gets his chance.”

Each of these events has a unique activity associated with it.

Here are some of the cheapest, and also most fun Santa visits New Jersey has to offer:

Santa’s Silver Sleigh — Saturday, Dec. 3

You’ll get a chance to take a train ride with Santa on deck for the holidays. PATCO trains will make three trips, leaving the Lindenwold station at 9:00 a.m., 10:35 a.m. and noon and picking up passengers at all stops along the way. Kids love a train ride.

Town of Hammonton via Facebook

Then you can shop at Christmas village in love Park, check out the light show and "Christmas Carol" display at Macy's or skate at the Rothman Rink at City Hall. For more info call (856)772-6900 or email

Breakfast with Santa — Dec. 10

I’ve seen some pretty expensive breakfasts with Santa.

But for $6 to $10 you and your kids can enjoy a warm, yummy family, breakfast with Santa in Maple Shade.


There’ll be fun, food entertainment and of course photo ops with Santa.

It all takes place at the Maple Shade Municipal Building at 200 Stiles Avenue, Maple Shade. Call (856) 779-9610 for more info or click here.

Brunch with Santa — Dec. 11

OK, so maybe you and your kids are not early risers.

If your kids are 10 and under, here’s an event that you guys can enjoy that involves brunch instead of lunch and it’s from 11-12.

It’s going to be a great visit with Santa with a yummy brunch and you can’t beat the price: it’s free!


It all takes place at VFW Post 1963, located at 301 John F. Kennedy Boulevard in Sea Isle City. You can register by calling the recreation office at 609-263-0050. For more info, email

Pajama story time with Santa — Dec. 6 and 13

Even though this event is technically free, they ask for a $5 donation to one of the best causes out there, Saint Judes Children’s Research Hospital.

And here is the fun part your kids can come dressed in their favorite holiday pajamas, and enjoy story time with Santa, festive, dancing, and singing, along with craft and snacks.

Big Joe as Santa - Photo by Michele Harrison
Big Joe as Santa - Photo by Michele Harrison

It happens on two Tuesdays, Dec. 6 and 13 at 11 a.m. and it’s a great way to enjoy the holiday and also help a wonderful cause.

Donate here first, get a free holiday gift at the event when you show your donation receipt.

Sensory and Autism Friendly Santa Event — Sat Dec. 10

I wrote all about this in a separate post, but it definitely deserves to be repeated here because of the difficulty some kids have with the overstimulation of Santa visits.

This event is at cornerstone Montclair families get a chance to meet Santa in a quiet and calm environment.

Google Maps
Google Maps

You can actually register for half-hour appointments so it’s not crazy and rushed and only a limited amount of children will be in the room with Santa at one time.

The best part is that it’s only $5 and comes with a $5 coupon for the general store.

Photos and s’mores with Santa — Dec. 17

A cheap and unique visit with Santa happens on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. at 41 S Main St., Mullica Hill, NJ.

At this event, you bring your own camera for photos with Santa and everyone receives a kit to make s’mores by the fire pit after the photo appearance.


A portion of the proceeds are donated to children’s charities.

For more information click here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

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