The attractions, restaurants and hotels of Greater Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley are beginning to dress in their holiday best and that means Santa’s arrival isn’t far behind. That’s right... the cookie loving, Jolly Old Elf himself with the iconic white beard is headed to Greater Wilmington, and he is making multiple stops. 

Grab this list and check it twice as you make plans to explore #VisitWilm and meet Santa! 


1. Christiana Mall

Beginning November 10th through Christmas Eve, Santa will be making an appearance at the Christiana Mall for photos and to gather a few ideas from your holiday wish lists. He is also going to have a special day for those kiddos that need a "sensory friendly" visit for photos on December 3rd from 10:30-11:30 a.m. In addition, from November 13th through December 5th from 4-7 p.m., Santa will even let you bring your pets along too! Everyone deserves some time with the Jolly Elf, don't they? While you’re there, be sure to take advantage of Christiana Mall’s hundreds of stores including classics like Apple, the new Kendra Scott, Nordstrom, The North Face, Target and more. Did we mention shopping in Delaware is tax-free? It’s the perfect way to check off those items on your holiday shopping list – just be sure to check it twice!    

Christiana Mall

Come explore Christiana Mall, where all purchases are always tax-free in Delaware. Easily accessible from I-95, this desirable shopping and…


2. Wilmington and Western Railroad

On varying dates beginning November 24th through December 23rd, the Wilmington and Western Railroad will be hosting Mr. Claus on their annual Santa Claus Express rides! Take the train ride through the scenic Red Clay Valley with the Jolly Elf as he stops to greet all on board and gives out a special holiday treat! If its twinkling lights that get you in the festive spirit, be sure to book the Holiday Lights Express. Experience the magic of riding aboard a festively decorated, 100-year-old heated coach, covered in thousands of holiday lights! While Santa will not make an appearance, many of the residents who live along the railroad’s path will have the backs of their homes decorated for all to enjoy. The Holiday Lights Express will run on varying dates from December 6th-30th. These rides sell out nearly every year so book early. 

3. Hagley Museum and Library

Santa’s next visit will be to Hagley Museum and Library on December 2nd. Explore the picturesque grounds of the du Pont estate, check out the Hagley barn, and visit Eleutherian Mills - the du Pont family’s ancestral home - all decked out for the season.  While you wait to see Kris Kringle, enjoy the creativity and imaginative interpretations of gingerbread houses featured in Hagley's 6th annual gingerbread contest. And let Santa know who you voted for! He loves the gingerbread competition. He will make his appearances from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a cookie break from 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. 

4. Brandywine Zoo 

Visit the Brandywine Zoo December 2nd and 3rd to see Santa himself and enjoy the Winter Wonderland fun! This beloved family tradition is a highlight of the season. Enjoy free hot cocoa and fun holiday activities.  

5. Visit with Santa and Enjoy a Meal!

Santa LOVES a good breakfast and brunch... join in the holiday fun, meet up with the Jolly Elf and nosh on delicious food!   

Bonus. Wilmington Jaycees Christmas Parade

Although Santa will not be able to talk to everyone, you can still enjoy seeing him on top of a float at the 59th annual Wilmington Jaycees Christmas Parade in downtown Wilmington on November 25th. You can also bring your letters to Santa because he’ll be taking them back to the North Pole to read.  

This year's parade route will be:  

Starts at 2nd &Market St. 
Travels North on Market St. 
Past Reviewing Stand at 10th & Market St. 
Parade ends at 11th & Market St. 

Santa is so excited to meet everyone and spend part of his holiday season in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley! The holiday magic takes place all month long – make plans now to catch Santa before he heads back to the North Pole.   

Happy Holidays! 


More Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Season in Greater Wilmington