If the little ones just can’t wait until Christmas Eve to try and catch a glimpse of the jolly old fellow, that’s okay. Take them to visit to old St. Nick in one of these local places — no trip to the North Pole required.
• PHOTOS WITH SANTA — 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 12-5 p.m. Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 24, Sandusky Mall, 4314 US 250, Sandusky. Stop by to get a photo taken with Santa and receive a free treat from Mrs. Fields. Info: 419-626-8574 ext. 120. Through Dec. 24.
• CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND 3D FAMILY WALK — 12 p.m., through Jan. 1, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, 3319 Milan Rd., Sandusky. Enjoy the Christmas Wonderland 3D Family Walk-Thru. Take a trip to the North Pole and visit Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and their holiday helpers, as well as the brand new XD 4D Motion Theater movie “Snow Ride.” Cost: $3-6/Walk-Thru, $7/movie. Info: 419-626-4467.
• SANTA AT THE CANDY CANE HOUSE — 6-9 p.m., through Dec. 22, Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron. Drive through the Festival of Lights display, then stop at the Candy Cane House to say hi to Santa, who will be there every day through Dec. 22. Donations are always accepted. Info: 419-433-3800.
• VISIT WITH SANTA — 6 p.m. Fri.-Sun. (Dec. 17-19), New London Recreational Park, 1 Blake St., New London. Visit with Santa Claus at the Boy Scout cabin in the park.
• BREAKFAST WITH SANTA — 10 a.m. & 12 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Lakeview Park, 1800 W. Erie Ave., Lorain. You and the family can take a carriage ride around the park, indulge in a breakfast buffet, get a family photo with Santa, make a craft and get your face painted. There will also be a Secret Santa Workshop so kids can shop for their family. Admission: $15. Kids 5 and under are $10. Info and reservations: 440-233-7272.
• BREAKFAST WITH SANTA — 10 a.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. This holiday breakfast features Santa as the honored guest. Info: 419-626-1950. Cost: $12/ticket.
• SANTA’S IN THE HOUSE — 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Exchange Park, Liberty Ave. and Main St., Vermilion. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Santa House each Saturday until Christmas. Bring a camera for photos.
• MEET SANTA CLAUS — 12-4 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Train-O-Rama, 6732 East Harbor Rd., Lakeside. Visit with St. Nick today. Call Maggie Timmons at 419-734-5856 for info.
• LUNCH WITH SANTA — 12:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. This holiday lunch is $12/person. Info: 419-626-1950.
• MRS. CLAUS AND HAYRIDES — 5:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Sawmill Creek Resort,
400 Sawmill Creek Dr., Huron. Visit with Mrs. Claus in the Granary (behind Sawmill shops) for a special storytime, then take a hayride through the Festival of Lights display. Reservations suggested. Info: 419-433-3800.
Family Christmas picks for the older kids
If you and the kids have outgrown the trip to see Santa, why not check out some of the other family friendly holiday events in the area? There are plenty of things to do, from community caroling and classic holiday movie screenings to festive, spirited shows.
• “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” — 1:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16, Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. This is the animated version of “A Christmas Carol,” featuring the voices of Jim Carrey, Colin Firth and Gary Oldman. Info: 419-334-7101 ext. 216.
• THE KELLER BROTHERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT — 6:30 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16, Clyde Public Library, 222 W. Buckeye St., Clyde. Join the Keller Brothers and listen to their amazing vocals for a Christmas concert that will put you in the holiday mood. Info: 419-547-7174.
• NORWALK HIGH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT — 7 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 16, Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center, 350 Shady Lane Dr., Norwalk. The Norwalk High School concert band and orchestra will perform. Admission is free.
• “THE NUTTIEST CHRISTMAS STORY” — 7 p.m. Fri. Dec. 17, 2 & 7 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, 1 & 6 p.m. Sun. Dec. 19, Norwalk Theatre, 57 E. Main St., Norwalk. The Curtain Call Children’s Theater proudly presents this live musical. Cost: $5/ticket. Info: 419-541-1713 or ccptheater.com.
• MOVIE SCREENING: “HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS” — 7:30 p.m. Fri. Dec. 17, 2 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Watch Jim Carrey give an exhilarating performance and put a modern twist on this classic holiday movie. Admission: $1.
• CAROLING DOWNTOWN — 12 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, downtown Vermilion. This old-fashioned tradition will have carolers strolling through the streets of downtown Vermilion, spreading Christmas cheer. Call 440-963-0772 for information, or if you’d like to participate.
• MOVIE SCREENING: “CHRISTMAS VACATION” — 7:30 p.m. Sat. Dec. 18, Sandusky State Theatre, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Admission: $1. Info: 419-626-1950.
• MOVIE SCREENING: “A CHRISTMAS STORY” — 2 p.m. Sun. Dec. 19, Sandusky State Theatre, Columbus Ave., Sandusky. Admission: $1. Info: 419-626-1950.
• CHRISTMAS CAROLING — 6:30 p.m. Mon. Dec. 20, St. Paul Episcopal Church, 87 W. Main St., Norwalk. In the spirit of the holiday season, Norwalk is having citywide Christmas caroling tonight. Meet at St. Paul Episcopal Church to walk around town and spread Christmas cheer. Call John Schumm for additional information at 419-668-2869.
• WINTER SOLSTICE NIGHT HIKE — 6:30 p.m. Tues. Dec. 21, Coupling Reserve, 11618 SR 13, Milan. Come celebrate the winter solstice, the shortest night of the year, with a brisk night hike through the park. After, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate in the Depot. Info and registration: 419-625-7783 ext. 221.