FREE: Where to visit Santa, enjoy holiday events for the family

It's that time of year again, Santa has started making his way to the Triangle.

For many parents, snagging a picture with Old Saint Nick is important and one of the best places to get a free picture with Santa is inside Bass Pro Shop in Cary and Cabela's in Garner.

Starting Saturday, November 16 at 5 p.m., Santa arrives at both stores. The businesses transform a portion of their stores into Santa's Wonderland. Besides a visit with Santa, kids can also take part in many holiday crafts.

Before you plan your visit, check the stores' hours for Santa and crafts. Both places are very popular on weekends and closer to Christmas--so consider snagging a Bass Pass, which provides a time slot to see Santa, so you and the family can explore the Wonderland or shop in the store while you wait.

If you want to avoid the crowds, try going during the week.

Santa at the Malls

The area malls are also popular places to visit with Santa. While there is no cost to see him, pictures do cost money.

In Fayetteville, at Cross Creek Mall Santa has already made his first appearance in the Food Court. Santa will be at The Streets at Southpoint in Durham on November 15th. At Crabtree Valley Mall Santa arrives on November 16. At Triangle Town Center Santa will arrive on November 22.

You can skip the lines and make your reservation online to see many of the mall Santas.

Other Free Holiday Events

One of the best free holiday events happens in downtown Raleigh Saturday, Nov. 23. The 75th Raleigh Christmas Parade starts at 9 a.m., traveling through the streets of downtown Raleigh. If you can't make it to the parade, you can watch it live on ABC11.

Also on Saturday November 23rd, you can watch the annual Tree Lighting happen at North Hills from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. In Morrisville, at Park West Village Winter Wonderland on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 22-24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. you can enjoy the Magical Winter Lights, story time with Santa, train rides around the District, and so much more.

Another holiday favorite is riding a sled through the snow at Cameron's Village Holiday Open House. You can ride on November 21 from 5 to 8 p.m.
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