Santa Claus is prepping for his pre-Christmas visits to Boise and the Treasure Valley. Here’s where to see the big guy and get pictures with your little girls and boys (or fluffy ones).

Downtown Boise

Ever since Macy’s closed up shop after Christmas 2009, the city’s core has been without a permanent camp for Santa.  But DL Evans Bank hosts him for several limited engagements during the Christmas season.

  • Saturday, December 1 – 10am-2pm
  • First Thursday, December 6 – 6pm-8pm
  • Saturday, December 8 – 10am-2pm
  • Saturday, December 15 – 10am-2pm

Photos with Santa are free, but donations are accepted for the Women’s & Children’s Alliance.

Boise Towne Square

The 1,748-year-old Claus will spend quite a bit of time at the center court of Boise Towne Square between now and Christmas. The mall allows parents to reserve a time to cut down on line-standing time.

Claus-visiting hours from November 9 through December 14:

  • Monday-Saturday – Noon-8pm
  • Sunday – Noon-6pm

Starting December 15:

  • Monday-Sunday – 9am-9pm
  • Christmas Eve 12/24 – 9am-5pm

The mall has a variety of photo packages available for purchase.

Village at Meridian

The Jolly Old Elf (wait… is he an elf?) has plopped down in a custom house at the Village at Meridian in recent years, complete with a tiny ice skating rink and hourly fountain show.

This year, the man in red will start welcoming kids starting November 16th.

  • Monday-Saturday – noon-7pm
  • Sunday – noon-5pm
  • Christmas Eve – noon-4pm

Santa sneaks off for lunch each day between 3:30 and 4pm.

Picture packages are also available at the Village starting at $14.99, though visits do not require a purchase.

[ Snowflakes downtown! Why Christmas decorations are popping up in Boise ]

Winter Garden aGlow

The Idaho Botanical Garden will host the world’s fastest gift-giver on select nights throughout the annual festival of lights. The details aren’t public yet, but when they are you should be able to find them here.

Winter Garden aGlow starts Thanksgiving Day November 22 and runs through the end of the year.

Festival of Trees Boise

Santa will nestle himself among the trees at this annual fundraiser for Saint Alphonsus Health System. Photos are available with a donation, though seeing Santa requires admission to the Festival at the Boise Centre.

  • Wednesday, November 21 – 10am-8pm
  • Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving) – 2pm-8pm
  • Friday, November 23 – 10am-8pm
  • Saturday, November 24 – 10am-8pm
  • Sunday, November 25 – 10am-8pm

Kids can also create a Christmas card in the North Pole Village and participate in other family-friendly activities.

Zoo Boise – Claus ‘n’ Paws

The zoo in Julia Davis Park opens its doors to the public for free on Saturday, December 1 from 10am-5pm. Santa will pose for pictures starting at 11am, and kids can get their photo taken for a donation to benefit the zoo and its conservation programs.

Bark ‘N’ Purr pet pics with Santa

The pet store in Boise’s Vista Village will get the guy in fluffy clothing to sit down with your pets in fluffy fur.  This stop will be at Bark ‘N’ Purr in Boise’s Vista Village. Come by December 1 from 10am-4pm and December 2 from 10am-2pm.  Donations will benefit Conrad Strays.