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Where to find Santa in Northeast Georgia this Christmas season
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Aliyah Pierce gives Santa a hug at Celestial Studios' 12th annual Santa at The Main Street Market in Gainesville in Gainesville, on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

The Christmas spirit is spreading throughout Northeast Georgia and Santa Claus is making his rounds. From free breakfast to Christmas parades, families have multiple opportunities to share their Christmas wish list and snap some photos with the man in red himself.

Crawford W. Long Museum

Celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas with Santa at the Crawford W. Long Museum. Children can visit and pose for photo-ops with the jolly man in red inside the museum at the Pendergrass Store. Holiday coloring pages and crayons will be available to take home while supplies last.

When: 1-3 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: 28 College St., Jefferson 

More info: crawfordlong.org/santa-is-coming 

Breakfast and Photos with Santa

Children can enjoy one-on-one time with Santa at Beverly’s Ace Hardware in Gainesville, where he’ll be stopping by in his sleigh to greet customers and snap a few photos. For $25, an IHOP breakfast will also be served for children from 9-11 a.m. The breakfast includes eggs, bacon, juice and pancakes with a variety of toppings to choose from, with complimentary donuts and coffee for adults. A gift stocking with coloring pages and treats will be given to each child after their visit with Santa. 

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: 1963 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville 

More info: 470-768-6118

Christmas in Lula

Following his ride through the city of Lula’s annual Christmas parade, visitors can sit down with Old St. Nick, share the most-wanted items on their Christmas list and pose for a photo at the Lula Train Depot. Ahead of the parade, families can stop by the booths set up in the center of town for free cookies, coffee and hot chocolate. The treats begin at 4 p.m., with the parade to follow at  6 p.m.

When: Dec. 4 following the 6 p.m. parade.

Where: 5911 Wall St., Lula 

More info: cityoflula.com 

Flowery Branch United Methodist

Enjoy a free breakfast with Santa Claus at Flowery Branch United Methodist Church. From 9-11 a.m., pancakes, sausage, orange juice will be served to kids and adults, along with coffee and an outdoor fire pit to make s'mores. Children will also get the opportunity to take a photo with Santa, which can be printed into a Christmas card. Holiday crafts will be available to take home after meeting Santa.

When: 9 a.m. Dec. 4

Where: 5212 Spring St., Flowery Branch 

More info: facebook.com/Flowery-Branch-United-Methodist-Church 

Celestial Studios

Families can meet one-on-one with Santa on the front porch of Celestial Studios in downtown Gainesville. A scene of red, white and green Christmas decorations will be set up for children to sit next to St. Nick. The studio is offering photo sessions for $25 with free digital downloads. Parents can choose how their child will interact with Santa by either social distancing or sitting on his lap.

When: noon-4p.m. Dec. 4; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18

Where: 851 Main St., Gainesville 

More info: celestialstudios.art 

Christmas on Green Street Parade

As Christmas returns to Gainesville with the annual Christmas on Green Street parade, so will Old St. Nick. After making his way through Green Street aboard a bright red fire truck, Santa will make his way to the Norton Agency building for meet-and-greets and pictures with visitors. Along the way, several historic homes on Green Street will be having refreshments, entertainment and character meet-and-greets for those who stop by.

When: 5:15-7 p.m. Dec. 5

Where: 434 Green St., Gainesville 

More info: gainesville.org/Downtown-Gainesville 

Dinner and Photos with Santa

Families are invited to stop by for a photo and dinner with Santa at Branch House Tavern in Flowery Branch. Each Monday leading up to the week of Christmas, Santa will be dropping by during the dinner hours to take photos free of charge on the tavern’s festive stage. 

When: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 6, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20

Where: 5466 McEver Road, Flowery Branch 

More info: 678-828-8345

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

Every night until Christmas Eve, Santa will be in his workshop inside Bucky’s Retail Shop at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands for visits and photos. Admission to the License to Chill Snow Island, where Santa’s workshop is located, is free without access to attractions or rides. Cost for visiting Santa with no pictures is $10 and photo packages with the visit included range from $20-$60. Each child receives a candy cane and a “believe” button after their visit with Santa. Admission to resort games, rides, snow tubing and access to the ice rink can be bought with a License to Chill Snow Island day pass. Individual tickets are $49.99. Packages for families of four are available for $159.99. Admission for three- to seven-year-old children, active and retired military, senior adults age 62 and older and groups of 15 or more is $39.99. Admission is free for children younger than three. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the resort. 

When: 5 p.m. Nov. 26-Dec. 24 during operating hours

Where: 7650 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford 

More info: margaritavilleresorts.com/license-to-chill-snow-island 

Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas

Santa can be found next to downtown Dahlonega’s iconic Christmas tree on Friday and Saturday until Dec. 19, allowing families to line up for photos. While in town, also enjoy the display of Christmas lights, trees and decorations around the historic downtown area, take a carriage ride and shop at the Christmas market open on Thursday and Friday.

When: Nov. 26-Dec. 19, 5-7 p.m. Fridays; 12-6 p.m. Saturdays; 1-5 p.m. Sundays

Where: 13 South Park St., Dahlonega  

More info: dahlonegachristmas.com
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