Virtual Visits with Santa: The Best Apps and Services to See Santa in 2020

A group of children watching a video chat with Santa Claus using a laptop in a festively decorated house
Romantic studio /

Christmas is just around the corner, but there is still plenty of time for your kids to talk to Santa Claus. And despite COVID-19[feminine[feminine, there are many socially remote options for Santa’s annual visit. In fact, we have found apps and websites that will allow you to reserve a location for your kids to get a video call from Santa himself.

Each of the apps we’ve included is available on iOS or Android devices. They don’t include video calls, but they will allow your kids to receive a phone call from Santa Claus or enjoy other Christmas activities, like creating holiday photos with Santa Claus. Some are even designed to let your kids hear a message from Santa reminding them to be on their best behavior, lest they end up on his naughty list.

Whether you’re planning a video call or a regular phone call, these virtual Santa Claus alternatives are sure to keep the Christmas spirit alive and are a great and festive way to celebrate the holidays with the family.

Things to keep in mind with these apps and services

Before you get started, there are a few things you need to know about these fun seasonal services like pricing, limitations, availability, and more. And because of their unique nature online, you’ll want to be sure to read all of the fine print to make sure the experience you want goes smoothly.

  • Price and availability: Most of these services (especially video calling) are available for a fee and may also require you to reserve a seat in advance, so be sure to hurry up and secure your spot ASAP. You should also be wary of services charging very high prices compared to what they offer as they may be trying to take advantage of you due to vacations and COVID restrictions.
  • Santa options: Some services offer a variety of characters to choose from, such as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, or even some elves. A few even offer multilingual and multi-ethnic Santa options, making everyone feel included.
  • Duration of the experience and memories: Some services allow you to submit things such as your child’s name (s), Christmas list, and other details in advance to make the experience more natural and immersive for your children. Video calls average five minutes with Santa, and most experiences include commemorative photos and videos, so you can record them for future enjoyment.
  • Group options: Some services limit a single virtual tour to one child at a time, while others allow multiple children or your entire family to be on screen. It varies by department, so be sure to check if you have multiple children.

Video calls

The best thing to do when visiting the Santa Mall in person is to receive a personalized video call from him, of course! Fortunately, each of these sites offers virtual tours with Saint Nick. Tours are available on a first come, first served basis, so don’t hesitate to register if you’re interested.


JingleRing Santa Video Call Service

JingleRing (starting at $ 24.95) is a popular and comprehensive option for a virtual Christmas experience. Its best features are its diversity of performers and thoughtful family customization options. You will get photos with Santa Claus as well as a souvenir video that will let you relive the moment for years to come. There’s even an option to add a story time from a curated list of classic holiday tales for an additional cost.

The party service allows you to choose your ethnicity, faith and language preferences (including ASL). JingleRing also has a sensitive Santa Claus who is available for children with special needs. When booking you will have the option to provide additional information that Santa should know, such as what your kids want for Christmas, animal names, and things that deserve praise or need improvement. Slot machines can be booked for up to four people at a time, and tours average 10-20 minutes. The options are open until December 27.

T-Mobile’s Santa’s Call

T-Mobile's Virtual Santa Video Chat Option
T Mobile

Need a little help finding Kris Kringle this year? Let T-Mobile help you. Sure, T-Mobile lets you schedule a free live video chat with Santa Claus. New appointments fall at 9:00 a.m. PT each day. So be sure to come back the next day if you are unable to book a time slot. T-Mobile also provides links to videos with the special message of Santa Claus for children who can’t wait to talk to him, with several choices of languages ​​and ethnicities.

When you register online, you will need to specify how many children are participating, what their names are, how to pronounce their names, what they expect from Santa this year and answer a few other questions so that Santa can offer a call. The experience is open to anyone in the United States and runs until December 23.

Santa experience

Santa the Experience Virtual Santa calls with Santa in his sleigh in the night sky
Santa experience

Santa experience is an “elven-guided journey to the North Pole”. An elf named Pickles will greet you at first, then take you on a magical journey through Santa’s house in the North Pole, including an elf’s bedroom, the mail room, the reindeer stables, and the toy factory, and you will also enjoy a quick tour with Mrs. Claus. Then the experience ends with a visit with old Saint Nick himself. The entire experience lasts 10 to 12 minutes and your child spends around five minutes with Santa Claus.

Reservations extend until December 24 and are available in time slots ranging from early morning to late evening. Prices range from $ 44.95 for early morning slots to $ 79.95 for evening prime time tours. There’s no limit to how many people can be called, so you can chain your whole family together, as long as they can all fit on the screen. You will also receive a recording afterwards to enjoy for years to come.


Cameo's Santa Actor Video Message Options

Cameo (price varies) is a site where you can pay to have your favorite celebrities send you a personalized message, so naturally Santa Claus (or rather hundreds of his most loyal imitators) is there as well. Cameo prices vary depending on which actor you choose, but you can view the individual page of each Santa you’re interested in to learn more about what they have to offer. Some Santas can send a generic message, while others can accept some personalization. You can even find options for Mrs. Claus and some elves.

My Father Christmas session at Sam’s Club

Sam's Club Santa Claus Virtual Tour Options for Photo Account Members
Sam’s club

If you are a Sam’s Club member and have a photo account, your Santa Claus session is free. Membership is limited to one session, but multiple children can be included in a single session. Within 48 hours of your virtual tour slot, you will receive a link to upload your commemorative photo and video, which you can then save or share online. You will need to download the Zoom app to an internet-connected device to make the call, and you will have five minutes to speak with Santa Claus. If you are not currently a Sam’s Club subscriber, you will need to create one first.


If you don’t want to spend a slice of change on an online visit from Santa Claus, there are more fun Christmas options available to you with these festive mobile apps. None of the apps offer actual video calls like the websites above, but they do offer voice calls, photos with Santa Claus, and other fun activities.

Santa Pics app

Santa Pics app with placement and AR Santa position options
Santa Claus

With the Santa Claus app ($ 0.99), you can use Augmented Reality (AR) to “place” Santa Claus in your bedroom. You can even create the backdrop by adding party props, choosing the position Santa Claus should sit or stand in, and even resize and rotate it to look perfect in any setting. photos and videos you take with it. Then, once your scene looks North Pole approved, have your kids snap a pic!

You can share your photos and videos online right from the app, or you can choose to save them to your device. You can also order prints on demand from the app, which you can then send to loved ones. The app is available for both ios and Android devices.

Santa package

Santa app package with phone call customization options for kids
Santa Claus Package

Santa Claus Package (free with in-app purchases) is a simple app that provides a personalized (but simulated) call to your child from Santa Claus. When registering, you can choose the time and date when the call should take place. Then you can choose from a list of 28 unique greetings and messages from Santa, such as “Christmas” (which lets kids know he’s on his way). You can also choose to upload a photo if you want your child’s face to appear on the screen when Santa calls, along with their name and age, for a little more personalization.

Portable North Pole

North Pole portable app with video, call and more
Portable North Pole

Portable North Pole (free with in-app purchases) lets you get a personalized Santa Claus video call. The app also offers Premium messages for you to choose from, as well as a Magic Pass, which costs $ 13.99 and includes multiple messages to send to your child along with a few fun extras. The pass includes a pre-Christmas call, which encourages your child to be kind in order to stay on Santa’s Beautiful List, a Christmas Eve call letting your child know that Santa is in his sleigh and on the way, and d ‘other call and activity options. You can have up to four children on a single call, which is great for families with multiple children.

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