Is your little one looking for more than just a picture with Santa? How about a whole meal with jolly old Saint Nick? Here are a few chances for the whole family to get up close and personal with Santa himself over a meal and a mug of hot chocolate.
"Santa Lunch Cruise," Spirit of Boston, Boston. Sat., Dec. 14, 11:30 a.m. boarding. Cruise is noon - 2 p.m. $39.99 per adult; 12 and under cruise free (limit one child per paying adult). Enjoy holiday lunch and entertainment while cruising Boston Harbor. Kids can decorate cookies and meet Santa. Complimentary goodie bags at the end of cruise. www.spiritofboston.com
"Santa Brunch," Green Briar Irish Pub, 304 Washington St., Brighton. Sun., Dec. 15, 11 a.m. Regular Sunday brunch menu pricing. Hot chocolate, cookies, candy canes and brunch with Santa. Consider donating unwrapped toys for the Franciscan Hospital for Children. www.greenbriarpub.com
"Breakfast with Santa," Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. Sat., Dec. 21, 8:30 - 10 a.m. Non-members, $29.99; members, $22.99; under 2 free. Price includes zoo admission. Pre-registration by Thurs., Dec. 19 is required. Enjoy breakfast with Santa (full menu on website) at the zoo's Tropical Rainforest Building, as well as photo opportunities and holiday crafts. After, you can walk off the calories by spending the rest of the day visiting with the zoo's many animals. www.zoonewengland.org
"Tea with Santa," Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. Sat., Dec. 21, 3 p.m. Members, $30; non-members, $35. Tickets must be purchased one week in advance and sell out quickly. A three-tiered tea with a menu appropriate for both adults and children, an activity for the kids and visit from Santa. www.goreplace.org
Looking for more ways to get into the holiday spirit with the family?
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.