Santa Pictures in Sioux City & How to Win Yours For Free!

This post is sponsored by the Southern Hills Mall.

Santa is coming to the Southern Hills Mall, for photos and for fun! Want to take pictures with Santa this holiday season? Would your kids would love the chance to hang out with Santa and make crafts or eat cookies? Here's everything you want to know about Santa's visits to the Southern Hills Mall, plus a fun opportunity to win a Santa Photo Package from the Southern Hills Mall! I have taken my kids to have pictures taken with Santa at the Southern Hills Mall in the past, and Santa was very sweet, even after all of my kids refused to sit on his lap (I ended up holding one while the other stood in front of Santa. It was still cute!). This week I saw the mall elves setting up the photo area, and it looks so festive and cute, with tons of traditional Christmas decorations and props! If you want a classic Santa photo experience, the Southern Hills Mall is definitely the place to go.

Santa Photos

Santa will be available for photos at the Southern Hills Mall from November 17th through December 24th! Santa will be available for pictures most hours that the mall is open, and  his exact hours will be posted on the mall website each week.

The hours that have been announced so far include:

  • Saturday 11/17: 10am-8pm
  • Sunday 11/18: noon-6pm
  • Monday 11/19: 11am-8pm
  • Tuesday 11/20: 11am-8pm
  • Wednesday 11/21: 11am-8pm

There are a wide variety of options for photo packages with Santa at the Southern Hills mall, so whether you are trying to stick to a budget or get copies for all your relatives (you know all the Grandmas want a copy!), you should be able to find something that works for your family. Packages start at $24.99 and are all under $50, and a la carte fun like ornaments, globes, frames, and plush toys range from $7.99 to $24.99!

Santa FastPass
If you want to skip the lines, you can buy a Santa FastPass reservation. Visit the Santa FastPass website to sign up for a time. FastPass photo packages vary from about $25 to $50 and come with a personalized call from Santa!

Tips for Success
  • Try to come at a time when your kid(s) are well-fed and rested
  • Consider bringing things like stickers, Color Wonder coloring sets, etc to make the wait in line more fun--you know your kids best and what will help them be patient and relaxed.
  • Plan your outfits. Spontaneous pictures in whatever your kids happen to be wearing that day are totally fine, but you could also consider dressing in silly Christmas sweaters, pajamas, or dressing more formally! I love this post from KC based blogger and fashion designer Kilee Kesler of One Little Momma and Nickel + Suede, about choosing outfits for family photos and think the tips apply well to Santa Pics as well! Also consider whether you might end up in the picture yourself--I ended up unexpectedly holding one of my kids last time we did Santa pics at the Southern Hills Mall and I was lucky that I was randomly wearing my cutest jeans and a red sweater!
  • Bring a festive comfort item--a plush reindeer, snowman, or elf could help your kids stay calm, but also will look adorable in the pictures,
  • Bring a list--some kids are too shy or overwhelmed to tell Santa their list in person, and some talk Santa's ear off with a long list. Bringing a physical list avoids both these pitfalls, and your children handing Santa their lists can be a super cute picture. To make this easier, I created a free printable PDF Santa list that I will be adding to the Files section of the Siouxland Family Friendly Events Facebook group. The PDF prints two lists side by side, so you can cut them apart for siblings or fold it in half to have a two sided list. I made it very simple with just black ink so you can be creative with your paper or cardstock choice. 

Special Events

  • Santa's Arrival **UPDATE: sold out**
    • Saturday, November 17th from 9am to 11am
    • FREE Chick-fil-A breakfast for kids 12 & under (CFA breakfast available for purchase for parents, grandparents, older siblings, etc)
    • Kids can do a festive craft, and get surprise treats to take home
    • Limited space is available, so sign up ASAP here
    • More info available on the Southern Hills Mall website

  • Sensory Sensitive Santa
    • Saturday, December 2nd from 9am to 11am
    • Lights and music will be turned down a bit to make the environment more welcoming to kids who have special needs or who are otherwise sensitive to a high-sensory environment. As a mom of a kids with special needs, I really love that they offer this!
    • Free crafts and snacks will be offered in an area separate from the picture taking area as an option to help kids adjust and stay calm and happy!
    • Limited space available to help keep things low sensory, so please sign up here.
    • More information available on the Southern Hills Mall website

  • Pet Pics
    • Sunday, November 25th from 6-8pm
    • Pets welcome, pet parents should bring anything their pet would need for standing in line a while
    • Santa's set will be completely cleaned after so allergy sufferers like me don't need to worry about taking pictures with Santa in the days after the event. Thanks for cleaning up for us, elves!
    • More information available on the Southern Hills Mall website
  • Storytime with Santa
    • Date and details to be announced!
  • Cookies with Santa pajama party
    • Date and details to be announced


One lucky reader is going to win a photo package to use at the Southern Hills Mall! The prize package is "Package D" which normally costs $29.99 and includes a 5x7, three 3x5s, two wallets, and a free digital download! To enter, leave a comment here on this blog post, or on the official giveaway thread in the Siouxland Family Friendly Events Facebook group by Friday, November 30th at noon. In your comment, tell me what your favorite kind of cookie is to eat at Christmas! For bonus entries, join the Siouxland Family Friendly Events Facebook group, like the new Siouxland Families Blog Facebook page, or like the Southern Hills Mall on Facebook, and leave a message for each thing you do (each entry will count as one entry.)

For more information about Santa pictures and other festive fun at the Southern Hills Mall, visit the Southern Hills Mall website or Facebook page.