ABC Carpet & Home might just have New York City's best-looking Santa, which is probably why people line up every weekend to get inside and sit on his lap. In addition to a beautiful setting for visiting with Santa, it's completely free -- though you'll have to take your own photo with Santa if you want a keepsake.
Santa is at ABC Carpet & Home on Saturdays & Sundays from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
What To Expect When You See Santa At ABC Carpet & Home
Understandably, ABC Carpet & Home is a popular choice for visiting Santa -- it attracts lots of local families because it's free and Santa is kind and friendly. Santa is at ABC Carpet & Home during store hours on weekends, but families start lining up 30-45 minutes before the store opens (at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. on Sundays). We recently arrived about 15 minutes before the store opened and it took us an hour of waiting in line to see Santa.
Things were kept fairly organized by the store -- the entrance to see Santa was to the right of the store's main entrance (on Broadway between 18th/19th Streets). A line formed along Broadway and wrapped around the corner onto 19th Street. Attendants kept folks lined up and moving into the store as space allowed. Most of the time we spent waiting was outside of the store, so keep this in mind and dress appropriately. Once inside the store we waited perhaps 10-15 more minutes to see Santa, which gave us time to get the kids out of their coats and ready to pose for a picture.
Getting Your Picture Taken With Santa at ABC Carpet & Home
If you want a memento of your visit with Santa at ABC Carpet & Home, you'll have to be sure to bring your own camera and photographer. Santa himself is the real deal -- no fake beards here! In keeping with ABC Carpet & Home's reputation for impeccable taste, they've created a beautiful setting for Santa to sit and although visits are kept fairly brief, Santa asked each of my kids what they wanted for Christmas and we managed to get a great picture. There is plenty of seating if the whole family wants in on the photo-action -- Santa has a bench on either side of him. Be aware that the lighting is somewhat low for taking pictures without flash, so adjust your camera settings appropriately.
How Long Can It Take To See Santa at ABC Carpet & Home?
I would allow at least an hour, perhaps an hour and a half, for waiting to see Santa at ABC Carpet & Home. Waits will tend to be shorter earlier in the season, and as Christmas approaches, the lines grow.
Directions To See Santa at ABC Carpet & Home
Address: 888 & 881 Broadway (East 19th St)
Nearest Subway: N/R/Q to 14th Street/Union Square or 23rd Street
Hours/Dates: weekends from Thanksgiving until Christmas; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sundays
Not in New York City? Check out some other Great Places to See Santa.