See St. Nick on the west side


Still need to make a visit to Santa Claus? It’s never too late. Shopping malls are an old standby, but if you’re looking for somewhere different to go this year, here are six places to find Jolly Old St. Nick on Metro Detroit’s west side:

The Village Mall in downtown Milford: Visit Santa in the Village Mall on Main Street in downtown Milford Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from11 a.m. to1 p.m. throughout December. This is an old-fashioned place – no photography staff on hand to take pictures for you. But Santa will gladly pose for any pictures you take. If you still have holiday shopping to do, stop in the Village Toy Shop, which is right there in the mall, or at one of the other specialty shops in town. Your Nesting Place on Main is a great place for not only home furnishings but giftware.

Kellogg Park in Plymouth: Santa actually has a little house in Downtown Plymouth’s Kellogg Park on Main Street. He’s there Saturday, Dec. 17  from noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18 from noon to 5 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 23 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. While you’re there, stop in some local businesses to see gingerbread house displays, and vote for your favorite for a chance to win gift certificates or Penn Theatre movie tickets. The displays run through Dec. 23.

Birmingham‘s Shain Park: Visit Santa’s house and tell him what you want for Christmas. He has a place in Birmingham’s Shain Park on Martin Street, west of the City Hall. He’s there Dec. 17 and 18 from1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 23  from 3 to 5 p.m. and, for all you last-minute people, on Dec. 24 from10 a.m. to1 p.m. On Dec. 17  from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can enjoy a carriage ride through downtown. The carriage boards right near Santa’s house.

Jungle Java in Farmington Hills: Enjoy breakfast with the good ‘ol elf on Dec. 17 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. If you’ve never been to Jungle Java, it’s a great place for kids to play, climb and blow off steam. Santa’s visit is just an added bonus. Kids will have a chance to visit with Santa, and adults are welcome to take their own pictures. Each child receives pancakes and milk or a juice box. The cost is $12 for children ages 2 and older and $6 for children 12 to 23 months. Children under 12 months, and adults, get in free. Call (248)919-3284 for more information and tickets. 

Royal Oak Skate with Santa: The John Lindell Ice Arena at 1403 Lexington Boulevard in Royal Oak will host its annual Skate with Santa Dec. 18 from 3:15 to 5:05 p.m. Kids’ tickets are only $4, unless they’re 5 years old or younger, in which case they’re $3. For tickets and more information, call (248) 246-3950.

The Village of Rochester Hills: In Festival Park in Rochester Hills, you can visit Santa during the week if that’s more convenient for you. On the Village’s Web site, Shalleen McHale writes that it’s the best Santa experience around. “There are no pushy photographers, it doesn’t cost you to sit on Santa’s lap, and you get to spend time one-on-one with Santa in the ‘Santa Snug,'” she says. Santa’s hours are Dec. 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 19-22 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 23 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Dec. 24 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Have fun visiting St. Nick. If you’re looking for more places to see Santa, check out www.oaklandcountymoms.com.