Where to Take Festive Photos for Your Greeting Cards and 'Grams While Shopping in LA

Email greetings are nice and all, but nothing says I really went the extra mile this Chrismukka quite like sending one of those personalized photo postcards via snail mail. Seriously though, while most of us will end up posting our pics on Instagram (or on Facebook for all of the older folks back home), the common quasi-conundrum that we non-creative, non-pro photogs face is where to take decent holiday photos in LA—without having to make an extra stop during our gift shopping scavenger hunt.

Whether you're looking to pose with your entire fam (including the fur babies) with the Claus clan or take silly sweater photos with the big red man and your S.O. (or BFF), we've rounded up the best spots in LA for getting your festive portraits done right. From classic posed pictures with St. Nick and a seated brunch with Santa (so very LA, right?) to a technicolor backdrop and even a photo op-filled winter wonderland, there's something for everyone here, regardless of whether you're an observer of Christmas, Hannukah, Festivus, or even the Pastafarian Holiday. (Okay, we're kinda stretching it with the last two.)

On that cheery note, see 'em all below, and stay tuned as we'll be updating this list when additional photogenic happenings land in our inbox.


 

 

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Beverly Center (West Hollywood)

What: No word yet if jolly Mr. Claus will be paying a visit to the recently renovated mall, but shoppers can swing by the Grand Court on level 6 and take photos at a whimsical white wonderland set, which features a massive gift box (be sure to step inside!)
Cost: Free
When: Now through the end of December
Where: Beverly Center, 8500 Beverly Blvd.,Grand Court on Level 6, LA, 90048 (310) 854-0070


Photo: The Grove

Santa's Workshop at The Grove (Beverly Grove)

What: Santa's Workshop is holding court in the middle of The Grove's charming 1st Street, where kids of all ages can get photographed with ol' St. Nick. Plus, you'll smile big for the camera knowing that 5% of all proceeds from the event will go to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. (Talk about being nice this year.) Got a fur baby? You can bring 'em for portraits every Tuesday during the festive photo op's run; get more details here.
Cost and Packages: $45 for an email link to download your images plus a magnetic photo frame (package B); $65 for link to images and video, one 5×7 photo, and two 3×5 photos (package B); $75 for link to images and video, and your choice of four photos of varying sizes (premium package); or $100 for a flash drive with all images and video, four photos of varying sizes, one 8×10 photo, two ornaments, and an all-day valet pass (VIP package); see all package details and book your reservation here 
When: Now through Tuesday, December 24; see the complete hours of operation calendar here
Where: The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., LA, 90036


 

Photo: Americana at Brand

Santa's House at Americana at Brand (Glendale):

What: Visit the North Pole (a.k.a. the Americana at Brand) and get snapped with Santa inside his whimsical home. Plus, you'll smile big for the camera knowing that 5% of all proceeds from Santa's House will go to Children's Hospital Los Angeles. (Talk about being nice this year.)
Cost and Packages: $45 for an email link to download your images plus a magnetic photo frame (package B); $65 for link to images and video, one 5×7 photo, and two 3×5 photos (package B); $75 for link to images and video, and your choice of four photos of varying sizes (premium package); or $100 for a flash drive with all images and video, four photos of varying sizes, one 8×10 photo, two ornaments, and an all-day valet pass (VIP package); see all package details and book your reservation here 
When: Now through Tuesday, December 24; see the complete hours of operation calendar here
Where: Americana at Brand, 889 Americana Way, Glendale, 91210; (818) 637-8982


Photo: Fa La Land

Fa La Land at Row DTLA (Arts District)

What:  Not even the Santa is immune to being interpreted into an Instagram museum, and Fa La Land's first-ever pop-up at Row DTLA will fulfill all of your Christmas photo fantasies. Attendees can explore a retro North Pole and make toys at the Jingle Bell Toy Factory, get lit (and by that, we mean illuminated) in the fluorescent Fa La Forest, and dive Candyfornia ball pit, among other picturesque and jolly corners. Note that strollers need to be parked outside and pets are not allowed inside (unless they're service animals or reindeer, per the event). Oh, and don't forget to tag your pics with #falaland (obvi). 
Cost: 
$37 (children 3 and under are free); book your visit and buy tickets online here
When: Now through Tuesday, December 25; open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., closed Mondays
Where: Row DTLA, 777 Alameda St., LA, 90021


 

Photo: Courtesy of Westfield Century City

Cocoa with Santa at Westfield Century City

What: Nothing says "LA" like brunch with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at one of our city's most stylish outdoor shopping centers. Ditch the lines at this hassle-free Cocoa with Santa experience, which promises special moments with Santa, light lunch, plenty of cocoa and sweet treats, hands-on crafts, gifts, and even a selfie sleigh. The space will be decked out in festive and merry decor (complete with a Christmas tree), and all guests will go home with a printed photo with Santa and a digital download of pics from the event. No need to worry about where to park your own sleigh: there'll be free all-day parking for attendees.
Cost: $50 per child and $25 per adult; get more details and buy tickets online here
When: Saturdays, December 1, 8, and 15; timed visits from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 2 p.m., or 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Westfield Century City, Level 2 between Volcom and Nordstrom, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, 90067; (310) 277-3898


 

Photo: Beverly Hills

Immersed in Wonderland: A Holiday Pop-Up by Alexa Meade

What: Artist Alexa Meade is known for her trippy 3D painting installations (like her recent work for Ariana Grande's "God Is A Woman" music video), and non-pop superstars can experience her technicolor creations during her immersive art exhibit on Rodeo Drive as part of Beverly Hills' Bold Holidays. The selfie-ready interactive creation features hand-painted clothing and accessories for visitors to wear as they explore the winter-inspired space.
Cost: Free
When: Now through Monday, December 23; Mondays through Saturdays from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 6 p.m.
Where: 262 North Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 90210

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