Preparations for the most wonderful time of the year are now underway. From the holiday music playing on your local radio station, to twinkling lights taking over the neighborhood, to the intricately decorated Christmas tree in your living room, it’s clear that all signs point to Christmas. One of the annual traditions that many families look forward to are taking pictures with Santa.

Picture with Santa cost in every state

If you have kiddos, you know that this time of year typically comes with a few extra challenges. Whether that means getting your children to smile for the Christmas card photo or behave at holiday gatherings, you’re sure to have your hands full.

We at Treetopia know how special the holidays are to families across America, especially those with young children. We’re here to lighten your load. If you’re busy, Santa photo prices aren’t something you think about until you’re in line at the mall, staring at the price list in disbelief. Well, we’re giving you a heads-up this year!

How much are pictures with Santa at the mall?

To find the average cost of a photo with Santa in each state, we took a look at some of the most popular malls in the biggest cities. We then took note of the prices of different photo packages. Here’s what you can expect to pay for Santa photos in each state.

The States with the Highest & Most Affordable Santa Photo Rates

Pictures with Santa prices by state map

For the states in darker pink on the map like Utah, Georgia, Washington, and Oregon, consider this fair warning. Don’t be alarmed if you show up for Santa photos and prices are a smidgen more expensive than you thought. After all, Santa has to make ends meet too, right?

It could be worse if you’re from Vermont, North Dakota, New York, Arizona, or North Carolina. These are the most expensive states for Santa photos, with prices ranging from $33 to $50. So if you value affordable pictures with Santa, but see that your state makes the “naughty” list, it might be time to consider moving.

Most and least expensive states for photos with Santa chart

Some families move seeking lower costs of living, better schools, or simply a new adventure. In theory, you could also move just to have less-expensive Santa photos. Hypothetically, if you were to move for this reason, Alaska is your best bet. You only have to shell out around $11 for Santa photos each year. If you’re not sure that you can handle the frigid Alaskan weather, consider moving to Alabama or Mississippi, where photo prices are only $20 and $21, respectively.

Santa Photos with Your Fur Babies

States with most pet photos with Santa map

Of course, we can’t forget the pet parents! Some states are better than others when it comes to your furry little one’s pictures with Santa . Not in terms of price, though, since some retailers like PetSmart offer this service for free. Rather, some states have more options for pet photos with Santa than others.

For instance, if you’re from California or Texas you’re likely to have a plethora of options for your furry friend’s photo op. However, if you’re from North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, or West Virginia, your options are more limited. We’re not saying it’s not doable, but getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa might entail a bit of a trek.


There are always virtual options if you’re not up to it. Another idea: set up a photo booth at home with your Christmas tree! Fill the space with holiday décor, maybe consider matching costumes, and bring out some props.

Kids hold a wreath for Christmas decor
Photo and décor by Ashley Glass

Tip: Take a lot of candid pictures! Some may end up looking more delightful than the ones where your subjects are posing and smiling.

Dog on a couch with a flocked Christmas tree in the background
Photo and décor by Mom 4 Real

The good news is no matter which state you call home, your pet or child’s pictures with Santa are well within reach. That said, you might have to shell out a bit more dough in some states. Also, you might have to drive a bit further than you’d like in others. But at the end of the day, won’t that priceless photo of your child or pet on Santa’s lap make it all worthwhile?

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