By Shelley Gilken
Breakfast with Santa is an old tradition at the Boca Raton Children’s Museum. For 21 years, families have come to this special event each year for the classic Santa Claus experience with the frame-worthy photo op, the pancakes, the crafts and other attractions.
Breakfast with Santa is the signature event of the year at the museum, expecting to draw around 1,500 people between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Dec. 13, said Sandra Manning, marketing and special events coordinator.
“Sit on Santa’s lap and we take the picture, print it out and they take it home right then,” Manning said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Reservations are required, and Manning suggests buying a ticket soon before they run out.
The program includes other attractions such as Thomas the Train rides, sand art, a few vendors, a clown and a character artist. One of the more popular activities — in addition to the big guy in the red suit — is the snow blower spewing white fluffy material for children to frolic in.
The museum used to get real snow, but “icy snow was cold and hard for the kids … It’s synthetic. It’s not cold. It’s fluffy.”
The museum also offers a low-key alternative program for people who celebrate Hanukkah. The Hanukkah party is a one-hour event from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11, which includes the opportunity for children to play with a dreidel and make crafts.
Parents will be able to glimpse parts of the museum at these holiday events, but the museum is not open during the breakfast or Hanukkah program. However, there are plenty of exhibits worthy of a return visit during regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Visitors have until the end of December to see the museum’s special Brazil exhibit. “Learn about the culture, the art and there’s a soccer exhibit. We also have a Brazilian mummy,” Manning said.
The museum’s year-round exhibits feature several imaginative scenes that allow children to play and explore. There’s a grocery store setting, post office and a pirate ship. There’s also a nature trail where families can go for a walk and look at local birds and wildlife. The museum also holds an array of classes each week for babies through elementary school students.
Manning said that many people who visit for Breakfast with Santa are coming to the museum for the first time, and they often make plans to return to see the rest of the exhibits.
If You Go
Breakfast with Santa
For children 10 and younger
When: 8:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 13. Pre-registration is required.
Cost: $10/person (free for infants). Additional fee for certain attractions.
When: 5 to 6 p.m., Dec. 11
Location: Boca Raton Children’s Museum
498 Crawford Blvd.,