Taking a photo with Santa can conjure up memories of “A Christmas Story” and a scary mall Santa with too much rouge on his cheeks, but this is South Florida. Our Santa can look as American as apple pie or sport a tan with a Hawaiian shirt. He can be tame and traditional or be surrounded by kid-friendly activities. So put on some Christmas tunes and prepare your child to meet South Florida’s definition of Santa Claus. While your here, check out last year’s list of Santa sightings for more great photo opportunities.

Cookies With Santa
Stranahan House
335 S.E. 6 Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 524-4736

Date: Dec. 7, 2013

Take your children to the Stranahan House to eat cookies with Santa and have a dignified holiday experience that still manages to be fun. While there, take a picture with Santa, read with Mrs. Claus and construct Christmas crafts while decorating cupcakes with Chef Maria. The event takes place on December 7 at 10:30 a.m. and costs $10 per child. One parent is admitted for free per every two children, making this the most cost-effective way to entertain and feed your brood. RSVP early to secure your spot.

Pinecrest Gardens Holiday Festival
11000 Red Road
Pinecrest, FL 33156
(305) 284-0900

Date: Dec. 7, 2013

Pinecrest has finally decided to join the Christmas festivities. On December 7, the first ever Pinecrest Gardens Holiday Festival will be held, promising fun for all and featuring caroling, face painting and puppeteers in addition to pictures with Santa. Stay until sundown to witness the lighting of the tree and treat your family to a full day of fun for only $5 each. This inclusive celebration even has Hanukkah activities for the Jewish community. Couple that with plenty of onsite concessions and you’ve got an informal holiday picture and an experience your children will be talking about for days.

(Photo credit: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Falls
H8888 S.W. 136th St.
Miami, FL 33176
(305) 255-4571

Date: Now through Dec. 24, 2013

Santa first arrived at The Falls during the 17th annual Miracle On 136th St. Parade on November 23. Now he’s center court at the Santa House until December 24 and is ready to bring some Christmas cheer to your little one. Bring your children the mall between the hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to take a picture with jolly old St. Nick. The decorum is tasteful so you can ensure a highly professional Santa photo that you won’t believe came from the mall. Call ahead for pricing on photo packages and arrive early. Wait times vary based upon mall occupancy.

Related: Top Spots In South Florida To Take Family Photos

Christmas Near The Beach
1 N. Young Circle
Hollywood, FL 33022
(954) 921-3500

Date: Dec. 14, 2013

Santa does not wear his typical clothes when visiting South Florida. This Santa dropped the big red coat and opted for a Hawaiian shirt instead. Have your child or the whole family take pictures with the big guy and show your friends how Christmas is done South Florida style. Then partake in the other free activities on December 14 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. like face painting and musical performances to get a totally free holiday experience. Be sure to bring along a good camera for great photos.

(Photo credit: RALF HIRSCHBERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

Miami International Mall
1455 N.W. 107th Ave.
Doral, FL 33172
(305) 593-1777

Date: Now through Dec. 24, 2013

As mall Santas go, the Miami International Mall Santa is as classy as they come. You can credit it to perfect casting, but this is one Santa that your kids won’t question is the real thing because his costume and beard look real. While there might be the occasional tears because some children are afraid of Santa, most will feel like they’re sitting on grandpa’s lap. Photo packages are available onsite. Call ahead for pricing.

Related: Best Place To Buy Holiday Decorations

Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com