“Santa can sometimes be brown you know?” I said to my 5 year old daughter as we pulled decorations out of Christmas storage. I had remembered that two seasons ago, my sister in law had gifted us an African American Santa Claus ceramic ornament to add to our collection. My daughter raised her eyebrows at my comment.

At the time we were gifted Black Santa, my children were a few years younger and had not verbalized any comments about the change in skin color on our newest ornament. This year, like most five year olds, my daughter held a strong opinion. “Mom! Santa isn’t brown he’s pink, like you and dad!” she exclaimed. I frowned thinking I had done a poor job exposing her to different types of Santas.

black santa

As a transracial adoptive family, I knew the importance of exposing my African American children to opportunities to see themselves reflected back in the books we read, the shows we watched, and the people we met on a daily basis. Somehow I felt I had dropped the ball when it came to exposing them to a Santa Claus that looked more like them. Because of our conversation this Christmas, I was determined to show my children more diversity when it came to Santa. This is the reason I’m excited about some of the opportunities to meet different kinds of Santas in person around Indianapolis this holiday season.

Here is the 2018 list of some of the opportunities for your family to visit with an African American Santa in the Indianapolis area. If you know of other opportunities not on our list, please let Indy with Kids know, so that we can add to our list for our readers. Happy Holidays from the Indy with Kids family to your family!

Santa at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Santa Josiah will be at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the following days: 

November 28, 2-5 p.m.
December 6, 4-8 p.m. (First Thursday Night)
December 17, 1:30-5 p.m.
December 21, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Black Business Bazaar 2 hosted by Don’t Sleep

Guess who’s making an appearance at Black Business Bazaar 2? Parents, bring your kiddos to meet, greet and take photos with a Black Santa and get some Christmas shopping done with Black Owned Vendors, grab some food from Black Owned Restaurants and Caterers and engage/network with members of your community! DJ E-Will will be on the turntables as will all your favorite vendors, come see us on December 2nd at Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Visit the Black Business Bazaar 2 Facebook Event Page for more information and updates on this event.

Holy Angels Catholic School

On Saturday, December 9 from 9 am-1pm, the Holy Angels Catholic School at 2822 Doctor M.L.K. Jr Street will host their annual pancake breakfast with Santa. Breakfast is $5 per person. No reservations are needed to attend. For more information, please call (317) 926-3324.


Books and Breakfast with Santa

The Emerging Pears Foundation and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority are hosting a breakfast with Santa on December 1, 9 am – 1 pm at Finish Line Boys & Girls Club – Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. Tickets are $10 per person for breakfast and festivities. Each child will receive an age appropriate book to read over the holidays, activities, breakfast, and a photo with Santa! We also will have a coffee shop and vendors for the parents!

Learn More.


On Friday, December 21 from 7-10 pm Skateland’s Santa experience will feature an African American Santa Claus! Don’t Forget to grab your camera to take pictures with Santa! $8 admission and $4 skate rental.

If you can’t get to one of the above events in Indianapolis this holiday season, there are other opportunities to introduce your children to a diverse array of Santa Claus’ through the following children’s books.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: An African-American Version by Meloyde Benson Rosales

This retelling of the Clement Moore classic poem offers illustrations featuring an African American Santa Claus.

Jump at the Sun: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Holiday Classics by Rex Perry

Images of an African American Santa as well as African American children help illustrate diversity in this children’s picture book series.

When you attend this and other events with your family, please be sure to share your experiences on social media with Indy with Kids using the hashtag #PLAYindy. Follow Indy with Kids on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest and don’t forget to use the Indy with Kids Mobile App for up to date information on all the wonderful local happenings for your family!