Even while the elves are hard at work at his North Pole factory, Santa Claus is still able to make time to visit with Sonoma County children, to hear Christmas wishes and pose for a photo or two.

Here are a few places you can find Santa this year. To see the full list, visit pressdemocrat.com/santa2012.


Breakfast with Santa: (Dec. 8, 15, 22) It's a little-known secret that Santa Claus loves croissants and hot chocolate almost as much as he loves milk and cookies. Join him for his annual breakfast at Costeaux French Bakery in Healdsburg, where kids can enjoy holiday decorations, music and holiday fun while visiting with Santa. 9-11 a.m. 417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. costeaux.com


Petaluma Festival of Trees: (Dec. 7-8) From 5-9 p.m., the Fabulous Women of Petaluma will display beautifully decorated trees crafted by local artists, to be bid upon for charity. Santa will make an appearance at this event for photos by Victoria Webb. There will also be s'mores, cocoa, holiday shopping, and holiday crafters. Theatre Square at the corner of C & Second streets, Petaluma. petalumawomen.com

Petaluma Lighted Boat Parade: (Dec. 8) Santa will pose for photos from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. near Christmas Fantasia (29 Petaluma Blvd). Between 6-6:30 p.m., boats will venture down the Petaluma Harbor, lit up by colorful lights and holiday decorations. The view of this enchanted scene is truly magical as the lighted boats remain in the harbor for the rest of the evening. visitpetaluma.com

Strolling Santa: (Dec. 2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23) Still on the search for the perfect gift, the big guy will make the rounds at the Petaluma Premium Outlets. Kids will be able to meet Santa and enjoy entertainment and crafts. Noon - 2 p.m. Free. www.premiumoutlets.com/petaluma

Rohnert Park

Santa Sleigh: The Rohnert Park Safety Officers Association is teaming up with Santa once again when the jolly old elf journeys to several different neighborhoods before Christmas Eve. He'll visit with kids and take photos with them, and listen to their Christmas wishes. While there, Santa is also accepting unwrapped presents to give to needy children, as well as monetary donations (or mail to P.O. Box 1012, Rohnert Park, CA 94928).

Here are the dates and locations Santa will be visiting (Rohnert Park's various neighborhoods, or sections, are lettered):

Dec 5: F/H/G Sections — Santa will drive through F Section around 6 p.m. and stop at Hahn Elementary School. Then he will drive through the area and stop at G Park at 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 7: D/E Sections — Santa is visiting the D and E Sections until 6:30 p.m., then will be at the fire station, 5200 Country Club Drive.

Dec. 8: S/J/R/C Sections — The sleigh will pass through all four neighborhoods until 6:30 p.m., when he stops at the Community Center, 5401 Snyder Lane.

Dec. 12: L/M Sections — Santa's sleigh will glide through the L section before stopping at L Park Drive at 6 p.m., then continue on through the M section until he stops at M Park at 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 14: A/B Sections — The jolly guy will travel through the A & B sections and then stop at 49er Pet store (375 Southwest Blvd.) at 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 15: — Santa rounds out his holiday drive with a visit to the west side of Rohnert Park, stopping at Applebee's Restaurant (501 Rohnert Park Expressway) at 6:30 p.m.

Santa Rosa

Dickens Holiday Crafts Fair: (Sunday, Dec. 2) With thoughts of his bustling North Pole workshop, a nostalgic Santa loves this Crafts Fair for the workmanship and care that go into the handmade trinkets being sold as one-of-a-kind gifts. He'll visit and entertain at the fair throughout the day, along with over 70 artists selling holiday d?or, home goods, jewelry, and more. $2/adults, 12-under free. Finley Community Center. 2060 W. College Ave., Santa Rosa. srcity.org/craftsfair

Secret Santa Party: (Sunday, Dec. 9) Volunteer Center elves are busy fulfilling holiday dreams and wishes by giving to those less fortunate during the season. From 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., they'll be at Montgomery Village to give you information on how you can help, too. There will also be live holiday music, family entertainment, holiday refreshments and store discounts. And of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at their photo studio at the Village Terrace from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Village Court, Santa Rosa. mvshops.com


Holiday Celebration: (Thursday, Dec. 6) At 7:30 p.m., Mr. and Mrs. Claus will light up the tree in the Town Green. But before that there will be live music, photos with Santa, crafts, a toy drive, and train and carriage rides. Kids can also send Santa their postage-paid and self-addressed letters. Windsor Town Green. 5-8 p.m. ci.windsor.ca.us

You can reach Crissi Langwell at crissi.langwell