Dayton’s Santa Bear Is Back

by | Nov 2023

Dayton's Santa Bear 2023

Santa Bear 2023. Photos: Jake Sanders

The beloved stuffed bear is back on shelves and fans have an Edina family to thank.

Families who grew up making yearly pilgrimages to Dayton’s department store on Black Friday are getting a heartwarming dose of nostalgia this November. Dayton’s iconic Santa Bear is back for a second year with help from the Sanders, proprietors of 50th & France’s Shop in the City.

“I think if you’re from Minnesota, it’s just one of those items that speaks to you,” says owner Jake Sanders. According to Sanders, Dayton’s was not only a linchpin of his family’s holiday traditions, but the family itself in many ways. “My grandfather sold his wares at Dayton’s. My mom worked at Dayton’s, I worked at Dayton’s, my sister worked at Dayton’s,” he says. “So I think with Dayton’s, you get this connection of generations. And the Santa Bear is an extension of that.”

Before Sanders worked with The Dayton's Project to bring back the Santa Bear, he collaborated in designing retro Dayton's apparel.

Before Sanders worked with The Dayton’s Project to bring back the Santa Bear, he collaborated in designing retro Dayton’s apparel.

With such a storied history with the department store, it makes sense that The Dayton’s Project would tap the Sanders family to design a new Santa Bear for its 2023 holiday maker’s market. Three generations of the Sanders family collaborated on the Hometown Santa Bear design including Sanders, his mother Linda and his nephew Weston, a current Edina High School junior. 

“What we’ve tried to do is not only capture the generations that came before us, we also want to talk to the generations that are now below us,” Sanders says.

The size?

Similar to last year, the 2023 Santa Bear will be smaller than its vintage predecessors.

The design?

The 2022 Santa Bear went retro with the green and red beanie and matching scarf. This year, the bear sports a green Dayton’s beanie and red Santa Bear 2023 sweater. The Hometown Santa Bear also comes with a canvas tote that can be used for holiday shopping but also doubles as storage for the bear once the holiday season is done.

What else?

In addition to the Santa Bear itself, Shop in the City is offering a whole host of other Santa Bear related items including apparel, ornaments, drinkware and more.

The Dayton’s Santa Bear will be available at the Dayton’s Market and Shop in the City starting on Black Friday.

Shopping In A Winter Wonderland

The Dayton’s Market returns for its third year in Downtown Minneapolis. The market, open until December 30, features over 80 local vendors including Edina’s own Brooke & Lou, Coccinella and, of course, Shop in the City.

The Dayton’s Project
700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Facebook: The Dayton’s Project
Instagram: @daytonsproject

Shop in the City
3913 Market Street; 952.658.6551
Facebook: SHOP in the CITY
Instagram: @shopinthecitymn


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