This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here
were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Macerich/HGTV’s Santa HQ.
Seeing Santa at Christmas time is always a highlight for children (and usually their parents).
I remember my parents taking us to the mall each Christmas, and I would anxiously stand in line waiting to see him.
It was just a simple setup at the mall, and sometimes we would wait forever, but those were some of my favorite Christmas memories.
Now that I have children of my own, I love seeing the excitement in their eyes as we take them to see Santa. It’s so special.
It seems like there is a Santa meet and greets on every corner – and it can be overwhelming to decide which one to go to.
We try to limit seeing too many Santas, as it seems to take away a little bit of the magic of Christmas, so when we do, we like it to be a good experience with a really awesome Santa.
This year we were invited to check out Santa HQ. This is an interactive experience that is put on by HGTV around the country, and we are lucky to have one not too far from our home at FlatIron Crossing mall.
Jack didn’t have school on Friday, so we went out in the early afternoon – there was no one there!
But if you go during a busy time and plan to buy pictures, you can get a “Fast Pass” online to help keep your wait time more reasonable.
Here is a little video tour of the Santa HQ experience at FlatIron Crossing:
When you first get there, you get to put your name in the computer and stand on the naughty or nice meter. Thankfully, everyone in our family was put on the nice list.
After that, we went into the “Elf Academy” with lots of fun experiences, such as:
- Magic Mirror: Guests can transform into one of Santa’s elves and virtually try on various elf outfits.
- Elf-ID: Guests can create their very own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a “selfie” and can choose from four different cards.
- Elf-Ray Vision: Guests can explore Santa’s Observatory through the use of tablets. Areas within Santa HQ trigger an augmented reality experience for guests. My boys loved this!
Of course, the best part was seeing Santa. My boys were so excited – even Andrew did awesome!
The Santa here was one of my favorites we have seen. He was so jolly and kind, and he made our boys feel so special.
You can’t take your own pictures here, so keep that in mind if you do want a picture with Santa. They have three packages available.
However, I was taking a picture of my boys outside of it, and he came up behind them and snuck in the picture. I loved that.
As I said, these are available across the country, and it’s a fun experience for the whole family.
They have a few special events as well, such as:
- Sensory Santa: This sensory-friendly holiday event at Valley River Center allows families with all spectrums of special needs to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa, in a comforting environment prior to public hours. Accommodations are made to support the sensory, physical, and developmental needs of this special audience.
- Yappy Hour: Special event for you and your furry friend to get time with the “Big Guy.” Bring your dog or cat to participating centers for an exciting night of pet photos, cocktails and holiday cheer.
- Meet Santa’s Elves: Have fun with Jack & Strawberry, the official elves of Santa HQ. Kick-off the holiday festivities and enjoy caroling, photo opportunities, storytime, hot chocolate and much more.
Click here to see if there is a Santa HQ near you!