We all know by now that the holiday season is going to look a lot different this year due to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, going to the mall to get that perfect (or not so perfect) picture of your child on Santa’s lap won’t be happening, but that doesn’t mean your child has to miss out on the Santa experience altogether.
Turns out several stores and malls are finding ways to keep the Santa experience alive, even though kids won’t be able to get up close and personal with the man in red. For example:
- Macy’s already announced they won’t be having Santa in the store this year, but their annual Santaland will be virtual. Starting November 27th, kids can tour the flagship store in Herald Square for free, where they’ll get to meet Elves, tour the experience, play games and meet Santa. They’ll even be able to take an “interactive selfie” with Santa.
- Bass Pro Shops and Cabella’s will have a “reimagined free Santa’s Wonderland experience” in their stores, which includes a “contactless” visit with Santa, who’ll keep everyone safe by staying behind a “Magic Santa Shield.” Folks will need to make a digital reservation, and guests will have their temperature taken. Santa’s experience runs from November 7thto December 24th.
- Brookfield Properties, which owns over 150 malls around the country, will have a “touchless Santa” this holiday season, with designs of the display varying around the country. Kids won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap for a picture, but they will be able to sit on wrapped packages near or across him for the perfect picture. Visits to Santa begin November 20th.
- If these don’t work for you, many self-employed Santas are offering different Santa experiences. Some are offering video calls for a price, and Santa is even on Cameo, so for $50 he’ll make a personalized video for your little one.
As you can imagine, not all parents were happy that the traditional Santa experience won’t be happening this year.
- "These poor children don't know what is going on," wrote one woman on Facebook. "So unfair."
- Another added, "So sad," while one person commented, "Seriously enough!"
Many others were happy with the solutions.
- “Video chat with Santa this year. If parents make it look and sound fun, the kids will enjoy it," one person noted, while another added, "No way would I take my kid to see Santa this year.”