‘Tis the season for photos with Santa, so we’re thrilled to share all about visiting Santa HQ as part of a sponsored partnership with Macerich. With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to think about plans for visiting Santa! And, if you happen to live near (or will be traveling to) any of areas with Macerich Shopping Centers in California, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Chicago, Metro New York, and the Washington, D.C. corridor, you might want to plan a visit to Santa HQ! HGTV’s Santa HQ adds a whole new dimension to the traditional family Santa Claus visit by guiding visitors through an immersive, interactive holiday extravaganza that uses of state-of- the-art digital technology. My boys had a GREAT time! So, here’s 5 reasons to take this year’s Santa photo at Santa HQ:
The Santa HQ Experience:
- Online Reservations!!!! One of the worst things about the traditional mall Santa experience can be the wait times. But with Santa HQ, guests can spend less time waiting in line by selecting the date and time of their photos session through online reservations! The reservation system enables users to select and pre-pay for their photo package, and it gives them the opportunity to upgrade their package by making their family photo session days or even weeks in advance. The online reservation systems even has an opt-in text functionality to provide reminders about their Santa photo session reservation.
- Naughty or Nice Meter. This interactive feature was so great! Each child stands at the meter, where they (very anxiously) await the meter reading. Their name then pops up in real time on the list, showing which list of Santa’s they made.
- Take an Elfie Selfie – The kids then get to take “Elfies” and star in their own holiday video! The kids thought this was hilarious!
- Elf-Ray Vision & Santa’s Control Center – Guests can explore Santa’s Observatory through the use of special goggles that trigger a series of augmented reality experiences at multiple locations throughout Santa HQ including two triggers at Entrance Arch; one trigger on exterior of the Workshop; Toy triggers underneath the Christmas Tree in the Workshop, and enhanced triggers in the observatory. Using special tablets in the control center, the boys were able to trigger a whole series of different actions – they loved all the interactive pieces!
- Elf Academy Activity Book! At the end of the visit, Santa gives out some fun Santa HQ Elf Academy Activity Books to each of the kids! My boys LOVED this – and I appreciated it too! While we got dinner, each one of them enjoyed colorings and doing the various activities in the book!
The boys loved their time with Santa and the whole experience at Santa HQ! It was a really fun way to kick-off the holiday season! So, be sure to head over to the Santa HQ website to check locations and make a reservation for a fun, interactive way to get photos with Santa! And if you need some cute, matching shirts for your time at Santa HQ, you can make the “Hoo Loves Christmas” shirts that my boys are wearing! 😉
When you visit, you can also help others through HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving Drive. Visitors to Santa HQ can donate new, unwrapped toys for local children in need with the goal of collecting over 1,000 toys per center. In 2016, HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving program collected over 66,000 toys benefiting local organizations like Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus.
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Macerich. All opinions, photographs, and experiences are entirely our own!