Following an inaugural season that brought magic to families from coast-to-coast, HGTV presents Santa HQ again this year! Back for 2018 at The Fashion Outlets of Chicago and a total of 15 Macerich Shopping Centers nationwide, a new tradition continues as an all-new experience aimed at bringing holiday magic to kids and grownups alike with some flourishes that have been upgraded and expanded for the social media age. Santa HQ welcomes families for the traditional photo with Santa (online reservations available, but not required), upping the game with the Elf Academy in which kids can experience the latest in Elf fashion; take an Elfie Selfie; of check out the latest in Elf-Ray Vision – an AR experience in which families can see just what the Elves are up to. Of course, Santa HQ still serves-up an incredible light show with over 10,000 individual lights synchronized to the “Carol of the Bells.”
From the moment you enter, there’s excitement to be had as the kids get to see if they’ve wound up on Santa’s famous naughty or nice lists. Fortunately, The Rock Daughters™ made it onto the nice list – but they know that the status of those lists is ever-changing. From there, they paid a visit to the Elf Academy to get some training – Santa HQ style!
While there was much to be seen, perhaps the favorite location was that just before the annual sit-down with the big man himself – the Control Room of Santa HQ. It’s in there that kids can get a real look at how this mythical outpost functions, with various switches and levers controlling the action taking place thousands of miles away at the North Pole.
And for the main event, the traditional photo with Santa Claus! As we made reservations and arrived early this year, the girls had more time than usual to have a chat with the man in red. In fact, he spent a little time with me as well – careful to note that while Mrs. Claus still has him on a diet, he can still have “one cookie” at each house… but judging from his body language, he’s hoping for a BIG cookie – chocolate chip with almonds.
Visit Santa HQ at the Following Macerich Shopping Centers:
- Chandler Fashion Center, Chandler, AZ
- Danbury Fair, Danbury, CT
- Deptford, Deptford, NJ
- Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont, IL
- Flatiron Crossing, Broomfield, CO
- Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold, NJ
- Fresno Fashion Fair, Fresno, CA
- Lakewood Center, Lakewood, CA
- Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA
- Queens Center, Elmhurst, NY
- Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale, AZ
- The Oaks, Thousand Oaks, CA
- Tysons Corner Center, Tysons, VA
- Vintage Faire, Modesto, CA
- Washington Square, Portland, OR
Bonus – Spread the Holiday Cheer by Doing Good:
Visitors to Santa HQ will also be able to enjoy the holiday spirit of giving through HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving Drive. The program encourages visitors to donate new, unwrapped toys for local children in need with the goal of collecting over 1,000 toys per center. In 2017, 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.
Schedule your visit with Santa now! Santa HQ is open – click here for locations and reservations!