We took our kids to see Santa two year ago, and it went pretty well considering that our youngest who was one and a half at the time fell asleep while waiting in line. Last year we put a little more planning into our trip, when was a good time of the day, when would the lines be the shortest, was there a better day then the next, anything and everything to avoid any meltdowns. So last year our youngest was able to tell us that we were going to see Santa, but he didn’t really “get” Santa last year. On line at the mall we talked about how all the boys and girls were sitting on Santa’s lap and said when it was his turn that he could sit on Santa’s lap. He said “Santa’s lap” multiple times as we were approaching his turn. We thought great he is going to do it. Then he started saying, “Santa’s lap…no” while shaking his head. So…we were *those* parents. The ones forcing their toddler to sit on Santa’s lap, just so we can have a picture. Yep. That was us.
This year no mall for us, as we will be traveling. I still want the Santa experience but not the mall experience, I want something different. So if you're traveling over the holidays like us, don't worry about missing Santa Claus. I have heard St. Nick will be making extra efforts to reach his pint-sized admirers by showing up on skis, trains, boats and much more. These unique Santa meet-and-greet experiences offer more than just the chance to report good behavior and make special gift requests! They make great childhood memories to be past down from generation to generation. Don’t know where you will be this Christmas season, but I have found some places that have something different to offer across the states. Here are what seems to be the top 8
1. Santa's Workshop, Colorado
2. North Pole Experience, Arizona
3. Santa Claus, Indiana
4. The Polar Express (offered in many states)
5. California Surf, California
6. Skiing the Slopes (check for closest resort hosting Santa this season)
7. In and Around Atlanta
8. Stylish Arrivals (how about Santa on jet skis)
How else would Santa arrive at the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa in Antigua other than by boat with gifts in his (waterproof) sack and ready for a party? In Rockland Maine, he didn't arrive by any old boat. Instead the Coast Guard gave him a lift earlier this month. When in Hawaii, Santa will do as the Hawaiians do ... yup, at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, the Big Guy arrives by outrigger canoe on December 14 where he'll be met by hundreds of Santa fans who are invited to join him for a meet-and-greet and photo-taking in the lobby.
I'm sure the beach is a nice change of pace for St. Nick, but I suspect that he is most at home in the cold, so it came as no surprise that the Christmas season will find him on the slopes. Imagine a whole ski slope of skiing and snowboarding Santa’s. Sounds like that’s what you’ll find at Big White in British Columbia on December 21st during "Dress Like Santa or Mrs. Claus & Ride for Free Day" (for the first 30 people to arrive at the Village Centre Mall in full Santa or Mrs. Claus attire).
Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be welcoming guests into their home, lovingly recreated in Busch Gardens' Christmas Town in Tampa and Williamsburg. Their house will be buzzing with Christmas cheer as elves busily prepare to help Santa bring joy to children around the world. Stop by Mrs. Claus' kitchen and snag a holiday cookie before an elf leads you into Santa's private study. There, Santa Claus eagerly awaits your company, where you can meet, share stories, take pictures and whisper your wish list to the jolliest man around.
So sure, you can go visit Santa at the mall, wait in the long lines, listening to the screaming kids and hope that you get an “ok” picture ... but wouldn't it be more fun to find the old guy out on an adventure?