When JustaBXgirl told JustaBXgrandpa that she was going to visit Santa last week he scoffed. He thought her imagination was at play since it is only the beginning of November. She had the last laugh because when she got home from school that day she changed out of her school clothes and into her Christmas dress (her name for it), put on her coat and we ventured off to the North Pole, or Queens Center Mall, whichever you prefer to call it!
It was the first time either of us had gone to the Queens Center Mall so it might as well have been the North Pole (but a lot closer). The location itself is gorgeous. If you’re from NYC you know what passes for a mall here wouldn’t always cut it elsewhere. This mall though? It could impress even a regular mall goer. And can I share with you how cute the bathroom was? They have a family bathroom with two toilets. A parent sized one and a child-sized one. It was so cute both me and JustaBXgirl awwed.
Back to Santa. JustaBXgirl lit up once we entered and she saw Santa signs about the HGTV Santa HQ experience everywhere. Now, let me share while I was excited about visiting Santa for the first time this season I was a little skeptical of how grand an experience it would be. We’ve done mall Santas before and while they’re fun they never quite capture the experience as anything more than taking a quick photo and heading home. I was pleasantly surprised that in the midst of the shoppers the HGTV Santa HQ stood out like a fantasy land beckoning us.
JustaBXgirl barely waited for me to check in before she was off to join elves crafting. After finishing her craft she joined some friends for an elf led magic show. I was finally, after some time able to pull her away so that we could actually check out the full Santa HQ experience. And it definitely was an experience. It was very easy to feel as if we had been transported to the North Pole.
As we went on a preview night we didn’t have to wait in line but even if there was a line we would have been entertained. There are so many activities for the littles to enjoy including the chance for them to see if they’re on the naughty or nice list. That was a lot of fun even though it was difficult to get JustaBXgirl to stand still long enough to get her results (about 15 seconds). She was off to the first photography area. Yup, this isn’t just a one and done photo experience. There are two areas where photographers take your photo. Once with Santa and once without. In between the photos you can have fun checking out what the elves are up to behind the scenes using Elf Ray vision (downloadable app). You can even take an Elfie Selfie and be the star of your own dancing video.
With so much to do, you can almost forget that you’re there with a purpose. Don’t fret, you can’t forget to take your Santa photos as the man in red sits waiting at the end of the exhibit. And he is such a fabulous Santa. Before he lets littles leave he reminds them to eat their veggies and to listen to their parents.
And don’t worry this isn’t just an NYC thing. HGTV’s Santa HQ is happening in 15 malls around the United States.
Chandler Fashion Center
Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Freehold Raceway Mall
Fresno Fashion Fair
Los Cerritos Center
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Thousand Oaks, CA
Tysons Corner Center
You can visit Santa HQ now through December 24th. Keep your eyes open for the HGTV Santa HQ Holiday Parade and Breakfast with Santa. Make sure to hashtag all of your photos #SantaHQ.