This is a sponsored post in partnership with Santa HQ.
This is our first year visiting Santa BEFORE Thanksgiving break, but it definitely won’t be the last time. I’ve found that the lines are a lot shorter, and this was just perfect for our visit to see Santa at Los Cerritos Center at his Santa HQ home.
This weekend I packed up the chiclets and my niece and took them to visit Santa at Santa HQ at Los Cerritos Center and to grab our photo that will live on our mantel for the rest of the holiday season.
Last year was the first time we experienced HGTV’s Santa HQ. It 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.
The visit starts outside Santa HQ, which is great when you have your chiclets with you. Although I waited until you I got there to download the Elf-Ray app (available for iOS and Android), I would suggest you do it beforehand.
Santa HQs across the country are set up in a similar manner where you get to be fully immersed in the Santa experience – it’s way more than just waiting in line. They’re all set up for families to experience different things while you wait to see Santa, including:
- NEW Elf Academy: Try on the latest elf fashions with Santa’s Magic Mirror and create your own shareable Elf-ID card.
- Elf-Ray Vision: 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
- Naughty or Nice O’Meters: Where visitors can stand next to an interactive board to find out which list of Santa’s they made
- Light Show: With more than 10,000 individual holiday lights synchronized to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” to create an illuminated orchestra
and then, of course, you get a traditional photo opportunity with Santa Claus!!!
We all know that waiting in line to see Santa can get a little rough, especially if you have young chiclets. Santa HQ was set up to ease this experience and have you actually enjoying your visit to the North Pole!!! In fact, if you’re not up to waiting in line, you can go online and select the date and time of your photos session by making reservation online at www.santa-hq.com/reservations.
The reservation system enables users to select and pre-pay for your photo package, and they’ll even text you a reminder to provide a reminder about your Santa photo session reservation. Once you arrive at Santa HQ, go to the line marked “reservations” and check in.
You have a few different options when it comes to purchasing photos – major bonus? You get digital downloads when you choose either package! You’ll go online with a code that is provided at checkout and access them once you get home. There’s also more than just the simple Santa pictures, you also get a “Winter Wonderland” scene.
Each Santa HQ is also participating in 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! You’ll see huge collection bins at Santa HQ – so make sure to bring a little gift for a chiclet in need.
Our Santa visit at Los Cerritos Center was a blast because Santa HQ made it flawless. We sped through the line thanks to our reservation. The chiclets were tested in the “naughty or nice o meter” (both got “nice,” YAY!) and their names were listed along with others in the screen next to it. They played with the control center, took a few easy photo with kid-friendly photographers, and chatted with Santa about what they want for Christmas. It was a great Sunday morning and we were out of there in time for brunch.
For more information about Santa HQ and
a list of locations visit https://santa-hq.com.
See the Santa HQ experience at Los Cerritos Center
Originally published on November 18, 2018. Last Updated on December 1, 2018 by Pattie Cordova