Here are my top five tips for meeting Santa! Right before Thanksgiving, I took the kids with my mom and my mother-in-law to meet Santa. Thankfully, this year it went much more smoothly than last (see below–we have the evolution of a full Santa Meltdown.
1.) Time It!
The earlier in the season the better. Do not go on the weekends if possible, and don’t go during “Winter Break.” Be cognizant of typical school hours, I noticed an uptick in wait times after school was dismissed for the day. Going on an “off day” early in the season, midday allowed us to slip into Santa without any wait this year and about 10 minutes last year!
2.) Talk About It!
Meeting Santa can be scary stuff. Not often do we ask our children to go sit in, much less talk to a strange man! Ramping up to the meeting, read books about Santa with your child, talk about it, and what it is going to entail. Now, we did do this last year but I think that it was just too much for her anyhow. This year, we read a lot of The Night Before Christmas–this is the prettiest version! As well as of course, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! (please note these are affiliate links. When you click on them and choose to buy an item, I receive a very small commission. It doesn’t affect your price at all!)
Even though B wasn’t afraid of him this year, she was still really nervous. If possible, bring a prop or something they can talk about. Once I mentioned to Santa that B was a really big fan of Frozen, he asked her a quesiton about it and she ran to show him her book. Giving her something to talk about (and something to remember to ask for) helped ease her nervousness. We totally lucked out with our Santa as he knew all about Frozen and had time to talk because it was completely empty. Going before Thanksgiving on a weekday midday will do that…
4.) Expect the Worst.
Yeah, probably not super helpful in terms of concrete actions but having the right mindset is key. Don’t go into it expecting it to go perfectly. Most likely, it won’t. And hey, then you have an awesome picture of your kid completely losing it. In a horrible way it is pretty hilarious. And no, it won’t be traumatic. Your child will most likely not even remember it unless you tell them about it later on. B knows how she cried last year; but, this year she says “Bowie not scared of Santa!”
5.) Be Smart
If you are planning on going to Santa’s at Macy’s you can get an Express Pass. You can reserve your spot in line without having to wait in line with kids. Make sure to make the reservation 30-45 minutes in advance, up to 48 hours in advance. You can make the reservation here (*The Santaland Express Pass doesn’t apply to the Chicago Macy’s–it is just for NYC.) And don’t forget to bring everything you need to meet Santa. Bring your camera–if you want one of their pictures (which we did end up buying because their camera was better than my iPhone) it starts at $16.99. FYI: Santaland is on the 5th floor in Chicago and the 8th floor in NYC. Make sure to bring your stroller so you can manage the kids and don’t have to be a sherpa with all of your coats and the diaper bag. The Walnut Room (and I am sure the Oak Room in NYC) has a “stroller parking area” so you can leave it there and dine inside.
If you would like to learn more about our annual tradition of meeting Santa at Macy’s read about last year here. And this was in no way sponsored! It is just a holiday tradition in our family that I have been doing all my life! And if it is on your holiday bucket list this year, and you want to make sure you get it done, see all my tips on How to Accomplish Everything on Your Holiday Bucket List!
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