This year, Santa’s going virtual. While The Big Man in Red has made it a tradition to greet kids at Macy’s flagship store in New York City since 1861, due to COVID-19, Macy’s Santaland experience will be remote in 2020. Instead of the traditional visit to the Macy’s store where kids can sit on Santa’s lap and run around the bobs and bits and presents, Macy’s is launching a new virtual experience called “Macy’s Santaland at Home.” And while, obviously, many New York City-based kids will be disappointed that they won’t meet Santa IRL this year, on the bright side, this means that more children will actually be able to tune in and see Santa — and they can do it from the comfort of their own homes, with hot cocoa and holiday wish list in hand.
The Santaland news follows Macy’s decision to turn their beloved Thanksgiving Day Parade into a virtual experience as well. Now, in addition to that more COVID-friendly Thanksgiving celebration, families can also hang out with Santa remotely starting on Thanksgiving Day until Dec. 24.
So, what can kids and parents expect from the virtual Santaland? For starters, it will be free and won’t require a reservation, and kids can even get a selfie with St. Nick. According to the website, “Kids will be able to meet the Elves, engage with different areas of the magical space, play fun games and finally meet St. Nick himself via an interactive video that will bring the wonder of the season to life.
And before it’s all over, kids will be able to take an interactive selfie with Santa Claus for a special keepsake.” The holidays are going to look different this year for a lot of families, but at least kids will still have a way to meet Santa and experience some holiday magic. Keeping that magic alive — and having it set in a true, real-world experience — might just make Christmas extra special.