Every year, our family looks forward to Christmas with excitement and anticipation. In the midst of shopping, working, entertaining, and prepping for the holiday, we have a set of traditions my kids embrace with an innocent joy I want to capture and freeze in time. One of those traditions involves Santa. And while I suspect that my kids are getting to an age where they have a lot of questions about Saint Nick, they still relish in those moments where they can share their hopes and wishes for the season.
Santa’s Village at South Coast Plaza
While the number of places to visit Santa in Orange County is seemingly endless, there is a certain magic to commemorating that tradition at South Coast Plaza. There are two destinations for visits with Santa at the luxury shopping destination.
Santa’s Village at South Coast Plaza is located at Carousel Court and features a Reindeer Carousel, a Craft Workshop, a mailbox to send letters to Santa, and a Christmas Village display with a moving train. During the season, families can enjoy musical performances by carolers in this festive space. I love the idea of making the tradition visit with Santa an immersive experience that celebrates some of my favorite parts of the season.
Because Santa’s Village can get very busy during the season, South Coast Plaza offers a reservation system so that you can check in and then shop until your assigned time. You could also use this time to enjoy the holiday activities in Carousel Court or grab a bite to eat. During your visit with Santa, you may use your own camera and get 2-3 free photos when you purchase a photo with Santa. Children will also receive a complimentary Santa’s Express Train Ride with any Santa Photo purchase.
Families looking for a shorter wait time can opt to visit Santa at the North Pole, located at the Crate & Barrel Home Store Wing. This is also the location of Santa’s Express Train.
Holiday Activities at South Coast Plaza
In addition to visits with Santa, families can enjoy the following holiday activities at South Coast Plaza:
Santa’s Express Train: Children can ride on Santa’s Express Train for $1. A complimentary train ride is also include with any Santa photo purchase. Location: Crate and Barrel Home Store Wing, Level 2.
Reindeer Carousel: Take a ride on the carousel with horses that have been transformed for the season into Santa’s Reindeer. Location: Carousel Court.
Craft Workshop: Choose from a variety of wooden crafts to color or paint.
Seasonal Stores: Visit the pop-up Harry & David store for handcrafted gift baskets, decadent chocolates, handpicked fresh fruit, and fresh flowers. Location: Macy’s Home Furniture Store Wing and Carousel Court. Families with children can also visit the LEGO Pop-Up Store which offers expert gift-giving advice from official LEGO Brick Specialists. Location: Macy’s Home Furniture Store Wing.
About South Coast Plaza
South Coast Plaza is a premiere shopping destination in the heart of Orange County. The center features over 250 boutiques, personal shopping services, upscale amenities, acclaimed restaurants and more. The center is also within walking distance of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Location: 3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For more information, visit SouthCoastPlaza.com.
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