PHILADELPHIA - Santa will be coming to several area malls, but with new rules to keep Santa and kids safe from COVID-19. From plexiglass to masks and Zoom options, families can still have an audience and pictures with the big guy but 2020 style.
"(Do you know why that's there?) So it doesn't spread COVID," answered 9-year-old Mia Jefferson. She knew right away what will be different about visiting Santa at some malls this year. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson let her see a picture mall management gave us showing families what the experience will be like for Christmas during COVID.
"(Is this going to be fun still?) Yes," said Mia. The picture shows Santa and cut-outs of children visiting him but with plexiglass between them. It's still a go for Mia and her 6-year-old sister Macy who are among Santa's faithful.
"You could still see him and you could still talk to him and say like hi and it's still really fun," said Mia. And just when you thought you'd zoomed with everyone possible there's also an option to see Santa via a five minute one on one zoom call with a recording of the conversation.
"I don't think too many people zoom with Santa but I mean you gotta do what you gotta do. Kids love Santa," said Mia and Macy’s dad Dan Jefferson. And he’s right about that part.
Jett, 1, seems to be ok with this year's plan too. He was out with god-mom Siairah Muse and mom Imani Stokes today.
"The safest way possible with distance and everything," said Muse. They have different feelings about it.
"I don't like it personally because I just want the pictures to be like I had them when I was younger," said Stokes.
Kelis Jenkins out with dad Curtis this evening remembers the last time she saw Santa.
"I sat on his lap," she said. But not this year. There will be a bench to sit on since there’s no option to sit on Santa's lap for a picture or to go over your Christmas list. But to kids the list is really all that matters. Even if you have to tell him through plexiglass.
"I want a gymnastics bar!” said Macy about her list to Santa.
Everything requires a reservation. You can also do story time with the kids and Santa or take your pets to pose with him.
This applies to malls owned by PREIT Services.
A full list of malls where Santa will visit can be found below:
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