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5 Reasons to Visit Santa at HGTV’s Santa HQ | #SantaHQ

HGTV’s Santa HQ is back for another season of holiday fun! This magical Santa experience is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

meeting santa at hgtv's santa hq

If a visit with Santa is top on your holiday to-do list, then make sure to visit him at HGTV’s Santa HQ. Here are 5 reasons why:

This is a sponsored blog post. While the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by HGTV’s Santa HQ to review this product.

HGTV’s Santa HQ

Santa HQ by HGTV at Danbury Fair Mall

Once again, HGTV has teamed up with Macerich Shopping Centers to bring you Santa HQ, a unique and memorable holiday experience. This is a Santa visit for the 21st Century. Interactive exhibits and digital technology, add a whole new dimension to the traditional Santa visit. With 15 different locations at Macerich Shopping Centers in California, Arizona, Chicago, Metro New York, and the Washington, D.C. corridor, each HGTV’s Santa HQ location is set to
astonish you, your family and friends with a dazzling array of holiday experiences.

We had the opportunity to visit Santa HQ at the Danbury Fair Mall. Having both a tween and a school-aged child, it’s sometimes hard to find experiences that will appeal to both of them. Santa HQ is something that they both enjoyed. The hands-on interactive exhibits that make up Santa HQ kept them engaged and excited on their way to meet Santa. Here are 5 can’t-miss features that your kids are going to love.

Naughty or Nice O’Meter

Naughty or Nice O'Meter at Santa HQ by HGTV

Before visiting with the big guy, it’s always a good idea to find out where they stand on Santa’s list. Kids can stand next to an interactive board to find out which of Santa’s lists – Naughty or Nice — they made. Thankfully, both my kids made the nice list. Phew!

Elf Academy

Elf Academy at Santa HQ by HGTV

Two fun experiences await inside Elf Academy, Elf-ID and Magic Mirror. This area has changed a bit from last year. Elf-ID lets guests create their own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a “selfie”. Magic Mirror is a new addition this year. When you step in front of the mirror, you’re magically transformed into one of Santa’s elves! You’ll get to virtually try on a variety of elf outfits to see which is more your style. Both attractions let you e-mail your creations to yourself for a fun Christmas keepsake.

Elf-Ray Vision

bella using elf-ray vision app at santa hq

Before you head to Santa HQ, download the Elf-Ray Vision app. This app will let you unlock magic touch points throughout the experience. No smartphone, no problem. Santa’s elves have tablets on hand so no one will miss out on the experience.

Pro tip: Make sure to look up inside the observatory!

Light Show

Santa HQ

Beautifully lit Christmas trees can be found all over Santa HQ. Watch them carefully because they put on an amazing show. Over 10,000 individual holiday lights will be synchronized to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” to create an illuminated orchestra.

Pro Tip: At Danbury Fair Mall, watch the show from the second floor overlook.

Visit with Santa

Santa meets a family at Santa HQ by HGTV

Of course the best reason to visit Santa HQ is to see Santa. Santa takes the time to visit with each family before taking a photo. Each child will leave with an activity book as a special gift.

During the busy holiday season, the line to see Santa can be long. To help guest spend less time waiting in line and more time enjoying the experience, guests can now select the date and time of their photos session by making a
reservation online at Here you can also pre-pay photo packages, upgrade photo packages and set up text reminders for your visit.

More Santa HQ Info

Donate Toys for those in need at Santa HQ by HGTV

  • Bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving Drive.
  • Santa HQ offers Sensory Santa nights and Family Pet Photo nights. Check with your location for details.
  • For more information, visit



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