Christmas is just around the corner and as we get ready for the crazy present-hunting crowds, plethora of seasonal treats and beautifully decorated pine trees, what better way to fuel the magic of Christmas than to meet Santa Claus? Instead of letting the children anxiously wait for Father Christmas to come bearing gifts, why not bring the kids to him?
Here are some destinations where you can visit Santa Claus and make it one of the best Christmases ever:
1. Macy’s, New York, U.S.A
Christmas in New York – pretty glowing Christmas trees in the city and cheery holiday window displays delight passersby with the faint sounds of caroling in the distance. One of the most exciting experiences that you can’t pass up is the fantastic vibe in Santa Land at Macy’s. Famous for its Santa experience, the flagship store in Herald Square is home to Santa’s workshop and Christmas village. Christmas lovers will have a field day experiencing a “train ride” of sorts (the ground vibrates with bells clanging) as they make their way up to the 8th floor to the 1,200 square metre Christmas village. Every corner is deliberately dimly lit to enhance the warm glow of Christmas lights and decoration. Helpful cheery elves are stationed along the way with toy reindeer standing in cotton snow. An endless stream of tinsel and mistletoes decorate every magical step of the way through the Christmas forest and at the very end, you’ll find the one and only Santa Claus himself seated on his giant chair. Santa knows when kids have been naughty or nice, so take this opportunity to let the little ones talk to him and share their Christmas wishes. Don’t forget to snap a photo with him for the best Christmas memento.
2. Royal Albert Hall, London
Amidst the yuletide cheer in London with Christmas markets and magical outdoor ice rinks dotting the city, Royal Albert Hall transforms over the festive season. Within its walls, festive goers are treated to orchestra performances, concerts and carol sing-alongs during the last three weeks of December with afternoon and matinee show times. For the first time this year, Santa Claus will be parking his sleigh in his grotto to spread festive happiness to festive seekers and the little ones. From 7 – 24 December, you can take part in a grand exclusive tour of Royal Albert Hall, where families will enjoy Victorian-themed stories and the little ones will have the opportunity to put their creative artsy minds to the test and craft Christmas ornaments and cards at the workshops. Don’t be sad once the tour comes to an end as you’ll get to visit Santa in his grotto and collect a Christmas stocking goody bag!
3. Harbour City, Hong Kong
In conjunction with Disney’s 10th anniversary celebrations, Harbour City has partnered Hong Kong Disneyland to transform the picturesque harbour into a “Happily Ever After” Christmas Avenue. As you walk past the huge golden Christmas starry tree and window displays adorned with warm lights and ornaments, make your way to the Ocean Terminal Forecourt which has been transformed into a Christmas train station. Docked at the station is a 30-metre long train which releases a delightful rain of gold stars from its steam locomotive funnel – almost like it’s Christmas confetti. Amongst all the action, keep a lookout for Santa Claus, his elves and santarinas who roam around the area and are happy to pose for photos in front of the train or festive shop windows. If the Hong Kong winter is too chilly to be soaking in the holiday sights, warm up with a little ice-skating workout at 1881 Heritage where the Grand Piazza morphs into a 13 metre high cathedral-like ice palace with its own rink!
4. Rovaniemi, Finland
If there’s one place on Earth (apart from Disneyland) that will make you feel like a Santa-believing child again, it would have to be Rovaniemi – the official hometown of Santa Claus! Situated in northernmost Finland boasting forests filled with powder white snow, cosy log cabins, reindeer and huskies, Rovaniemi is like a scene from a fairytale. Visit Santa Village where you’ll find Father Christmas himself! Grab the kids and snap a photo with him while they tell him their Christmas wishes! We also heard Santa loves it when people wish him Merry Christmas in Finnish, so give that a shot! (Hint: Ask the elves to teach you).
Finished your Santa-visiting adventures? Head over to Santa Park, where you’ll get the chance to meet elves doing their Christmas chores. If being an elf has always been your true calling, attend the Elves’ school or have a hand at making a Christmas gift with them! Another must-see is Santa Claus' Post Office where thousands of letters from children all over the world get mailed to. There, you’ll be able to order a "real" letter from Santa for next Christmas for your children and friends. If you’ve always wondered how it’d be like to ride a sleigh, be sure to check out the other activities like reindeer or husky sleigh rides through the woods.
With so many destinations stringing up lights and Christmas décor everywhere, make this year’s festive season a special one. Treat yourself and the kids to a little visit to Santa Claus this Christmas, visit our Hot Deals page where you find the latest promotions and exclusive fares for your holiday!