This is post is sponsored by HGTV Santa HQ.
Christmas is a delightful time of year. There are so many joyous things to do, it’s hard to choose just one. One of my family’s favorite traditions is to visit Santa Claus. This year was especially memorable, as we got to visit HGTV Santa HQ at the Los Cerritos Center for the third year in a row. It’s not only fun for kids, but adults too. Of course, we took our traditional photo-op with Santa Claus, but before we did, we explored the entire North Pole from top to bottom.
Naughty or Nice O’Meter
First, my kids jumped onto the Naughty or Nice Meter. They stood in front of the interactive board and challenged each other to see who could make it onto Santa’s nice list this season. Take a look at how much my son has grown from Christmas 2017 to Christmas 2019. Crazy, huh!
Surprisingly, both Field Trip Girl and Field Trip Boy were labeled “nice” according to the meter. But I wonder if their dad would agree! Field Trip Girl secretly told me that she prayed to God the night before and asked Him to be on the nice list, because she really wanted a new slime kit for Christmas. I think Santa might just grant her that wish this year! What do you think?!!
Then it was off to the Elf Academy where everyone, whether naughty or nice, go to make their own elfie selfie! My daughter looked into the Magic Mirror, selected the elf she wanted to emulate, tried on a few festive elf outfits and was virtually transformed into one of Santa’s elves. Then I had the option to receive three free digital photos by entering in my mobile number and/or email address into the computer. Within seconds, I received the photos on my cell phone and I texted them over to my husband. He thought they were hilarious, as well as did grandma in Georgia!
During Santa HQ, guests also have the option to create their very own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app. To do so, simply download the app on your smartphone, choose one of four cards to customize (Hazel, Ruby, Jack and Strawberry), take a photo of yourself and answer a few questions like what is your favorite food or favorite reindeer. Once all the information is compiled, the Elf-ID app will create a custom Elf-ID card for you and sends it out via email. Another added perk this year, is that HGTV Santa HQ gives each child a free Elf Academy Activity Book after they take a photo with Santa.
After playing around at the Elf Academy, my kids and I checked out Santa’s Observatory and put on special elf radar goggles (an iPad). Immediately we were transported to the North Pole via a virtual experience complete with eight tiny reindeer and a sleigh. Taking a tour of Santa’s Observatory is similar to going on a scavenger hunt! My children were able to observe Santa’s elves hard at work making toys, wrapping presents and loading up the sleigh for the big day.
Santa HQ has 10,000 individual holiday lights synchronized to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” that plays every 30 minutes. It is beautiful and a special moment to enjoy more than once. The decorations are also quite bright and festive. They are designed with the young, and young at heart, in mind!
I had two personal favorites of the whole trip. First, is the ability to go online, select a date and secure a 30-minute window of time to use a Fast Pass to take a photo with Santa. As a busy mom, I don’t have time to stand in long lines for hours. So this is a big plus for me!
Second, the reservation system enables users to select and pre-pay for their photo package and opt-in to receive a text reminder about their Santa photo session reservation. That’s another helpful tool to have during the holidays! Guests can visit http://bit.ly/2CHOuDr to secure a Fast Pass and pre-purchase a photo package.
HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving
The other thing I love is HGTV’s desire to give back! HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving program collects toys benefiting local organizations like Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus. It makes it easy for families like mine to give back to those who are less fortunate than us.
Our family throughly enjoyed visiting HGTV Santa HQ again this year at the Los Cerritos Center! We created wonderful family memories that will last a lifetime. I recommend Santa HQ as a holiday tradition that everyone needs to experience at least once! To learn more HGTV Santa HQ in your area , visit https://santa-hq.com.
Happy Holiday Field Tripping!