"Safe with Santa" Reinventing Holiday Traditions
Santa adapts, improvises and delivers. It’s part of his job description. Those skills came in handy this year as shopping centers across the U.S. went to creative lengths to uphold this tradition, making visits with Santa possible in the midst of the pandemic.
Brookfield Properties' "Safe with Santa" efforts covered a lot of ground, including both in-person and virtual experiences. Visits with Santa are among the most sacred traditions of the year, and we understood that comfort levels would vary from guest to guest in 2020. By offering a number of options to carry out this experience, Brookfield Properties was able to bring the magic of Santa to as many members of the community as possible and create a safe Santa meeting experience.
“Safe with Santa” – Visits with Old St. Nick in a COVID-19 World
Santa received visitors across the Brookfield Properties portfolio of shopping centers in a safe, socially distanced manner. Experiences varied from property to property, using a variety of creative props to make social distancing feel as natural as possible.
At The SoNo Collection in Norwalk, CT, Santa visited guests from behind a wintry snow globe. At Park Meadows Mall in the Denver area, he sat on a raised seat in the back of his grand sleigh. Guests found Santa behind a large, decorated holiday frame at some centers, and visited with him while sitting on distanced, decorated holiday packages at others. Like every year, Santa was available for photo ops and chats to discuss this year’s most coveted gifts.
Along with the social distancing precautions, Brookfield Properties implemented numerous health and safety measures to make these visits possible. All Santa sets were disinfected throughout the day, especially high-touch areas like railings and seats. Guests found hand sanitizing stations and social distancing signage; Santa and his helpers wore masks as well. Above all else, the health and safety of all those that visited our shopping centers this holiday season was paramount.
JingleRing - Virtual Visits with Santa
For those that weren’t yet comfortable visiting the Big Guy in person, we teamed up with the virtual Santa company JingleRing to enable live, at-home chats with Santa and Mrs. Claus. JingleRing offered personalized experiences allowing guests to book Santas of different races and spoken languages. Santas with special training in American Sign Language and for children with special needs were available for booking as well. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and other loved ones could also enjoy the experiences (as many as four devices could be “joined up”).
While things looked a bit different, our teams worked tirelessly to ensure a meaningful experience for our guests while maintaining a safe environment. The experience of visits with Santa is a sacred tradition shared by generations of family members, and we were proud to continue to offer this experience despite the restrictions brought on by COVID-19.
“Let it Shine” - Drive-Through Light Shows that Dazzle
In addition to visits with Santa, guests of our Northbrook Court Mall outside Chicago can immerse themselves in a “symphony of sight and sound” safely from their cars as they cruise through LED-decked mazes and archways lined with candy canes, snowmen and holiday trees, all of it synchronized to both modern and classic holiday music.
The “Let It Shine” light show runs through January 9 of 2020, in the west lot of Northbrook Court Mall (1515 Lake Cook Road, Northbrook, IL), and tickets are available online.