So since we are from the BX we do not honestly venture out to Queens much but Santa HQ was the perfect opportunity. We arrived at the Queens Center Mall, which is HUGE. We have a mall in the BX but it is super small potatoes compared to this mall. You can fit maybe two or three of our malls in this mall. This was our first time and we did not see half the mall so it will not be our last.
So when we arrived we had to figure out where we needed to be, a nice security guard helped to point us in the right direction, Level two, center court. We made it to the right floor and could see the display from far away so we knew we were in the right place. We checked in at the entrance, where we got to see a magic show happening and an arts and crafts table. My critters raced to the arts and crafts table, we made some cute little elves we will use to decorate our home for the holidays.
Arts and crafts and we found JustaBXGirl making a elf too
Next we joined in the Magic Show fun because this Elf knew how to please a crowd of little ones (and even grown ups). He actually turned a EGG into LOLLIPOPS. Seriously, I was even impressed, lol. They all grabbed a lolli and then we went to explore the Santa's workshop.
We then went into the workshop where we got a chance to be put on the Nice list. There was basically a huge Nice/Naughty meter where you are "scanned" and then you see if you made the Nice list or NOT.
Tip - Make sure you put in your kids name not yours. Yes, I have to confess, I put myself on the nice list the first time we tried it. Hey you live and learn right, I thought they wanted to parent;s info and then the kids. Also just write you Kids First name and put in the last initial if you have more than one kid, time saver. Also, that is all that will come up on the big screen so no need to type our a long last name. My critters loved to see just how nice they really are. Of course my oldest critter was the "nicest" of them all, lol.
The meter would go higher or lower but I think always on the NICE side
Next we took some fun Winter Holiday themed pictures or tried to. The Santa HQ photo elf, Jessica had a wonderful vision of the boy critters holding the Naughty sign and our RebelGirl.0504 holding Nice. Nope that was not happening for them. My mom would say I give them too many options so they feel like they can pick and choose but come on we just did the Nice meter so no one wanted to be Naughty especially literally on the way to see Santa. So there were some tears but we got at least one nice shot. Big thanks to Jessica because the critters sure make her work for the nice shots. She did not give up and I think I will use these pictures in this years holiday card. Definitely a job well done. Thank you so much.
We got a picture of Jessica working her "magic"
Here is another parent tip so you can be 110% prepared for this fun experience. There is a app that you can download before hand so you can interact with the workshop. Unfortunately we did not but you definitely should and let me know how it works. Download the free Elf-Ray Vision app on your mobile device to begin exploring. You will probably want to have this on your phone and then bring your camera to take pictures of everything else. After the Elf Ray photo op we moved into a room were there were table of tablets, where we got to make a Elfie video.You can choose how many elfs you want in the video and it is pretty cute. I put all three critters in the video and the best part was after we watched the video there was a option to email it to myself. I did and know I can forward the video to our friends and family. Helpful hint to know before you make video so you are not stressing to record the whole video on your phone to post or share later.
We kept moving exploring all the scenery, Fake snow is super interesting for my critters. They had to touch and discover how their was snow inside of this mall. Since I am all about learning and discovery I showed them the fabric, cotton and some shiny confetti that gave the workshop this awesome winter wonderland look and feel. They really did a wonderful job, everything looked sooo beautiful. The next room was the control center.
Here the very tech savvy Cruz Critters got to use tablets and explore the Control Center. The objective was to collect all the presents around the room for Santa. Since this was a tablet you know they were all about it. Santa was just steps away from us but they all needed to try out this tablet game. This interactive aspect was very fun, I even wanted to try. We had a Santa HQ tech elf helping us every step of the way which was very nice and helped to unlock all of the bonuses in the game. After we helped Santa get all his gifts, in the game, it was time to meet the big guy and let him know all the Christmas wishes.
They ran to him as if they were all old friends. RebelGirl.0504 made herself comfy on Old St Nick's lap. It was like she knew this is where I go and I have to go here first, lol. The boys sat next to Santa and then Santa offered his other knee to my middle guy. They all got a chance to let Santa know exactly what they wanted, Yes Toys, Toys and more TOYS. Santa was the best in my book because he did not just "OK Ho Ho Ho." Santa told all the critters "Make sure you listen to your parents, eat all your veggies and brush your teeth and I will see what I can do". This alone was worth any and all drama that lead up to this meeting. I mean come on the guy of all guys, at least to kids, Santa said to listen to your mom that was pretty awesome for me.
We got some great pictures and they even offered to let the grown ups in the picture. My hubby and I declined but our good friend JustaBXGirl took them up on the offer and jumped right in the picture.
Check out her experience at http://justabxmom.com/.
To book your wonderful Santa experience santa-hq.com. The package prices are reasonable as well and you get them printed right there. Here are the options below:
I hope everyone has as great a time visiting Santa as we did. Have a Happy Holiday.