It’s a tradition for a lot of families over the holidays -- going to the mall and getting that picture with none other than Santa Claus. Like so many other things, that will look a little bit different this year due to the pandemic.
Parents, no need to worry because you can still keep that tradition alive.
NBC 7 made a visit to Otay Ranch Town Center to see if Santa would be visiting with kids this year ahead of Christmas, and we were pleasantly surprised to get a visit ourselves!
More on the festive season.
Reservations are highly encouraged to meet the North Pole resident. That will help make it easier for everybody to socially distance.
All employees -- or elves, we should say -- will also be wearing masks, including Santa himself. That photo will look a little different as well because Santa, like everybody else, needs to keep a six-foot distance from others.
Little benches will be set up for kids and photos will be taken from there.
“We have a bench that’s measured out, so they don’t get close to Santa but they are still in the picture with him and still can interact with his as well,” explained Tim Kilcourse, General Manager of the Otay Ranch Town Center.
You can also have Santa come to you with a virtual visit. With that option, you have a nice visit with Mr. Claus, storytime and even songs with the jolly toy-giver.
With virtual visits, you can choose your preferences to make it unique for your kids. Also, parents can send in notes ahead of time so Santa knows some fun facts about the family.
Up to four family members can log in and join so everyone can stay distant but connected.
On Santa's end, Father Christmas has been preparing for visits by donning face masks, plastic face shields and/or even positioning his chair behind some plexiglass.
For families who would rather give Santa a break by doing another activity, the Otay Ranch Town Center is offering a holiday move drive-in theater night.