This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here  were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Macerich/HGTV’s Santa HQ.

Every year my family and I look forward to visiting Santa at HGTV’s Santa HQ in Washington Square Mall where you can visit NOW through December 24th! We were pleased when they reached out to me asking to stop by so we jumped at the chance. See, this isn’t the standard Santa Visit experience. It’s revolutionary…

Through an immersive, interactive holiday experience with the use of state-of-the-art digital technology we got to visit the Santa HQ’s Elf Academy where the kids transformed into elves, made Elf ID cards, and saw some magic through Elf-Ray Vision. Check out the video below to see some of the fun experiences we had and scroll down for more detailed info on it all!

HGTV Santa HQ Features: 

  • Traditional photo opportunities with Santa Claus, with a variety of photo packages families can choose from. 
  • Guests can visit HGTV Santa HQ’s Elf Academy, a new, family-friendly experience that features interactive technology to enhance the entire HGTV Santa HQ visit. 
  • The Elf Academy includes the Magic Mirror: Guests can transform into one of Santa’s elves and virtually try on various elf outfits, and Elf-ID: Guests can create their very own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a “selfie”. 
  • Magic Mirror: Guests can transform into one of Santa’s elves and virtually try on various elf outfits. Guests stand in front of the Magic Mirror video screen and, through augmented reality, transform into Santa’s Elf. o The Magic Mirror allows guests to select one of four elf styles (Hazel, Ruby, Jack, and Strawberry) from which to choose outfits. The guest can then virtually try on three separate elf outfits based on the chosen elf style. o Once the user has completed their Magic Mirror experience, guests have the option to receive three photos by entering either their mobile number and/or email address. 
  • Elf-ID: Guests can create their very own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a “selfie”. Guests choose one of four cards to customize (Hazel, Ruby, Jack and Strawberry). o The guest then takes a photo of their own face through the application and fills out special fields like favorite food and favorite reindeer. o With all the information compiled, the Elf-ID app creates a custom Elf-ID card, which the guest can receive via email. 
  • Elf-Ray Vision: Guests can explore Santa’s Observatory through the use of tablets. Areas within Santa HQ trigger an augmented reality experience for guests. 
  • Naughty or Nice Meter: Visitors can stand next to an interactive board to find out which of Santa’s lists – Naughty or Nice – they made. 

Although we visited my local Washington Square Mall location here in Portland, Santa HQ is actually across the country in 15 different locations including California, Arizona, Chicago, Metro New York, and the Washington, D.C. corridor. It’s easy to visit and connect through special mobile apps, social-media-ready opportunities, and even augmented reality, making it a perfect stop for modern families today. 

Spend less time in line. Purchase Fast Pass today!

Did you know you can make the experience even better with Fast Pass? You can reserve a time with Santa during the busy month and prepay for a photo package. Visit HGTV’s Santa HQ for more info and to reserve that spot. You can select the date, a 30-minute window of time to use Fast Pass, pre-pay online, upgrade their package by adding a family photo weeks/days in advance, and opt-in to receive text reminders about their Fast Pass window. 

HGTV has so many more great things to share. Did you know that through the HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving Drive 66,000 toys were collected to benefit organizations such as Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus? I love that guests are encouraged to share the Christmas spirit of giving for children who may not otherwise have any gifts. 

PLUS… There are more great events and opportunities that wait for our kids (and fur-babies!)

  • Sensory Santa: This sensory-friendly holiday event at Valley River Center allows families with all spectrums of special needs to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa, in a comforting environment prior to public hours. Accommodations are made to support the sensory, physical, and developmental needs of this special audience. 
  • Yappy Hour: Special event for you and your furry friend to get time with the “Big Guy.” Bring your dog or cat to participating centers for an exciting night of pet photos, cocktails and holiday cheer. 
  • Meet Santa’s Elves: Have fun with Jack & Strawberry, the official elves of Santa HQ. Kick off the holiday festivities and enjoy caroling, photo opportunities, story time, hot chocolate and much more. 


Plus at Washington Square we have Mrs. Claus Storytime! Enjoy holiday stories read aloud by Mrs. Claus, along with festive craft activities at Santa’s Headquarters. New craft activities offered daily. You can check the website for details and dates on everything or find the Santa HQ information near you to find out your own activities. 

Are you going to visit Santa at HGTV’s Santa HQ this year? Have you visited in the past? I’d love to hear your stories below! Don’t miss out on visiting Santa this year because he’ll be gone before you know it!