Here’s What Visits with Santa Will Look Like During COVID-19

Socially distant visits with Santa will be the trend this year.

By: Amanda Mushro


Close up of a young family taking a selfie with Santa on a Video call on their laptop

Photo by: Marko Geber

Marko Geber

The time-honored tradition of kids sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what they want under the Christmas tree will look very different this year.

As COVID-19 cases rise across the country, stores that usually host Santa visits are already cancelling holiday events. For the places that are moving forward with Santa visits, you can expect to see many changes put in place for your child’s safety and for Santa’s too.

Ahead of the holiday season, many stores have already announced their plans. Macy’s stores across the country will transform Santaland into a virtual event, and Bass Pro Shops will host “Contactless Claus” visits where Santa’s helpers, also known as the "Santa-tary Squad”, will be in charge of cleaning between each visit while Santa remains behind a clear shield.

If you and your kids are planning a visit with Santa, here’s what experts say you should do:

  • Check for holiday events that are virtual or held outside with strict COVID-19 policies in place. Some communities are offering outdoor and socially distant visits with Santa or drive-by visits with Santa and his elves.
  • Be sure to plan ahead and, before you head out the door, call ahead or check online since many places will only host visits with Santa by appointment. This means fewer people will get appointments and you don’t want to disappoint your kiddos.
  • Be sure you and your kids over the age of two are wearing a mask and social distancing from Santa, his elves and other families.
  • Sorry kids, but no hugs for Santa and no sitting on his lap this year.

Despite a few restrictions, your kids can still make sure Santa knows they should be on the good list. Help your little ones write letters to Santa ahead of time so, even if Santa can’t hear them, he has their letter.

However, if you or anyone in your home has a fever, is experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed to someone with has COVID-19, please skip the Santa visit.

While this won’t look like a typical Christmas for our kids, there are still ways to make it magical and memorable.

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