Santa Claus has gone digital!
This year, the Queens Center mall, in partnership with HGTV, is giving visitors a unique holiday experience with their new Santa HQ, which allows families to experience Santa’s workshop in today’s digital and social media age, right in Elmhurst.
This new interactive version of a visit to Santa’s workshop uses digital tools to offer an augmented reality environment and a brand-new, enhanced social media experience for all members of the family.
According to the Queens Center mall, children will be “scanned” when they arrive at the Santa HQ to determine if they’ve been naughty or nice. They will then enter an observatory where they will use special tablets to view Santa’s world, including looking up at the night sky above the North Pole, checking in on Santa’s elves making toys, and more.
Kids and their families will also be able to take an “Elfie” — taking a photo as a dancing elf — and much more. Traditional photos with Santa Claus will still be available.
“Our goal at Queens Center it to enhance the customer experience in every way possible, and we are delighted to have a partner like HGTV that shares our passion about delivering exciting opportunities guests can’t find anywhere else,” said John Scaturro, senior marketing manager of the Queens Center mall. “Visits and photos with Santa at the mall are a well-loved holiday tradition, and this year we are ramping up the digital and social experience with Santa HQ.”
Visitors to Santa HQ will experience “a jingle-filled sensory overload, in which the sights and sounds of the season will be immersive and involving.”
The nearly 1,600-square-foot Santa HQ set was handcrafted in Atlanta and “Santa’s elves” helped install the new scenery for Queens Center mall shoppers.
The Santa HQ officially opened on Nov. 11 and runs through Dec. 24. It is open seven days a week.