Our Santa HQ Visit for 2019

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I said it last year and I'll say it again: I don't know how many Christmases we have left that Max will be willing to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what he wants for Christmas, but I'm not doing anything to encourage him to stop! We think he might know the truth, but is playing along for my and Jamie's sakes. As long as he's willing, we'll make the trip to visit the big guy and share our wish list. This year, we again headed out to the Vintage Faire mall in Modesto to experience HGTV's Santa HQ, and had a great time.

The nice thing about Santa HQ is that it's more than just waiting in line for a while and then getting 30 seconds with Santa. There are interactive activities and photo stations along the way that make it into a more immersive experience instead of a “Say cheese and get outta here” moment.

Up first is the Naughty or Nice scanner where *whew* we confirmed Max's spot on the nice list. I was there was a “Needs to pick up his dirty socks more often” list, but I'll take this too!

There's also the opportunity make your Elf ID card, some cool tablet-based interactive activities, and a control center, with lots of knobs and flashing lights to play with.

I think the Elfie Selfie station might have been Max's favorite; there are a few different outfits you can try on, and then you can have the pics emailed directly to you!

As we wandered through Santa HQ, there was never a lack of things to do or look at; younger kids will be even more enthralled than Max was, so be sure to check out all the details!

Planning your Santa HQ visit

  • Spend less time in line when you purchase a Fast Pass! Preorder your photo package and make a reservation online and save time!
  • Select the date, a 30-minute window of time to use Fast Pass, pre-pay online, upgrade your package by adding a family photo!
  • Learn more about special events happening at Santa HQ by checking online before you go.

Santa HQ Hours at Vintage Faire

  • Monday-Thursday through 12/12 11am-8pm
  • Friday 12/13 10am-9pm
  • Saturday-Sunday 12/14-15 9am-9pm
  • Monday-Thursday 12/16-19 11am-8pm
  • Friday-Monday 12/20-12/23 9am-9pm
  • Christmas Eve 8am-6pm

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