The big guy is going virtual this year.

By Meghan Overdeep
October 23, 2020
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Macy's Santa Claus
Credit: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

This holiday season, for the first time since 1861, Santa Claus won't be visiting any Macy's stores. After 159 years of Santa meet-and-greets, concerns about the coronavirus pandemic have put the cherished tradition on hold.  

Instead, Macy’s Santaland will be transformed into an interactive, virtual experience for families to enjoy from the safety of their homes.

“At Macy’s, the safety of our customers and colleagues is paramount. To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families, we will shift to a virtual engagement this year,” Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of branded entertainment, said in a news release. “For many, visiting Santa at Macy’s has become a long-standing highlight of the holiday season. Macy’s is delighted to have found a way to ensure even more families can enjoy this treasured experience safely during this festive time of the year.”

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The magic begins on Friday, November 27, and runs through Thursday, December 24 at Macys.com/Santaland. Up to three children can take part in the customized experience at a time.

The digital adventure starts at the North Pole-bound train station with a greeting from virtual Santaland elves. The elves lead the way through Santa's village and workshop, stopping to see the sights and play interactive games. At the end, kids will meet Santa through an interactive video, where they'll be able to share their holiday wish list and take a selfie with Santa, which families can download immediately.

To learn more about the history of Santaland at Macy’s, visit Macys.com/Santaland.