The 2011 Great Santa Search – Part 2

On Tuesday, Shawna gave you a sneak peek of Santa during her visit to the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in the 2011 Great Santa Search – Part 1.  Now I’m going to give you a sneak peek of Santa’s visit at the Westfarms Mall in West Hartford (along with some other fun things to check out while you are there).

My husband, Bruiser, Sparkles and I went to visit Santa at Westfarms Mall last Wednesday around 11am.  He is located in the center of the mall outside the Macy’s Men’s Store.  You can’t miss it.

Though we didn’t have a wait on the day we were there, his waiting area is very elaborate and has some fun things available to keep the kids occupied.  When you enter the area to see Santa, someone will hand you details on the costs for getting a copy of your Santa picture.  You can then figure out what package (if any) you want to purchase.  Here are the details.

The exhibit is sponsored by a few companies, including Snapfish, which is why each purchase comes with a coupon for a free 8 x 10 photo book.

The theme for his visiting area is one of his favorite north pole animals, the polar bear.  There are videos of real polar bears being shown, a place where you can compare your hand and height to that of a polar bear, and lots of amazing pictures of the animals.

Right before you see Santa, there is a room, with polar bear video all around and “snow” falling from the ceiling.  Be careful if you decide to let your kids check out the white stuff before their Santa visit.  Bruiser and Sparkles were covered in white after they went in for a look.

Next stop, Santa!  We let the woman know that we wanted to purchase Package F (2 5×7’s and free photo book for $20) plus add-on the Hi-Res photo ($10).

Bruiser and Sparkles took a seat on Santa’s lap and we tried to get them to smile for a picture.  Sparkles wasn’t too into the whole process and Bruiser was a bit confused himself.  Here is how it turned out:

For some reason, Santa was very quiet this particular day.  He didn’t say a word to the kids.  I think maybe if he had spoken to them and made them aware that he wasn’t a statue, we might have gotten a few smiling faces.  Oh well!

We paid for our pictures, got our 5×7’s, our CD, and our coupon and headed out.

There are lots of other things you can purchase while you are there including memento frames and other keepsakes.

You can also choose to not get your picture made with Santa, but instead get a picture in the ice throne.  See here for a picture of the throne.  Oh, and there is a coupon code to save 30% on any Snapfish purchase.  The code is merrygift30.

When you leave, you are right at a Starbucks.  Latte anyone?

After visiting Santa, we made our way over to Macy’s to check out their “Believe-o-Magic” display. Now Shawna gave you a lot of the details on this in her post here.  But I just wanted to add a few things.  Not only is this a place where you can mail your letter to Santa, but there is also some magic that can be found.

There is information there on a phone application that you can download and get to see Virginia (from the Movie “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus”).

The app is called “Believe-o-Magic”.


Download it at home and test it before you come to the store (it’s fun).  To test it, go to   On this site, you can write and print your letter to Santa.  You can also download the print marker and instructions here.  Basically, you print out this picture of a camera, start-up the app, select “sneak peek”, and then hold the picture flat 2 feet in front of your camera.

Below I attempt to show you how to lay out the marker and the phone.

It was very entertaining for me, so I can’t imagine how fun it would be to a little one.  Watch as Virginia magically appears on your screen.

At the Macy’s store, the marker is already there.  You can just start-up the app and point it in the direction of the marker.  Virginia will appear and you can get your picture taken with her.  Fun!

After visiting Santa, and mailing our letter to him at Macy’s, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch.  This place is always kid friendly.  They have high chairs and booster seats, cups with lids and a decent kids menu.  We had a very enjoyable lunch there.

Even though we didn’t have any smiling faces for the Santa photo, we still had an enjoyable trip to Westfarms mall.  Hopefully next year Santa will be a little more talkative!

Let us know how your photos with Santa went.  Post your Santa photos on our Facebook page here or email them to us at and we will post them for you!

Happy Holidays!



Westfarms Mall

1500 New Britain Ave

West Hartford, CT 06110

(860) 561-3024


Mall hours:

Regular hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am to 9:30 pm; Sunday 11:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Click here to see special extended hours in the December holiday schedule.

Santa schedule:

Click here for dates and times to visit Santa.

Where else can you get your picture with Santa?


Check back Friday and we’ll give you some stellar ideas for turning your special holiday photos into great handmade crafts (plus some creative ways to display all those holiday cards you’re about to start receiving).

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