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Courtesy: Airbnb

Ring in the holidays with a virtual Santa visit

If Kris Kringle isn't hitting your nabe until December 24, a virtual Santa visit is in order! Here's where to find one.

Written by
Danielle Valente

These days, even Kris Kringle is social distancing. 

But not to worry: A virtual Santa visit will still ensure kiddos get a chance to read off their holiday wishlists and strike a pose with the man in the red suit. Macy's Santaland is going digital and bringing its annual experience right to the comfort of your home. Airbnb is hosting a slew of online activities with Saint Nick, including storytimes. No need to get out of your flannel jammies for these activities! (Added bonus: There will be no crying on Santa's lap this year...hopefully.) 

These Christmas events might not necessarily be what we're used to, they are still fun ways to celebrate the holidays safely. Pour some hot chocolate and make the most out of these delightful digital experiences! (And watch one of these Christmas movies after you've returned from your North Pole expedition.) 

Virtual Santa visit

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Since 1977, families have flocked to Macy's in Herald Square to venture through the whimsical, festive Santaland, and of course, snag some one-on-one time with the man in the red suit. This year, things will look a little different: From Nov 27 through Dec 24, Macy’s Santaland will be transformed into an virtual experience, ultimately bringing a little piece of NYC Christmas magic to homes everywhere. Grab a cup of cocoa, put on some Christmas songs for kids and venture to the North Pole from the comfort of your couch via Macy’s Santaland at Home. (It's free!) Visit and allow moms, dads or adult guardians to enable all permissions. Then, join the elves, who will guide visitors on their journey. (Up to three children can enjoy the customized experience at the same time.) Visitors will be able to play interactive games and take a gander at Santa's village and workshop while on a North Pole-bound train. Stay until the end of the event, where a digital interactive video with Santa will allow kids to read off their wish lists and pose for a selfie.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

No one is busier in December than Santa's elves. However, the Christmas helpers are anxious to take a breather and show kids around the North Pole. Hop on a (virtual) sleigh ride and get lost in the new cyber winter wonderland Santa: The Experience, produced by GTC. This elf-guided digital delight takes Zoom visitors through every corridor of Santa's digs, including his mail room (surely a bustling spot), the elves' bedrooms, the reindeer stables and, naturally, the most coveted spot in the Arctic—Santa's workshop. Kids and families can let Rudolph and co. guide them to the fun from Dec 1–24 ($34.99). Of course, no trip to the North Pole would be complete without a chat with Kris Kringle himself. At the end of the journey, participants can receive a video recording of their toy discussions with Santa (which are social media-ready).

Santa Claus comes to Airbnb
Courtesy: Airbnb + ANTTI J. LEINONEN

3. Santa Claus comes to Airbnb

Santa is keeping busy thanks to his partnership with Airbnb. Join the man in the red suit for a variety of digital offerings, including storytime, a wish-list discussion and even a hello from Mrs. Claus. The experiences, which vary in price, cater to all abilities.  

Virtual Santa Visits from Chatbooks
Photograph: Shuttertsock

4. Virtual Santa Visits from Chatbooks

Your kiddos are likely to have a few (hundred) entries on their letters to Santa. Even though Kris Kringle might not be making any local stops—until Dec 24—to hear them in person, Chatbooks is filling the void. The site offers the chance for a free virtual visit with Kris Kringle and a keepsake photo of the occasion. Have that wishlist handy! 

More fun for kids: Christmas songs

‘Revvin’ Up the Reindeer’ by Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
Image: Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could

1. ‘Revvin’ Up the Reindeer’ by Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could

Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could’s jazzy salute to Santa's reindeer is nothing short of lovable. It sounds like a holiday anthem straight out of a jukebox. You’ll totally dig the old-school vibe. 

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