Macy's announced that Santa Claus will not be meeting with children at its flagship store in New York City this year. Santa will also be absent from Santaland at stores in San Francisco and Chicago because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, Macy's will be offering digital options for children to meet with Santa Claus. At the end of November, families will be able to visit the Santaland website, where they can get a virtual tour of Santa's workshop and take a selfie with Santa.
"Moving to a virtual engagement will safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year," Macy's said in a statement.
Santa will still make an appearance in Herald Square at the end of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is being reimagined as a televised event.
Other malls and department stores around the country are still planning to let kids visit Santa Claus, though the experience will be much different this year. Kids won't be able to sit on Santa's lap to tell him what they want for Christmas. Some malls will put Santa inside a giant snow globe, while others will have him seated behind a plexiglass picture frame, allowing families to take a socially distant photo.
According to CNN, one mall operator will be offering Zoom sessions for children to chat with Santa Claus.
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