Mall Uses Displays, Creative To Create Virtual Elevator Ride For Kids To See Santa

December 12, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Hat Tip to Jay Leedy at Sony for pointing out …

And a note … it’s not clear this is running this year. It might be be news from a few years ago, as a reader suggests in the comments. Whatever the case, the application is interesting and well done. AND … it may not be that mall. A reader suggests it is in this mall in Natick, Massachusetts. But the mall website is light on detail.

I’m not 100% sure how all this works, but here’s a very clever, digitally-driven Santa Claus set-up at a U.S. mall.

Wherever this mall is … it has something called Santa’s Elevator Express – a virtual elevator embedded in a 40-foot-tall Christmas tree in a common area of the shopping center. Kids and their parents book a time to take a ride up to the North Pole and Santa’s workshop.

Once inside the workshop, says PR, “visitors are able to spend quality time with Santa and his hard-working elves as they warm up by the fireplace, see Santa’s Naughty and Nice list, and prepare for Christmas Day. A photographer will be on-site to capture these candid, magical moments, and digital photo packages will be available for purchase at the end of the experience.”

Exit through the gift shop ;-]

It appears Santa’s lair is inside the tree, and parents who book their kids into a session enter a floor-level ante-room made to look like an elevator. The door closes and displays on the faux elevator walls make it appear the elevator is traveling up, to the North Pole. It looks the windows in the workshop are also displays, with snowy animations.


  1. SHELLY ROOTES says:

    how much is the experience please

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      I think the mall website has a registration page, and likely the pricing. I have no idea.

  2. Lauren Scollo says:

    This article is incorrect. I just called them all to find out how to get on the list for a time and they said this hasn’t been done for years. There was an old Facebook post that someone referred me to for when they did that but it was back in 2019 may want to take this article down because they have been getting a ton of calls about it. Merry Christmas!

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Hard to tell from the website, but yes, the Santa set-up does look different:

    2. Tania says:

      The one in Mass is doing it. Not sure where you live but my sister just took the kids. So cool! 🙂

  3. Susan says:

    It’s the Natick Mall, NJ in 2022.

    1. Marna says:

      I’m not sure if you realized it, and maybe it’s an error? The Natick Mall is in Massachusetts not New Jersey 🙂

    2. Celeste the Natick Mall is in Massachusetts says:

      Natick, Massachusetts

  4. Dominic Fugère says:

    My daughter conceived and created this experience with her team at Studio Artefact in Montreal, Québec. It was first installed at Bridgewater Commons in New Jersey but moved to the Natick Mall in Massachussetts this year.

    1. Dave Haynes says:

      Thanks Dominic. That’s very helpful. It’s been hard to get a clear sense of where this was and whether it was something done at a different mall a few years ago, or now! Your daughter is very clever!

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