Mall Santas will look a bit different this year with COVID-19 protocols

Christmas is a little over two months away, but malls around New Jersey are gearing up for a COVID-19-safe holiday experience.
PREIT, the company that owns the Cherry Hill Mall, Cumberland Mall and Moorestown Mall, is getting ready to debut its 2020 Santa setup.
“There’s just not going to be any high fives or hugs this year from Santa,” says Cherry Hill senior marketing director Lisa Wolstromer.
Because of concerns over the virus, Santa Claus will be behind glass when visiting with children.
“It’s a big plexiglass structure that also has a seat in front of it so that you can interact with Santa in a safe environment and children can still talk to Santa,” Wolstromer says. “You’ll be sitting in your photo, and it will look like you’re sitting on Santa’s lap.”
Masks will also be required throughout the whole experience, except for when photos are taken. Reservations will be required to help cut down on lines and crowding.
People who are not comfortable going to the mall to visit Santa can also try the new virtual experience that brings St. Nick into their homes.
“Santa will do a video with your child, a Zoom video, and then you can get a copy of that video so you have that preserved for all time,” Wolstromer says.
The malls are also ramping up curbside pickup for shoppers who are still not comfortable going inside of malls during the pandemic.
“We’re trying to create an entire environment that is comfortable for everyone who wants to come and shop their way,” Wolstromer says.
Santa will arrive at the Cherry Hill and Moorestown Mall Nov. 6 and the Cumberland Mall in Vineland on Nov. 13. Reservations are required.