Friday, November 11, 2016

Take-Off in Santa's Sleigh at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia

Do you take your children to see Santa for an annual photo opportunity?  We always do!  We head to the mall in anticipation of Santa, but wind up turning into grinches while waiting in line for hours.

Fair Oaks Mall has put an incredible effort into keeping you and your children from turning into the holiday Grinch by providing an interactive experience. The line is no exception.  By enrolling in Santa's Flight Academy, your whole family can stay engaged for part of the wait to sit on Santa's lap.

Using a little imagination, your children have the opportunity to team-up with one of three elves to help prepare Santa's sleigh for Christmas. Children can choose to partner with George, the Sleigh Mechanic; Sparkle, the Flight Director; or Flash, the Reindeer Caretaker.

Upon entering Santa's Flight Academy, each child presents his or her official flight crew badge and their name automatically appears in lights.

From there, Santa's elves are available to help children be fitted for a virtual flight suit, and help inspect and power Santa's sleigh before take-off.

Children also have the opportunity to dance under snowfall. I think this was Emily's favorite part of the experience because it gave her the opportunity to jump around and let out some pent up energy!

During our visit to Santa's Flight Academy, we were greeted and helped by Elf "Grandy" who is enthusiastic, welcoming, and new grandmother to boot!  She made my preemie blessing, Emily, who was hesitant about the interactive activities and a visit with Santa, feel comfortable.

Grandy also encouraged Emily to participate in the interactive components of Santa's Flight School. (Thanks so much, Grandy!  You made our visit a fun one!)

As part of our virtual flight suit fitting, our height was checked, our feet were measured for boots, and our hands were sized for gloves.

From there, we proceeded to the flight suit visualizer, where our image appeared on a giant screen wearing a virtual flight suit.

After that, we headed to Santa's sleigh to prepare it for take-off and went to a dance party complete with holiday music and snow!

Emily wasn't too keen about sitting on Santa's lap, but Santa had a unique way of encouraging her to do so.  He asked her multiple questions, like: "Do you know how to two step? Can you show me?"  In no time at all, she had two-stepped her way onto Santa's lap.

Overall, we had a great time at Santa's Flight Academy! We hope you do too!

Although there are registration kiosks in the Grand Court, I highly recommend that you pre-register your children for a Santa's Flight Academy entrance badge before heading to the mall. You can pre-register here. This will expedite the Santa-seeing process!

Special thanks to Andrea Khoury, founder and Principal of Khoury PR & Media Group, for inviting us to see Santa and his elves and to Brio Tuscan Grille for breakfast. We had a great morning learning about the North Pole -- and even had the chance to ask Santa for a dog and a cat!

If you live in the DC metro area and are looking for a great photo opportunity with Santa, be sure to check out Santa's Flight Academy at #FairOaksMall.  The Academy is available from Friday, November 11, until Saturday, December 24. A variety of photo packages are available for purchase. Thanks to Santa, a discount coupon for certain packages is available here.  Please tell Santa and Elf Grandy that Michelle and Emily said, "Hi!"

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Note: I visited Santa's Flight Academy on opening day, so the line was minimal.  Of course, the line and its corresponding wait time will likely change as Christmas approaches. I expect that lines will extend beyond the interactive portion of Santa's Flight Academy.  Accordingly, you may want to pack a book or toy for entertainment.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would write about it on various social media channels. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

  1. No doubt that Aunt Katy had something to do with the cat request!