Macy’s 150-Year Tradition Goes Virtual

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

Children have been visiting with Santa Claus at Macy’s since 1861, but for the first time ever, Macy’s Santaland will be transformed into an interactive, virtual experience.

To safely bring the holiday tradition to families nationwide during the pandemic, Macy’s Santaland’s in-store experience will be available through an immersive digital-only engagement available at this holiday season. Macy’s Santaland® at Home will take place November 27 to December 24. 

“At Macy’s, the safety of our customers and colleagues is paramount,” said Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of branded entertainment. “To replicate the magical experience of visiting Macy’s Santaland for children and their families, we will shift to a virtual engagement this year. For many, visiting Santa at Macy’s has become a long-standing highlight of the holiday season. Macy’s is delighted to have found a way to ensure even more families can enjoy this treasured experience safely during this festive time of the year.”

Before the digital journey begins an adult must provide the appropriate permissions to activate the program including approving access to the hardware for the interactive elements and selecting the preferred diversity experience. Up to three children can take part in the customized experience at one time. A special greeting from Santaland elves at the North Pole-bound train station kicks off the interaction. From there, the Elves will lead the way through Santa’s Village and Workshop, stopping to see the sights and play interactive games. At the finale of the journey, kids will meet Santa through a whimsical interactive video where they will be able to share their holiday wish list followed by snapping a selfie with Santa. Families will be able to download their Santa selfie immediately following the picture opportunity.

Additionally, two more traditional holiday experiences will be made available to the public for the first time virtually. The Macy’s Santaland website will also highlight interpretations of familiar holiday favorites from Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia including Dickens’ Village and the Christmas Light Show.

Dickens’ Village will take guests through select animated displays telling the story of the Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol.  A special version of the Macy’s Christmas Light Show will also move online as it takes viewers on a light filled journey through popular Christmas stories including The Nutcracker and Frosty the Snowman. The annual light display will feature the sounds of the world-famous Wanamaker Organ.

Throughout the month of December, Santa will also drop by @macys handles on a number of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to engage with fans. From live story time to a host of new iconic gifs of Santa’s favorite reactions, kids of all ages will be able to share in the experience. A listing of Santa’s social engagements will be posted in his online calendar at

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