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HGTV and The Thousand Oaks Mall‘s SANTA HQ has landed near the JCPenney Court from now until Christmas Eve.

In this technological age when more kids have gadgets and iPads, it was only a matter of time before the Santa Meet n Greet became a digital wonder. So if your kids love Santa + love anything technological and you have some spare time this might be a fun choice this year. Keep reading to learn about all the fun gadgets and opportunities at Santa HQ:

1 – Naughty and Nice Meter!

At the entrance, kids will enter their names into the tablet and step up to the meter which will ‘magically’ light up and confirm whether you are on the naughty or nice list. Parents, no worries as I have it on good authority that Santa’s meter will never leave any kids in tears over being on the wrong list but hey the suspense and process is quite fun and magical.

2. Elf Selfie/Video

This process is in my opinion tooooo long but still very cute. There are TWO (2) tablets where you can take an ‘elf’ selfie and watch as your selfie is transformed into a short video animation that you can e-mail to yourself. While it is cute and all that, I can see this becoming a huge concern and turning into a bottleneck during the holiday crush. So please bear in mind that you will not be sailing through SANTA HQ as every ‘attraction’ and gadget will be equally entertaining for the little ones both of stature and heart.

3. Santa HQ Photo Backdrop

After the selfie there is a backdrop where a Santa HQ photographer will snap your photo. The family can choose to buy this as an add-on if they choose. Again this could get time consuming as there is only one backdrop and one photographer.

4. Control Center

Families will lastly enter an observatory where they will use special tablets (two I believe) to view Santa’s magical world – the night sky or Santa’s elves at work, for instance. This is actually my favourite experience and will be fun for the kids and adults alike.

5. The Big Man Himself!

Lastly but certainly not least you will meet with Santa himself where his elves will snap 3 shots of your group for you to choose to buy. Packages start at $39.99. If you are short on money, there is no cost to say hi to Santa himself! 🙂 And what a jolly good Santa he is. He even gave yours truly a doctor recommendation! So two points for him. 🙂

And best of all, in the spirit of giving back shoppers are invited to bring in an unwrapped toy and participate in Help Through Holiday Giving.  The Oaks hopes to gather 1000 toys to be donated to Children’s Services Auxiliary of Ventura County! Let’s make it happen!

Hope you enjoy your Christmas holidays and do say hi to Santa for me when you get a chance. xoxo

Reservations can be made at!