SHOPPERS EMBRACED THEIR INNER ELF AT KIMCO’S HOLIDAY EVENTS
You’ve started Christmas shopping, and maybe even wrapped a present or two. Your holiday dinner menu is set and you’re already planning for New Year’s Eve. But what about some holiday fun?
Throughout the U.S., Kimco shopping centers host holiday gatherings for our friends and neighbors – and you’re invited. All you have to do is show up, but please, don’t bring a fruitcake!
Here are a few of the events at Kimco shopping centers this holiday season.
Santee Trolley Square (Santee, CA)
We start with the city of Santee and its 14th annual Holiday Lighting Celebration, which was held on Nov. 18 at Santee Trolley Square. No holiday event is complete without a visit from Santa Claus, and Kris Kringle was busy taking photos with our guests all night.
A sparkler display signaled the start of the ceremony, and we lit up the tall evergreen tree at the heart of the shopping center.
With (artificial) snowflakes in the air, the Holiday Lighting Celebration featured crafts and artists, a holiday train ride, petting zoo, and horse-drawn trolley and wagon rides. Guests were treated with free hot cocoa and tasted holiday treats from local eateries and restaurants. The area’s hottest zydeco band, Bayou Brothers, performed live, too.
Braelinn Village (Peachtree City, GA)
Arriving on a horse-drawn carriage, Santa was right on time at Braelinn Village’s annual tree lighting, which took place on Nov. 26. (Don’t worry, the reindeer were there, too). Santa stuck around, graciously taking photos with families throughout the tree lighting.
Carolers belted out holiday songs as they strolled around the shopping center, while children got creative with crafts, face painting, and festive hair. Guests enjoyed sweet cookies and hot chocolate as they relaxed with family and friends.
Crossroads Plaza (Cary, N.C.)
It was truly a Victorian Christmas at Crossroads Plaza. The tree lighting event, held on Nov. 26, was highlighted by a visit from Santa and his reindeer, and Christmas carolers, dressed in Victorian-era costumes, sang under the lit tree.
Guests had a dance party with Rudolph and sampled food from the restaurants in Crossroads Plaza. Many came with a camera and took pictures with Santa.
The spirit of giving spread throughout the event, as guests dropped off toys for Zach's Toy Chest, an organization that provides new toys to pediatric cancer patients at local hospitals. We thank every one of you who brought a toy that will surely bring a smile to a child’s face.
Fremont Hub (Fremont, CA)
How do we celebrate Christmas in Fremont? With 20 tons of snow (and a few snowmen) and an “Elf on the Shelf” treasure hunt. It was all part of Fremont Hub’s holiday celebration.
Held on Dec. 3, Fremont Hub’s tree lighting was holiday fun for the entire family. After Santa helped us light the tree, guests enjoyed live entertainment, face painting and balloon art, special offers and samples from the center’s retailers, and the chance to win prizes.
Many guests purchased VIP tickets, which came with a free photo with Santa, hot cocoa, and other crafts and raffles. All of the proceeds from VIP ticket sales benefited local schools.
Christown Spectrum (Phoenix, AZ)
How about crafting a gift? You can do it at Christown Spectrum’s Cringle's Workshop. These creative activities were held at the shopping center every Saturday and Sunday in December (through Dec. 18). Shoppers and Santa’s elves worked side by side on holiday crafting projects and making ornaments for their trees at home and the workshop’s tree, which were then donated to a local senior center.
Guests further spread the holiday cheer by bringing toys and canned goods to the workshop. All toys were donated to the Salvation Army Angel Wish Tree program, and canned goods and a matching donation by Christown Spectrum were donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
Face painting and a caricaturist were available each weekend, holiday movies were shown, and story time entertained little ones, too. All Christown Cringle's Workshop festivities and activities were free.
Wexford Plaza (Pittsburgh, PA)
Ice sculptures are truly works of art, but they’re masterpieces that literally melt away. Wexford Plaza’s annual Ice Carnival had an ice sculpture competition on Dec. 9.
In addition to the artists carving ice sculptures, Santa was there for family pictures, with ice carvings as the backdrop. And this is no Christmas miracle: WISH Radio once again hosted a free money giveaway to the first 100 people in line.
Anaheim Plaza (Anaheim, CA)
Anaheim Plaza held its annual Holiday Celebration with Santa on Dec. 10. The event included giveaways for the first 100 children, raffles and prizes, and a DJ spinning family-friendly Christmas hits.
Where else in town can you grab a selfie with Santa?! Old Saint Nick was there for regular photos, too.
Suburban Square (Ardmore, PA)
Suburban Square really got into the spirit of the season this year, with four separate holiday events hosted at the shopping center throughout November and December. First, they greeted Santa and Mrs. Claus on Nov. 26 with a parade and tree lighting. The Christmas spirit continued on Dec. 3 with Music at the Market, a caroling event hosted at the local Farmer’s Market, once again featuring Santa Claus himself for pictures and meet-and-greets.
On Dec. 17, the Square expanded their holiday offerings even further, with a Winter Wonderland event featuring an ice sculpting competition, a coat, mitten, and hat drive, and a $100 gift card giveaway.
Last but not least, Suburban Square will host a Chanukah Wonderland for all of their guests who wish to celebrate the Jewish holiday. Held on Dec. 25, the Wonderland event will include a menorah lighting, donut decorating, latkes, and sand art.
Plaza Centro Mall (Caguas, PR)
Christmas is here, and Plaza Centro Mall knows it! The center, located in Caguas, Puerto Rico, celebrated the season in style with lavish decorations and a spectacular event.
A vacant space on the property was converted into Santa’s workshop, where kids could meet St. Nick and a host of character friends, such as Mickey Mouse, Batman, and Mario, and take free pictures. Their entrance was heralded by a circus performance, great music, and a parade held throughout the hallways of the mall. Overall, Santa and his friends met with over 500 people a day!
For photos of the festivities, check out our gallery below. The Kimco team wishes you and your family a joyous and merry holiday season. Happy holidays!