There won't be a miracle on 34th Street this year—but a virtual Santaland experience is planned.

By Jennifer Aldrich
October 28, 2020
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Credit: JAMES DEVANEY/GETTY IMAGES

For the first time since 1861, Santa Claus will not be greeting children this year at the Macy's flagship store in New York City.

Like many events this year, Macy's Santaland will be a virtual experience instead. Although it's a major change for the company and its visitors, the virtual Santaland will allow anyone to tune in from home.

It's the latest change to the retailers' annual holiday lineup. To reduce crowds and help slow the spread of COVID-19, the company previously announced its Thanksgiving Day parade would go virtual. Although complete details haven't been released, there will be no traditional parade route or in-person audience.

The new Santaland experience will begin on Thanksgiving Day and end on Christmas Eve. During that time, kids (and children at heart) can visit Macys.com/Santaland to take a "personalized, interactive journey" to visit Santa at the North Pole. Although you can't make the trip just yet, the site includes a timeline of Santaland, holiday gift guides and FAQs. Along with Santaland at Home, Macy's will also feature virtual versions of Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia and Macy’s Christmas Light Show.

According to Macy's, more than 200,000 people visit Santaland every year. "For many, visiting Santa at Macy’s has become a long-standing highlight of the holiday season," Susan Tercero, Macy’s vice president of branded entertainment, said in the company's release. "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."

Mark your calendar to explore Santaland online beginning on Thanksgiving Day.  (Send your kids on an interactive journey to the North Pole while you cook Thanksgiving dinner.)

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