Visiting HGTV Santa HQ At The Oaks!

This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Macerich/HGTV’s Santa HQ.

Hey All!

It’s truly the start of the Holiday season for us! It’s not really the Holiday season until we get to see Santa! We’re to once again visit Santa at HGTV’s Santa HQ at The Oaks in Thousand Oaks, CA! We love visiting Santa HQ as it revolutionizes the traditional Santa Claus visit by guiding visitors through an immersive, interactive holiday experience with the use of state-of-the-art digital technology. HGTV’s Santa HQ can be found in California, Arizona, Chicago, Metro New York, and the Washington, D.C. corridor. It has traditional photo opportunities with Santa Claus and a variety of fun activities to experience as well. They also offer a variety of great photo packages that families can choose from.

It’s such a fun experience for me and my family each year! We could not wait to come visit!

You start at the entrance which will lead you to the rest of the fun.

There is an observatory and the Elf Academy to experience before you see Santa.

HGTV Santa HQ’s Elf Academy is a new, family-friendly experience that features interactive technology to enhance the entire HGTV Santa HQ visit.

You start by taking the Naughty or Nice O-Meter test to see if you’re naughty or nice.

You step under the meter and it lights up.

The snowflake on the screen goes up if you’re nice. Of course our bubbly baby made the nice list because he’s the best! Your child’s name then appears on the screen that says nice list.

You then proceed into the Elf Academy, which includes the Magic Mirror. It allows you to transform into one of Santa’s elves and virtually try on various elf outfits. You stand in front of the Magic Mirror video screen and, through augmented reality, transform into Santa’s Elf.  The Magic Mirror allows guests to select one of four elf styles (Hazel, Ruby, Jack, and Strawberry) from which to choose outfits.

In this same room you can also create your very own customized Elf-ID card using the new Elf-ID app and a “selfie”. Guests choose one of four cards to customize (Hazel, Ruby, Jack and Strawberry).

The guest then takes a photo of their own face through the application and fills out special fields like favorite food and favorite reindeer. With all the information compiled, the Elf-ID app creates a custom Elf-ID card, which the guest can receive via email.

This is my Elf ID below that I created. It’s soooo cute! I love the Hazel Elf!

After the Elf Academy you can head to Santa’s Observatory…

This is where you can try Elf-Ray Vision! You can explore Santa’s Observatory through the use of tablets. Areas within Santa’s Observatory trigger an augmented reality experience for guests. The areas become 3D and pop on the screen as you hold the tablet.

Before Santa’s Observatory you can actually take some super cute Holiday family photos.

They have photo props and a cute tree stump to sit on. They also have a little baby Santa bag prop to put small babies in for photos.

As you can see we had a lot of fun taking photos here!

After all of that fun you then get to see Santa! I love that it’s the same Santa every year!

In my opinion having the same Santa keeps the magic alive for kids. I love that! You can see him and our tiny little bubbly baby last year below.

And he was back this year! I was so happy to see him! He’s the best Santa ever!

It was such a fun experience! We can’t thank HGTV Santa HQ and The Oaks enough for having us and making it yet another magical year to see Santa!

They also have special events happening that you may also love like:

Sensory Santa: This sensory-friendly holiday event at Valley River Center allows families with all spectrums of special needs to experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa, in a comforting environment prior to public hours. Accommodations are made to support the sensory, physical, and developmental needs of this special audience.

Yappy Hour: Special event for you and your furry friend to get time with the “Big Guy.” Bring your dog or cat to participating centers for an exciting night of pet photos, cocktails and holiday cheer.  Meet Santa’s Elves: Have fun with Jack & Strawberry, the official elves of Santa HQ.

They also have a cookies with Santa Event as well. Check THIS SITE for further details on the special events!

Also check out our full experience video below as well! It shows off ALL of what makes this experience so amazing for the holidays!

HGTV is also having a “Help Through Holiday Giving Drive”! HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving is a program that encourages visitors to donate toys for underserved children during the holiday season. In past years, HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving has collected more than 66,000 toys benefiting local organizations such as Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus. Events: Events, dates, and times are specific to each Santa HQ center. It’s so great to help children in need this holiday season!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and looking to see Santa, I highly recommend going to HGTV Santa HQ to see Santa!

You also can spend less time in line to see Santa by purchasing a Fast Pass today! Visit to secure a Fast Pass and pre-purchase a photo package. Guests can select the date, a 30-minute window of time to use Fast Pass, pre-pay online, upgrade their package by adding a family photo weeks/days in advance, and opt-in to receive text reminders about their Fast Pass window.

This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Macerich/HGTV’s Santa HQ.

Thanks for supporting amazing brands like this one that help keep this site going!