Santa Claus returns to Northeast Ohio malls this season


STRONGSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – After missing the holiday season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Claus is returning to local malls across Northeast Ohio with some added safety measures.

Santa arrived at Southpark Mall in Strongsville on Nov. 12. He and his worker elves are wearing masks, but facial coverings are optional for families.

Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted is welcoming Santa back Friday, Nov. 19 with a spectacular parade that kicks off at 5:30 p.m. and other magical attractions presented by Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.

“People are excited to get back and celebrate the holidays,” said Dan Crandall, Great Northern Marketing and Business Development Manager.

Some of the attractions include the North Olmsted Marching Band, face painting, stilt walkers, The Real Popfusion and other entertainers like the ‘giant sway pole lady’ near the mall’s main entrance.

“She’s up 22 feet in the air and looks like a huge lit Christmas tree and dances in every which way,” said Crandall.

Hand sanitizing stations are being posted all around Santa’s Sleigh in Center Court and every child who visits him gets either a coloring book or Christmas cookie plate. 

Visitors can avoid long lines by setting up reservations in advance and other safety measures are expected to be similar to those implemented at Southpark Mall.

Crandall says they want people to feel comfortable and to have a magical, memorable holiday experience.

Sensory Santa photos for guests who require a quiet experience can do so on Dec. 5 and 12. Pet picture opportunities will be available on Nov. 28 and Dec. 19.

More details, including how to reserve your spot with Santa, can be found here.

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