Take the kids to see Santa Claus

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Erica Boni­face Santa’s Flight Acad­emy at Cherry Creek Shop­ping Cen­ter

We love the hol­i­day sea­son. Some par­ents may have a prob­lem with telling their kids to be good or they’ll get coal on Christ­mas morn­ing, but c’mon. It works for one month to get them to be­have, so we’ll use it.

Go clean your room, Santa is watch­ing. Help wash the dishes, Santa is watch­ing. Don’t hit your sis­ter, Santa is watch­ing.

Ah­h­hhh, that’s what it’s about.

So get ready to take them to see the big guy in red so they can rave about how they have been on their best be­hav­ior while giv­ing him their wish list.

And here’s to hop­ing yours will make the nice list. If all else fails, the out­ing will make for fun photos to re­mem­ber for Christ­mases to come.

Lo­ca­tion: 3000 E. First Ave., Den­ver Hours: Mon­day-Sun­day, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Christ­mas Eve, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Dec. 24 Web­site: ShopCher­ryCreek.com/ San­taPho­tos

Cherry Creek Mall turns into Cheery Creek Mall over the hol­i­days. They know how to bring the magic alive with gor­geous dec­o­ra­tions and one of the best San­tas in the Mile High City. Fine, we know he’s the real deal. Santa takes cookie breaks at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. New this year: Love­pop Cards, a 3D pa­per sculp­ture de­signed by naval en­gi­neers on cut­ting-edge soft­ware and then hand-crafted in the Asian art form of slice­form kirigami.

Santa HQ at Flat­iron Cross­ing Shop­ping Mall

Lo­ca­tion: 1 W. Flat­iron Cross­ing Drive, Broom­field Hours: Dec. 1-11, Mon­day-Satur­day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun­day, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 11-23, Mon­day-Satur­day, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Christ­mas Eve from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Web­site: FlatironCross­ing.com/Events/De­tails/389600

Flatirons Cross­ing is by far one of the coolest Santa dis­plays on the Front Range. Pre­sented by HGTV, Santa’s Head­quar­ters lets kids stand on a “Naughty or Nice” me­ter to see if their names are on the nice list — and then they get to work all the con­trols in his work­shop as they wait in line for their turn with Santa. Pro-par­ent­ing tip: You can book a reser­va­tion on­line be­fore your visit to help cut back on wait times. We know how tough it is for kid­dos to stand in line for a long time. Like, it’s im­pos­si­ble.

Santa’s Won­der­land 2016 at Bass Pro Shops

Lo­ca­tion: 7970 North­field Blvd., Den­ver Hours: Dec. 4-22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with free crafts from 5 to 7 p.m. Satur­days have free crafts from noon to 5 p.m. Sun­days are open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. with free crafts from noon to 5 p.m. On Dec. 23, Santa will be there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with free crafts from 3 to 7 p.m. On Christ­mas Eve, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free crafts 3-5 p.m. Web­site: Basspro.com/Santa

We didn’t re­al­ize Santa was in so big with the fine folks at Bass Pro Shops, but the Christ­mas charisma they pull out is truly spec­tac­u­lar. A lot of Colorado par­ents have started taking the kid­dos to Bass Pro Shops to see Santa. The lit­tle ones walk into Santa’s Won­der­land and have loads of toys, at­trac­tions and more hol­i­day en­ter­tain­ment to keep them busy, such as a foam toy ar­cade, re­mote con­trol trucks, Lin­coln log build­ing and more.

Bonus: You can get the hunter-fisher-hiker-camper-out­doors fa­natic in your life their presents while you’re there. Y-E-S.

Make Mem­o­ries with Santa at Park Mead­ows Mall

Lo­ca­tion: 8401 S. Park Mead­ows Cen­ter Drive, Lone Tree Reg­u­lar hours: Mon­day-Fri­day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun­day, noon-6 p.m. Spe­cial dates: Dec. 3 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Dec. 16-23 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Dec. 18 from 9 a.m. to8 p.m.; Christ­mas Eve, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (no breaks, Santa!) Web­site: Park­mead­ows.com/ en/events/photos-with-santa-8760.html

Put on those hol­i­day sweaters that grandma made the kids last year and head to Park Mead­ows Mall for photos with Santa. He takes oc­ca­sional breaks to feed the rein­deer, but other than that, he’ll be taking wish list re­quests and chat­ting with kids about how good they’ve been this year. Santa’s head­quar­ters at Park Mead­ows is lo­cated at Dil­lard’s Court. Maybe you can sneak away while the kids are or­der­ing an Orange Julius with grandma to do a lit­tle shop­ping.

Pro-par­ent­ing tip: If you book a reser­va­tion on­line, you’ll save 30 per­cent on your Santa photos.

Where is Santa? At Colorado Mills

Lo­ca­tion: 14500 W. Col­fax Ave., Lake­wood Store hours: Mon­day-Satur­day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun­day, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Spe­cial dates: Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Dec. 5-10, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 12-17, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Web­site: Si­mon.com/mall/ colorado-mills/stores/whereis-santa

Ho-Ho-How about you take the kids to Colorado Mills to see Santa Claus this year? Santa man­ages to sneak away from the North Pole to Lake­wood to make kids hol­i­day wishes and gift lists come true at Colorado Mills. Get them all dressed up — or in what­ever they fight you to wear — and make sure to pur­chase some keep­sake photos so you can cher­ish the mem­o­ries for­ever. To save you more hol­i­day stress, Santa is lo­cated at En­try 5 near Off Broad­way Shoes. If you want a fun fam­ily out­ing, go on the week­ends; they usu­ally have a bounce house set up at the food court, along with a carousel the kids love to ride.

Break­fast with Santa at Down­town Aquar­ium

Lo­ca­tion: 700 Wa­ter St., Den­ver Hours: Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18, 20-24 with seat­ing at 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. There’s an ex­tra Christ­mas Eve seat­ing at 11 a.m. Price: $22.99/adults; $20.99/ se­niors; $16.99/chil­dren ages 3-10 Web­site: Aquar­i­umRes­tau­rants.com/down­tow­naquar­i­um­den­ver This has be­come one of our fa­vorite fes­tive events dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Take the fam­ily to Den­ver’s Down­town Aquar­ium so the kid­dos can have Break­fast with Santa. Sharkey and Santa Claus will be spread­ing hol­i­day cheer with a full-on break­fast buf­fet loaded with all sorts of good­ies. You can walk around the aquar­ium, in­dulge in waf­fles, and take photos of the kids with Santa. That’s what it’s all about. Hurry, be­cause spots tend to fill up fast.

Satur­days with Santa in Down­town Ar­vada

Lo­ca­tion: Olde Town Square, 57th and Olde Wadsworth, Ar­vada Hours: Satur­day, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, from noon to 3 p.m. Prices: Photos with Santa are free; Car­riage rides are $10/ adults; $5/kids ages 2-16 Web­site: OldeTownAr­vada.org/2016/09/cel­e­bratethe-hol­i­days-Satur­days-with­Santa

Get the kids bun­dled up, toss on their Santa hats and head to down­town Ar­vada for Satur­days with Santa. He’ll be at Olde Town Square for pic­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties with his happy elves. There will also be a horse-drawn car­riage giv­ing rides through Olde Town plus hol­i­day en­ter­tain­ment. Pic­tures with Santa are free with a do­na­tion of canned food for The Ris­ing Church. Feel free to bring your own cam­eras and Santa’s Elves will be happy to snap some pics so you can share im­me­di­ately with friends and fam­ily. There will even be hot choco­late on-site and hol­i­day treats to re­ally su­gar up the kids. Now we’re talk­ing.

North Pole Colorado: Home of Santa’s Work­shop

Lo­ca­tion: 5050 Pikes Peak High­way, Cas­cade Hours: Open through De­cem­ber, but closed on the oc­ca­sional Tues­day and Wed­nes­day to make more toys. The park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: $22/gen­eral ad­mis­sion (ages 2-59); $17/ac­tive mil­i­tary, mil­i­tary fam­ily or re­tired mil­i­tary; $20/small group rate (6 or more); Free for se­niors (60+)

Web­site: NorthPoleColorado.com Every­one as­sumes the North Pole is the north­ern­most point on Earth. That’s to­tally wrong. The ac­tual North Pole is lo­cated right here in the Cen­ten­nial State! It’s true. Go to North Pole, Colo., for a full day of fun. The kids can talk to Santa, get pic­tures, ride fes­tive hol­i­day rides (such as the Santa’s Sleigh zi­pline or gi­ant Santa Slide), write let­ters to Santa, eat loads of treats, pick out per­son­al­ized or­na­ments and much more.

St. Nick on the Bricks

Lo­ca­tion: Down­town Boul­der Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter, 1301 Pearl St., Boul­der Hours: Ev­ery Satur­day through Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Web­site: Boul­derDown­town.com

Head to Boul­der’s fa­mous Pearl Street Mall to see Santa for the spe­cial St. Nick on the Bricks event. Kids can visit with Santa and you can bring your own cam­era for photos. Bonus: Maybe you can get some hol­i­day shop­ping done af­ter you’re done. (OK, who are we kid­ding? It’s im­pos­si­ble to go shop­ping with kids.)

Hol­i­days at The Or­chard Town Cen­ter

Lo­ca­tion: 14697 Delaware St., #850, Broom­field Hours: Through Dec. 24, Mon­day-Satur­day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun­days, noon-5 p.m.; Christ­mas Eve, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Web­site: TheOr­chardTownCen­ter.com/go/mal­levents.cfm

En­joy the magic of the hol­i­day sea­son at The Or­chards. Santa has a new work­shop in­side the grand hol­i­day tree at Town Cen­ter Square. Pro-par­ent­ing tip: Skip the line and save 30 per­cent on photos by book­ing a reser­va­tion on­line. Free horse-drawn car­riage rides start in Town Cen­ter Square near guest ser­vices. Se­lect Fri­day and Satur­day nights, and Sun­day af­ter­noons.

Town Cen­ter at Au­rora

Lo­ca­tion: 14200 E. Alameda Ave., Au­rora Hours: Now through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on most dates

Web­site: Town­cen­ter­atau­rora.com/events-news/event/ santa-photos

Santa is pulling his sleigh into the Town Cen­ter at Au­rora for photos and to chat with the kids. He’ll be in front of Dil­lard’s on the lower level of the mall.

Pro-par­ent­ing tip: When you’re on the Town Cen­ter at Au­rora’s web­site, check out the ‘sales and deals’ page for any dis­counted prices for photos.

Santa on the Square

Lo­ca­tion: 1450 Larimer Square, Den­ver Hours: Santa will be on Larimer Square on Satur­days from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sun­days from noon to 5 p.m. On Christ­mas Eve from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Web­site: Larimer­square.com/ event/santa-on-the-square

Larimer Square brings the spirit alive over the hol­i­days ev­ery Satur­day and Sun­day in De­cem­ber. Bring the lit­tle ones to see Santa Claus on Den­ver’s most his­toric block and get a pic­ture with him as well. You can make an af­ter­noon out of it as well. Eat at one of the many won­der­ful restau­rants, go shop­ping and en­joy the day with your fam­ily.

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