Ring in the holidays with Santa Claus at two southwest Virginia malls

Home for the Holidays

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(WFXR) — Santa Claus is ready to kick off the 2021 holiday season by meeting both kids and kids-at-heart at two malls in southwest Virginia starting Friday.

The Valley View Mall in Roanoke will open Santa’s Workshop near the food court on the lower level of the mall at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 19. Visits are free — although reservations are strongly encouraged — and photo packages and frames are available for purchase.

Other than the closure on Thanksgiving and special hours on Christmas Eve, Santa will be in his workshop at the Valley View Mall during the following hours from now through Dec. 24:

  • Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (on break from 3 to 3:45 p.m.)
  • Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (on break from 1 to 2 p.m. and 5 to 5:45 p.m.)
  • Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m. (on break from 2:30 to 3 p.m.)

You can learn more about Santa’s schedule — as well as details about photo pricing and special Santa events, like pet photos and “Santa Cares” — by following this link.

The mall says that hand sanitizer will be available and Santa and his helpers will be following CDC COVID-19 guidelines during these visits.

Over in Lynchburg, the River Ridge Mall has already unveiled Santa’s Winter Wonderland for the 2021 holiday season, but Ol’ Saint Nick will not make his grand arrival until 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

“Saint Nick himself will begin the voyage to his new home away from home beginning at the ‘Walk-Through Tree,’ parading to West Court between Regal Cinema and the newly redesigned Food Hall, led by Liberty Christian Academy’s choral group, Concert Choir Group,” a mall spokesperson told WFXR News.

During Santa’s grand entrance, a lucky winner will receive a golden ticket with four annual passes to SeaQuest.

From Friday through Dec. 24, Santa will be available for photos with guests next to Kay Jewelers and GNC. You are encouraged to make a reservation for your visit by clicking here.

Here are the times you can visit Santa at River Ridge:

  • Nov. 19 through Dec. 9:
    • Monday through Friday: Noon to 7 p.m. (on break from 3 to 3:30 p.m.)
    • Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (on break from 3 to 4 p.m.)
    • Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m. (on break from 2:30 to 3 p.m.)
  • Dec. 10 through Dec. 23:
    • Monday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (on break from 3 to 4 p.m.)
    • Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (on break from 1 to 2 p.m.) and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.)
    • Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (on break from 2:30 to 3 p.m.)
  • Dec. 24: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (on break from 1 to 1:45 p.m.)

Families will be able to digitally download images for $39.99. Family portrait sessions can be added to the purchase of Santa photos for $9.99.

Shoppers can enter to win a free Santa Photo Package from Nov. 22 through Dec. 21 through “comment-to-win” or “text-to-win” posts. Then, every Monday, three randomly-selected winners will be chosen every Monday.

There will also be pet photos available at 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays from Nov. 29 through Dec. 20, as well as “Sensory Santa” for those with special needs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 5.

In addition, there will be themed photo nights every Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. starting Nov. 30. Those themes include Pajama Party, Prince/Princess/Superhero, Ugly Sweater, and BFF/Squad/Family/Colleagues.

For more information about Santa Claus photo sessions at River Ridge Mall, follow this link.

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