Macy's is requiring children to have an appointment to see Santa this year

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Macy's is requiring children to have an appointment to see Santa this year

santa lap mall children christmas

Mark Makela/Reuters

Macy's flagship store on 34th Street in New York City hopes its new policy will reduce wait times and congestion around its Santaland exhibit.

  • Macy's flagship store on 34th Street in New York City is requiring parents to make reservations for their children to get their pictures taken with Santa this year.
  • The policy is designed to reduce wait times and congestion around the store's Santaland exhibit.
  • The exhibit will run from Nov. 24-Dec. 24.


Getting your photo taken with Santa Claus is a childhood tradition, but one that often requires patience.

Long lines have the potential to leave children and their parents irritable, a problem malls and department stores have tried to solve in recent years. A New Jersey mall outraged parents by charging $35-$50 for admission into a Santa exhibit in 2015, and this year, Macy's flagship store in New York City is requiring parents to make reservations for their children to get a picture with Santa.

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While reservations at Macy's 34th Street location will be free, this is the first year the retailer has adopted this policy. Macy's Santaland exhibit will run from Nov. 24-Dec. 24, and parents can make reservations for 30-minute time slots on the Macy's website anywhere from 30 minutes to five days in advance. Macy's hopes the policy will reduce wait times and congestion around the store's Santa-themed display.

"Santa's a popular guy, so the wait times to meet him have been quite long in previous years, especially on our busiest days," the company said on its website. "The new reservation system is designed to minimize this by scheduling visitors to join the line at a time of your choice, allowing for the best possible holiday experience."

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Macy's recommends that customers check in at any point during their 30-minute time slot and anticipates that lines will be shortest from Monday through Thursday.

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