Westfield Geelong is offering socially-distanced Santa photography with families and pets for Christmas

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Westfield Geelong is offering socially-distanced Santa photography with families and pets for Christmas

Photo by James D. Morgan / Getty Images for Scentre Group.

Making Christmas Merrier.

Christmas is quickly approaching, and I for one cannot wait to put up the Christmas tree and call it a year!

It’s really no surprise people are already looking forward to the holidays. With COVID-19 causing mass-disruption, people are looking forward to having what will hopefully be a virus-free celebration (fingers crossed), where we can finally meet up with family and friends in person once again.

And what would Christmas in Geelong be without the annual Westfield Santa photos?

Providing residents with some sense of normality and tradition, the trusty Santa photos are slated to once again return to the shopping centre next month for all your Christmassy needs.

“After a year like no other, we could all use another reason to smile – and a photo with Santa and/or your furry family member is the perfect opportunity,” the website says. “While things will be a little different in our Santa photography sessions and Santa pet photography sessions this year, our team will be working hard to make sure the moment is as magical as ever.”

For standard Santa photos, families will have their own seat next to Santa’s throne. People are encouraged to bring festive props or a favourite toy to create a unique and interactive Christmas memory. All the kids who visit Santa will also receive a reindeer headband to take home.

For pet photography, you’ll still be able to sit next to Santa and hold your darling furry friend to help bring some festive cheer into your life. It’s not just for dogs either – you can bring your cats, rabbits, guinea pigs… pretty much any small pet is welcome.

Alongside these options, Westfield are also offering a ‘Sensitive Santa experience’ so that families can visit Christmas wonderland and have their photo taken in a relaxed environment, tailored to children with sensory challenges. These calm and comfortable photography sessions are run before stores open, when the centre is quieter, to create a relaxed and sensory-friendly Santa experience.

With a booked in time slot and no need to wait in a queue, families can take their time to enjoy their moment with Santa, however these sessions are extremely limited.

Social distancing measures will be in place (so no sitting on Santa’s lap unfortunately), and masks will be required for anyone over the age of 12 in Victoria, including Santa.

If you’re keen to get into the Christmas spirit, online bookings are required, and sessions do book out quickly. Walk-in slots will be limited for standard Santa photography and there will be no walk-ins available (no matter how persuasive those puppy eyes may be).

You can book your session via the website.