2020 has been a challenging year for many, with lives altered and changes made to accommodate our new reality. But alongside this challenge, reflection has inspired hope too. Our connection to our community has deepened and together we have rallied to provide support for those most in need. While we understand here at Pacific Epping that Christmas may look a little different this year, we hope you’ll join us to celebrate what makes us all strong. Finding joy in everyday moments, rekindling our favourite family traditions and seeking out simple pleasures wrapped up with plenty of cheeky festive cheer.
Santa is about to set off on his annual journey from the North Pole and is looking forward to meeting the wonderful families of Melbourne! He’s loaded up his sleigh with plenty of hand sanitiser, trained his helpers and reindeer in social distance protocol and has graduated from a quick course in online zoom calls. He’s also cancelled queuing, preferring to offer online bookings so children can visit him safely this year. His friends at Scene to Believe have his availability, and a range of photography packages to choose from, with a convenient option to pre-pay. Just be sure to make your date with Santa early as he is expected to be in high demand.
So with Santa well and truly up to speed when it comes to celebrating Christmas safely, here’s what you’ll need to know:
Kicking things off, why not gather your nearest and dearest for a magical holiday snap to round out 2020? We’re re-framing Santa Photos this year in line with DHHS health advice, so expect a unique, new perspective for your annual Christmas keepsake. Photos will be landscape instead of the traditional portrait view to allow for a safe distance between yourself and Santa. We also encourage you to BYO favourite festive dress-ups and props to make your moment extra memorable – think crazy Santa hats, ugly sweaters, OTT tinsel and all things red and green!
Taking residency in his Wonderland from 19 November until 24 December, Santa and his dedicated team of Christmas helpers will be on hand to not only make sure your Santa Snap experience is unforgettable, but also safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community, including our customers, staff and of course Santa himself.
It’s with this in mind that we are activating a number of COVID-safe practices for Santa Photos, including hand sanitising stations upon entry to Santa’s HQ, dedicated cleaning ambassadors, and safe processes for viewing and collecting photos. Masks will also be required to be worn by anyone visiting over the age of 12.
Zoom at Home with Santa
Pets have been a blessing for many in 2020, with adoption rates surging across the country during lock-down, so why not celebrate the festive season alongside your favourite furry friend with a heart-warming Christmas keepsake. The ever-popular Pet Photos are making a welcome return at Pacific Epping on 2 December and 13 December, with a few small modifications to ensure the health and safety of our pets, shoppers, staff and Santa.
Dressed in your very best Christmas ensembles (we love a good matching pet/owner outfit!), take a seat next to Santa (within a safe 1.5m distance of course) and let your pet get their Christmas wish lists ticked off too.
Our community’s wellbeing is paramount, so there will be sanitising stations within the Pet Photos set, while cleaning ambassadors will also be on hand to provide guidance on physical distancing protocols.
Online bookings are essential, so be sure to reserve your spot to avoid missing out on capturing this special Christmas moment with your beloved four-legged companion.
And while every effort will be made to welcome pets both great and small, pet photography is limited to dogs, cats and some small animals only.
Every family deserves the opportunity to capture a special Christmas memory with Santa, so we are delighted to bring our Sensitive Santa sessions back in 2020. We’re creating a low-stress, sensory-friendly environment that can be enjoyed by all, without the crowds, queues, noise and other pressures that can be associated with shopping centres.
Children can meet Santa within his magical Wonderland before the Centre opens, with plenty of time to chat and run through their Christmas wish lists in calm and comfortable surrounds.
Families can take a seat near Santa within a safe 1.5 metre distance and have this special moment photographed by Santa’s team of special helpers, who will also be available to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. You’re also welcome to bring along your favourite festive costumes and props to wear for your snap with Santa.
The health and wellbeing of our community is of the greatest importance, so we will also have a number of hand sanitising stations located at the Sensitive Santa set, rigorous cleaning practices in place, and safe processes when it comes to the viewing and collection of photos.
These sessions book out quickly, so we encourage families to secure their spot early at https://www.santasvips.com.au/locations/z1GRCg0o/252?utm_campain=252&utm_medium=direct_link&utm_source=location_link
Our commitment to a safe Christmas
Our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and retailers is our primary priority, so we will continue to implement and maintain a number of precautionary measures to help keep our community safe this Christmas.
- A strengthened focus on disinfecting commonly touched areas.
- Positioning of hand sanitiser stations at key points throughout the Centre.
- Installation of signage and floor decals across parts of the Centre, reminding our community to keep 1.5 metres between themselves and others at all times.
- Reminding our community to adhere to government mandates to wear a face mask while outside of the home, unless there’s a valid reason not to.
While our team focuses on protecting the safety and wellbeing of our community, we need you to play your part as well. Let’s work together to ensure we each practise safe social distancing during your visit to the Centre and keep a minimum of 1.5 metres between yourself and others at all times. It’s also important that we all maintain a high level of personal hygiene, and we encourage our customers to take advantage of the hand sanitisation stations located throughout the Centre. Please also wash your hands regularly, cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow, and most importantly, stay at home if you feel unwell.