Santa Claus is coming to town!
We Mommas know that once Halloween has come and gone, we are just rolling downhill to Christmas. So it should be no surprise that the jolly old elf himself is coming to town and he's not waiting until Christmas Eve to make his rounds. Santa will be checking in at bay area malls as early as Friday. And while I love Christmas, even that seems too early to me especially since it isn't very cool here yet. But I digress.
At International Plaza in Tampa, which always has those cool snowglobes, Santa will be listening to kids toy wishes beginning Friday through Dec. 24. Santa's hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (30-minute reindeer break at 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.) and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (1 hour reindeer break at 2 p.m.)
The next day, Saturday, Santa will show up at Westfield Brandon Shopping Centre to greet the kids. Photos will be available through Dec. 24 in the Dick's Sporting Goods Court. Hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (with one-hour breaks at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.) and Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (one-hour break at 3 p.m.) Westfield malls at Citrus Park in Tampa and Countryside in Clearwater will also welcome Santa on Saturday.
On Nov. 14 between 6 and 8 p.m., Santa will make his way to Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg.
On Nov. 15, Santa will make his arrival for breakfast at University Mall in Tampa. Buy tickets for $5 at customer service for a Chick-Fil-A breakfast, goodies and fun with the man himself. All proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County. Through Dec. 24, kids can go sit on Santa's lap and ask him for that special toy. And from 6-9 p.m each Monday from Nov. 24 through Dec. 15, bring your pets in for a photo with Santa.
Santa will also arrive at WestShore Plaza in Tampa on Nov. 15.
New mall on the block, the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, is showing a little restraint, waiting until Nov. 23 to welcome Santa Baby.
And at Old Hyde Park Village, Santa will arrive Nov. 28 between 6 and 8 p.m. to light the 30-foot Christmas tree next to the fountain. Let's hope that the weather is a little cooler by then.
-- Sherry Robinson
[Yep, that's Ralphie wishing he was asking for his BB gun instead of a football]