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Santa Claus Is Coming To The Treasure Valley — Just Don’t Get Too Close

Marco Verch Professional Photographer/ Flickr Creative Commons

The mall in mid-November usually means blaring holiday tunes, doorbuster sales and a lengthy line of velvet-clad kids anxiously waiting to sit on Santa’s lap.


But, like many things in 2020, the yearly visit with Santa has adapted due to the spread of COVID-19. 

The Boise Towne Square Mall will still allow in-person visits, but with extra precautions. Masks are required and advanced reservations are encouraged with limited walk-ins. 

Visitors won’t be able to sit on Santa’s lap and Santa’s iconic suit will be sprayed with disinfectant between shifts. 

The mall is also offering an online option. You can choose a live virtual visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, with an optional storytime add-on, or a pre-recorded personalized message. 

And there are other adaptations happening around the Treasure Valley. 

“For the safety of Santa, we have decided it is not responsible to put him into contact with any children," said Erin Anderson, Executive Director of the Idaho Botanical Gardens. 

She told Idaho Matters although Winter Garden A Glow won’t be offering an in-person visit with Santa, there is a brand new experience to enjoy.

Kids will have the opportunity to write letters to Santa on postcards provided by the garden. Then, as they walk through the twinkle light displays, children will be able to drop off the letters at a special mailbox outside the Garden Cottage, where they can catch a glimpse of Santa and Mrs. Claus from a distance. 

Then, Anderson says, Santa will send a letter back in the mail. 

Winter Garden A Glow is open November 26 through December 27. Mall virtual sessions are available November 14 through January 7 and in-person visits start November 27 and run through December 25. 

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio