With COVID concerns, a lot of people thought it couldn’t happen…but Santa Claus is coming back to town. And yes, your kids will have a chance to meet him.

As of right now, the plan is to get Santa to the Walden Galleria to meet kids before Christmas.  Now, things will be different for sure.  Unfortunately they won’t be able to sit on his lap this year and there will be more cleaning between visits, but they’ll be able to see the big guy.

"This year guests will not sit on Santa’s lap during their interaction, but will still have the opportunity to engage in conversation and a magical experience with Santa, while maintaining physical distance."

According to WIVB, he will be at the Walden Galleria on Black Friday to get the kids' wishes.  They encourage you to plan your trip ahead of time.  They're asking people to make reservations online ahead of time.  While they will try to fit walk ups in if time allows, there are no guarantees that they will be able to fit you in.

You can expect things to look a little different this year too.

"We understand that these times are challenging, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate as responsibly as we can. Together, we can find new ways to have fun while being diligent to maintain proper physical distancing." -

They're asking people to maintain social distancing and there will be signage around Santa's area to encourage that.

Also all guests ages 2 and above will need to wear a mask.  The guidelines for the mask include:

  • Fully cover an individual’s nose and mouth and allow the Guest to remain hands-free.
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Be made of breathable material, either disposable or reusable material is acceptable. Costume masks are not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn.

For more info on the guidelines that will need to be followed this year, click here.