Where to get a COVID-safe photo with Santa this year in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Where to get a COVID-safe photo with Santa this year in Kamloops, Okanagan

Image Credit: Submitted
November 17, 2020 - 7:30 AM

It will certainly be a Christmas like no other due to pandemic restrictions, but it's not stopping Santa from visiting Kamloops and the Okanagan this year.

Visits and photos with Santa will look a little different than usual, as precautions will be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Basically, we're trying to save Santa," Kamloops photographer Tyler Meade said. "We have to go over and above this year to protect everyone."

Meade will be photographing Santa in two Kamloops malls this year, following the pandemic protocols that will likely become the norm for this holiday season.

Check out the list below for COVID-safe visits with Santa in Kamloops and the Okanagan, and what new rules to expect this year.

READ MORE: Santa's lap may be off limits this Christmas as COVID-19 precautions are adopted


Sahali Mall

Santa will be in the Sahali Mall Dec. 3 to 19 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Dec. 20 to 23 he will be at the mall daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone is required to wear a mask while they're waiting in line, and can remove it when they're seated. Organizers require that only immediate family bubbles have their photos and visits together.

Santa will be separated from his visitors with plexiglass, which will be angled perpendicularly to the camera so the effect on the photo is minimal, Meade said.

Hand sanitizer and masks will be available on location.

There will be a physically distanced line for drop-in visitors, or you can book a timeslot to skip the wait. The online booking system is not yet up and running, Meade said, but the link will be posted to his social media page soon.


Aberdeen Mall

Santa will be in an empty retail location on the bottom floor of the Aberdeen Mall from Nov. 28 to Dec. 24, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

The same safety protocols and set-up from the Sahali Mall will be in place at Aberdeen. The online booking system for visits is not ready yet, but you can check Santa photographer Meade's Facebook page for updates.



Okanagan ChristmasFest Market

Santa will be at the outdoor Okanagan ChristmasFest Market during all 12 days of the event. If you purchase a ticket for the market, you can have a physically distanced visit and take photos with Santa Dec. 1 to 12. To see the full Santa schedule, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here. 


Kelowna Actors Studio

You can book a private photo experience with Santa at the Kelowna Actors Studio on Ellis Street from Nov. 30 to Dec. 24. Each session costs $35 and allows for two to three individuals to get their physically distanced visit and photo with Santa. You will receive one 4x6 printed photo and a digital file. 

To book a visit, click here. 


Gospel Mission Thrift Store

The Gospel Mission Thrift Store in Rutland will be hosting a Santa photo and visit by donation again this year. The dates have not yet been announced, but you can check their Facebook page here for updates. 



The Red Barn

You and your family can get a private Christmas farm experience, which includes photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate and snuggles with donkeys. 

The Red Barn is offering families access to the farm and barn for one hour, and your pets are welcome too. For the whole experience it's a $100 fee, but the price can be reduced if you opt to bring your own photographer or have the photos taken on your phone.

For more information contact the organizer by email.


Image Studios, Village Green Shopping Centre

Book a private photoshoot with Santa anytime in December at the large Christmas display in Image Studios. Fee for a photoshoot is $55, and comes with two digital images and two prints.

Physical distancing protocols will be in effect. To book an appointment click here.



Cherry Lane Shopping Centre

Santa will be in the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, located in the unit between Red Bag and Boathouse. The visit and photo costs $20, and all proceeds will go towards the OSNS Child & Youth Development Centre.

The photoshoots must be scheduled online, and have been adapted to be COVID-safe. 

Dates for Santa have not yet been posted, but you can check the Cherry Lane Facebook page for updates. 


Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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