ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some may think it’s too early, but others say the countdown for Santa can’t come soon enough. Even during this pandemic the big man is making his way to the Capital Region and making a stop at one of his favorite places: Christmas Land.
“We really didn’t know if we were going to be able to be open and we really thought about, you know, what can we do to make this the safest experience?’ Co-Founder Michelle Annese said. “We really felt it was really important to open to be able to bring the spirit of Christmas to the community, which I feel like, after the year that we had, everybody needed it.”
No matter the age, you’re never too old to be in the Christmas spirit. Even in unusual times, Christmas Land has safety protocols in place to make that happen.
“It’s online reservations and what used to be our activity room is now, families wait in line 10 feet apart, have to wear masks,” Annese said. “Then, when you going to see the big guy in a middle room you are the only family in the room. We put the big guy, Mr. Santa Claus, in a bubble. He is in the snow globe.”
Even through plexiglass, Santa himself says it’s all about spreading the Christmas cheer.
“I love to see the children and see their happy faces. They’re excited, even though we’re separated by the plexiglass, it brings a warm feeling to my heart that these kids have something to be happy about.” Christmas Land’s Santa Claus said.
From Santa’s workshop to Frankie’s train ride, there’s a special feeling no matter where you go.
“Today [November 30] is the seventh anniversary with my wonderful nephew, Frankie, who passed away,” Annese said. “It is a way for us to remember him every day of course, but when we’re here we honestly feel his spirit alive and we feel it through the train and just seeing the excitement on kids’ faces.”