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Santa goes high-tech with new play area at Mall at Robinson

Kristine Sorensen
December21/ 2016

In partnership with Kidsburgh.org

Santa is going high-tech!

Gone are the long lines and screaming kids at the Mall at Robinson. Welcome I-pads, texting and a brand new play area. It was designed by a local company that also designs play areas for Disney.

Not only is it fun for the kids, it gives the parents a break at a time when they really need it.

Here’s how it works. Parents put their names on the list, stored on an Ipad, for photos with Santa. Then, they get a text when it’s 15 minutes until Santa will be ready. That’s when they return to the photo area and go inside the new play area while they wait.  Inside,  the kids can draw on the gigantic “Holidoodle”, play pretend inside the train around the tree and make music with large musical instruments.

You’ll find this play area under a huge, brand new Christmas tree in the middle of the Mall at Robinson.  It’s symbolic of playing under Santa’s tree, with the train that runs all the way around the bottom of the tree.

Having the new Santa’s play area is a nice change from waiting in line to see Santa.

Parents say they love the new area. “They don’t have much patience waiting in line for Santa,” says Tessie Irby, “so this is definitely nice.” Parent Mandy McQuaide from North Fayette says that it gives her children a chance to run around and burn off energy instead of screaming and crying.

Once the children see Santa, they know he’s the real deal.   Santa is spreading the Christmas spirit, one child and grown-up at a time.  “Christmas is time get to tell people you know and love that you know and love them,” Santa says.

“It has nothing to do with the size of a gift or anything else — just that you tell people that you love them.” Santa says that love may come in the form of a gift, but it could also be a card or a compliment or a hug.

Santa will be at the Mall at Robinson through Christmas Eve.

For more ways to enjoy the holidays with your kids,  www.Kidsburgh.org has lots of great ideas.

Kristine Sorensen

I am proud to work at KDKA-TV -- anchoring the news, hosting Pittsburgh Today Live and doing special reports. I am married to KDKA reporter Marty Griffin and we have 3 children. I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 but I’ve lived in Dallas, Johnson City, Tenn., Chicago, Williamsburg, Va., Milwaukee and Winter Park, Fla. Pittsburgh is now the place I call home.