Santa photos are still happening at Bass Pro Shops but will look different this year

The free visits will be contactless with a protective shield between Santa and kids

2020 Santa's Wonderland, image courtesy of Bass Pro Shop.
2020 Santa's Wonderland, image courtesy of Bass Pro Shop. (chdodwell)

SAN ANTONIO – Santa Claus will still be making his visits to Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations, though these visits may look different than those in years past.

Beginning Nov. 7 through Dec. 24, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will transform into Christmas villages. The visits have been “re-imagined” at all participating retail stores in an effort to comply with current COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the company said.

Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops founder, said that events throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have been canceled, which is why it was more important than ever to ensure some much needed Christmas cheer.

“This year has been incredibly difficult for so many kids and families,” Morris said. “With countless activities canceled and many families dealing with added stress, we feel it’s more important than ever to provide some free Christmas magic and help safely create cherished holiday memories.”

The following is a list of safety precautions the company has implemented for the event:

  • Free Digital Reservations: Advance digital reservations are required for all guests and can be made online. Spots are limited to allow appropriate physical distancing and additional cleaning.
  • Temperature Screening: All families and team members will complete temperature screening with a non-contact thermometer prior to entering Santa’s Wonderland.
  • Magic Santa Shield: An innovative, glare-free clear protective barrier will be in place between Santa and families at all times to allow for a contactless experience. The shield is cleaned and sanitized between each visit.
  • Physical Distancing: Families will standby in a designated area away from other shoppers with fun winter wonderland-themed floor decals and signage to ensure a safe distance.
  • Santa’s Sanitation Squad: Santa’s team of elves will clean all surfaces between each visit and frequently ensure all safety measures are being implemented correctly.
  • Face coverings: All team members throughout the store are required to wear face coverings. Customer requirements vary by location based on local public health guidelines.

The company said families are invited for a socially distanced tailgate event on Nov. 7, featuring a free outdoor parade, giveaways, Christmas carols, hot cocoa and “magical fun.”

Advance reservations can be made beginning on November 2. To learn more, and make a reservation, click here.

Related: Santa Claus won’t be coming to Macy’s this year

About the Author:

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.