Merced County Times Newspaper
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Santa Arrives Safely In Merced!


With the winter holidays now in full swing, residents looking to create memories with Santa Claus can do so following his arrival at the Merced Mall!

To the delight of youngsters, Old Saint Nick appeared on Black Friday and made his way to the Mall’s Center Court where he will be available for photographs and to hear Christmas wishes.

Concerned parents should note that the Merced Mall has taken a number of steps to ensure lasting memories can be created while ensuring the safety of everyone involved. All family members need to wear masks. As they make their way to Mr. Claus, markings on the floor are placed to maintain social distancing. Once at the front of the line, children are able to make their way to the large farmhouse style table where they will sit across from Santa, taking their mask off for the photo, and placing it back on following the photo. The photography staff will have sanitizing supplies on hand.

In addition to meeting with Santa in-person, a new virtual option is available to residents this year. The new virtual experience allows residents to schedule out a 5 minute online visit. A recording of the special interaction can also be ordered.

The Merced Mall is running a special Angel Tree Program which aims to provide new clothing and toys to local children and families in need this year, and the annual City of Merced Fire and Kops for Kids Toy Drive. Residents stopping by to visit Santa are encouraged to pick a tag off the Angel Tree located near the Food Court and follow the instructions and gift suggestions as listed. Or, you can bring an unwrapped toy to the Merced Mall Security Desk to have it placed in the Mall’s holiday train to be collected and distributed to local children in our community.

Santa will be available for either in-person visits or virtual meetings through Dec. 24. Hours through Dec. 17 are: (In-Person Visits:) Monday through Thursday,  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; (Virtual Meetings:) Monday through Thursday, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

From December 18 through Dec. 23,  In-Person Visits can occur Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. Virtual Visits will be scheduled Monday through Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m. On December 24, Santa’s final day, he will be available to residents from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, or to schedule a virtual meeting with Santa Claus, residents can log onto, or call the Merced Mall at 723-3981.

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