This post is in partnership with HGTV and Macerich Shopping Centers.

Santa has come to town and this year he's brought his high tech headquarters with him for a whole new experience!  

The Chicago area HGTV Santa HQ is located at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont.  Waiting to see Santa has never been so fun.  When you walk into the HGTV Santa HQ you are greeted with an interactive experience the entire family can enjoy.


First the kids took a chance on the Naughty or Nice O'Meter. Thankfully all five kids were on the nice list but we did see some names come through on the naughty list.  

naughty or nice meter

Next we were able to elf ourselves.  There are iPads available at Santa HQ but there is also an app you can download onto your own device to go along with your experience.  The kids couldn't get enough of watching the elves with their faces dance around!  You can also use your device as Elf Ray Vision in the observatory to see the magic.

elf yourself at santa hq

As a huge HGTV fan, I loved that all of our favorites were woven into the experience.  The Property Brothers, Chip and Joanna, they were all there spreading holiday cheer.

hgtv santa headquarters

One the the kids' favorite parts was getting a behind the scenes peek at Santa's Control Center!  They got a hands on experience to see how the big guy coordinates all of those deliveries in one night!

best chicago santa

While these trees look gorgeous, they are actually a light display that changes color and is beautiful to watch.

Christmas at chicago premium outlets

After one more turn it was time to see Santa!  Will was a tad nervous but a little help from Dylan and he was all smiles.  After a group shot, we broke off into families so the kids could all tell Santa their wishes for this Christmas.

hgtv santa HQ

Mia and Dylan had a great time with their visit.  Santa was so happy to see them!

santa at chicago premium outlets
best chicago santa

I made the mistake of trying to put Will on Santa's lap.  Silly mom.  While Will loves Santa, he was a little scared of the Big Guy up close.  So, total mom fail, but we did get these classic threenager Santa pics.

scared of santa

That lip! Thankfully Santa was a great sport and still promised to help Will out with the big Batman toy he wants if he stays on the nice list.

will and santa.jpg

HGTV's Santa HQ has 15 different locations at Macerich Shopping Centers in California, Arizona, Metro New York, and the Washington, D.C. corridor.  The Chicago area HGTV Santa HQ is located at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont.  You are able to make reservations in advance (YES!!!!) and prepay for photos to avoid the lines and make your time with Santa stress fee.

Santa HQ

Visitors to Santa HQ will also be able to give back by donating an unwrapped toy to HGTV's Help Through The Holidays Giving Drive.  The program encourages visitors to donate new, unwrapped toys for local children in need with the goal of collecting over 1,000 toys per center. In 2016, HGTV’s Help Through Holiday Giving program collected over 66,000 toys benefiting local organizations like Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus.

We just had the best time at Santa HQ!  You can watch our Facebook Lives here and here.  For more information and to make your reservation, visit

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions and comments are honest and our own.