Two years ago I went out and had a visit with Santa Claus at the Northwoods Mall. I didn’t go last year because I had some trouble at the mall with a security guard, that kind of got out of hand. You’re not supposed to take pictures in there and we got into an argument about that and both of us lost our tempers with each other. You can see that post here. After I put that up it kind of went nuts on facecrack and I felt a little bad about it and was actually a little embarrassed about the whole thing. I did hear from someone that worked there that I had been banned from the mall, which I thought was pretty funny, but wondered about doing my annual counting of the gumball machines there. Well, I went out last year and made peace with the security guard I had gotten into it with. We both laughed about it, shook hands and he even got me special clearance to do my annual counting of the gumball machines out there and all was well.
So this year I want to go back and do a little play on my “Can I Eat My Lunch In Here” posts and do a “Can I Eat My Lunch With You...Santa Claus?” post. The security guard was so nice last year, I don’t want to push my luck with him, but I’m kind of obsessed with doing this, so we’ll just do what we always do here. We’ll just go there and see what happens!
And here we are at the Northwoods Mall! This is the entrance in front of the food court.
As we go in, there’s a sign saying that Santa is indeed here! But can we have lunch and take pictures of it without a big hassle? Well, let’s go see!
Okay, this is the food court and my plan is to just take pictures on the sly and that way no one will be the wiser till we get to Santa Claus.
I had to figure out what kind of lunch to take along with me for our visit with Santa Claus. I decided against pizza, that might be too sloppy and I also ruled out the Famous Wok for the same reasons. I did note the Mrs. Fields Cookie stand, you should really have some cookies if you’re going to try to have lunch with Santa Claus after all!
This is the place I decided to get lunch at, Steakhouse & Fries. I got a Philly Chicken sandwich and had them cut it in two pieces, one for me and one for Santa Claus! I told them to hold the fries because I just wanted a small lunch container so I wouldn’t have a big honking thing to travel with as I continued to take my secret stealth photos.
Okay, here we go, Santa’s always down on the lower level near JC Penny’s. I have to admit being a little nervous. If I don’t get these Santa lunch pictures it’ll wreck my whole day.
There’s my old friends, the gumball machines! See you this January!
Well, we’re almost there, time to get all Pulp Fiction-like and get into MBIP character! Time to shed the nervousness and get to work.
Here’s an aerial view of Santa in his Christmas island down there. It’s really pretty magical looking, an oasis of lights and festivities in the middle of mundane mall activity.
Okay, we’re down on ground level and so far, no security guards and no problems, time to keep moving forward...
Hey look, we got a wave from Santa, I’ll take that as a cue to get up close and...
Get a formal portrait of Santa Claus in his chair at Northwoods Mall!
And check it out, that’s a real beard on Santa, this isn’t some dime-store look-a-like, I think he’s the real thing! And look at his thumb, it lights up like E.T! I’d phone home, but Sgt. Squeak doesn’t have a cell phone, so what’s the point, maybe I’ll get him one for Christmas! He also showed me his portable “naughty or nice” watch on his wrist and it immediately went to “naughty” as I looked at it. It must have a direct line to the Peoria Heights Police Department! (Private joke alert!)
Okay, time for the moment of truth. I took out the sandwiches and asked Santa Claus if I could eat my lunch with him...and he said...yes!
And so it’s lights...camera and...
Lunch with Santa! Santa said he’d pass on his half of the sandwich as he’d already had lunch. He asked what I wanted for Christmas and I told him I just got it, I had lunch with Santa Claus and who could ask for a better present than that!
Oh and I didn’t forget the cookies! Thanks to Amanda for taking the pictures and for Santa for having lunch with me! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Santa Claus At The Northwoods Mall (Lower Level)
2200 W. War Memorial Drive