Columbia Center decks the halls for Santa’s visit

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Book appointments for Santa photos online

Avoid the lines for a photo with Santa at Columbia Center mall by reserving an appointment in advance.

Children can share their Christmas wishes and get photos with Santa beginning Nov. 18 through Dec. 24 outside the Sears store.

Parents can reserve times with Santa online at

“One of the great traditions of holiday shopping at Columbia Center mall is the annual family visit to the Simon Santa photo experience,” said Meredith Reed, director of mall marketing at Kennewick’s Columbia Center, in a news release. “Santa can’t wait to greet children bringing him their holiday wishes.”

Columbia Center also provides children with special needs and their families an opportunity to enjoy a sensory-friendly time with Santa through the Caring Santa event, in partnership with Autism Speaks. It’s from from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3, prior to the mall opening. Guests can register in advance at

Pets also can spend time with Santa.

Pet Photo Night with Santa is from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, after the mall closes. Afterward, the Santa set gets an extensive cleaning following the event to remove any potential risk to allergy sufferers.

Columbia Center’s other holiday festivities include:

  • The holiday parade and tree lighting event on Nov. 18. The parade is from 9 to 10 a.m. and ends at Columbia Center for the tree lighting at 10 a.m. Festivities will continue inside the center until 1 p.m.
  • Guests can enjoy live holiday entertainment through December.
  • Holiday gift wrapping is available to benefit the Simon Youth Foundation and Rainbow Girls organization.

Santa’s visit is sponsored by Gymboree Group, a specialty retailer operating stores selling apparel and accessories for children under the Gymboree, Gymboree Outlet, Janie and Jack, and Crazy 8 brands, and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Visit the Simon Santa Photo Experience and receive a “Despicable Me 3” activity sheet and watch highlights from the movie.