Sitting on Santa’s lap and sharing a Christmas wish list is just one of the many activities that has been impacted by the coronavirus this year. With a number of holiday events canceled or greatly modified, children have fewer chances to meet Santa and take photos.
Two local businesses are stepping up to give local families the opportunity to meet Santa in a socially distanced and safe event this weekend. Commercial real estate group Charleston Commercial and Mount Pleasant-based child care service provider Annie’s Nannies are teaming up to present Santa on Shem Creek.
On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13, families can visit with Santa at 97 Church St. in Mount Pleasant — site of the former R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant closed earlier this year, and the property was sold in a deal brokered by Charleston Commercial.
The Santa on Shem Creek event will offer appointment-only times with Santa as well as a first-come, first-serve option.
Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13. Book appointments by calling Annie’s Nannies at 843-654-4266 or emailing [email protected]. Families will be given a 15-minute appointment with Santa. They will have the option to ask Santa to wear a mask. Children can either sit on a bench with Santa or on a bench placed a few feet in front of Santa. Appointments are $35 per family and include a professional photo that will be delivered digitally.
First come, first serve Santa visits are available from 1-4:30 p.m. (families must be in line by 4 p.m.) on both Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13. Admission is one, unwrapped toy per family to benefit Toys for Tots. A professional photographer will be taking pictures that will be delivered digitally.
Safety precautions and social distancing measures will be strictly enforced. All family members will be required to wear face coverings (they may be removed briefly for photos with Santa). Everyone attending will be required to have their temperature taken. Families waiting to see Santa will be spaced 6 feet apart. Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
There is a fee for those parking in the lot in front of the former R.B.’s restaurant.
“I was hearing from parents who were disappointed their children wouldn’t have the chance to visit with Santa this year,” said Kylie D’Andrea, owner of Annie’s Nannies. “As a mother myself, it really pulled on my heartstrings. I hated for children and families to miss out on such a special and iconic Christmas memory.”
D’Andrea connected with Joshua Schaap, managing director for Charleston Commercial, to create a safe, outdoor opportunity for kids to meet Santa.
“Charleston Commercial is deeply rooted in this community. We live here. We work here. When Kylie called, we jumped at the chance to help spread some Christmas cheer in what’s been a tough year for so many local families,” Schaap said.