Tag Archives: Santa Claus

Mayor Jacobs Fourth Annual Holiday Heroes Toy Drive

Good news: Mayor Teresa Jacobs‘ Fourth Annual Holiday Heroes Toy Drive was extended!

Not as good news: The deadline is today.

“For me, the best part of the holidays is seeing the joy on our children’s faces,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Together we can help restore the true spirit of the holidays, the spirit of giving and the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what we do best in Orange County.”

Orange County employees and citizens are uniting to help families in need thanks to the efforts of the Orange County Neighborhood Centers for Families, the Community Food and Outreach Center (on Michigan), Wraparound Orange (helps families whose children face social, emotional and behavioral health challenges), Orange County Public Schools and our Orlando Toys For Tots branch.

Mayor Jacobs and one of her youngest residents share a special moment at a Holiday Heroes Toy Drive distribution event last year.

Mayor Jacobs and one of her youngest residents share a special moment at a Holiday Heroes Toy Drive distribution event last year.

If you live in Orange County (heck, even if you don’t!), and want to donate one or many toys, please do so at the following locations:

  • All Orange County Fire Stations
  • Animal Services
    2769 Conroy Rd.
    Orlando, FL 32839
  • Barnett Park Recreation Center
    4801 W. Colonial Dr.
    Orlando, FL 32808
  • Bear Creek Park Recreation Center
    1600 Bear Crossing Dr.
    Orlando, FL 32824
  • Capehart Park
    715 Capehart Dr.
    Orlando, FL 32822
  • Environmental Protection Division
    800 Mercy Dr, Suite 4
    Orlando, FL 32808
  • Goldenrod Recreation Center
    4863 N. Goldenrod Rd.
    Winter Park, FL 32792
  • Human Resources Division
    450 E. South St, 1st Floor
    Orlando, FL 32801
  • Meadow Woods Recreation Center
    1751 Rhode Island Woods Cir.
    Orlando, FL 32824
  • Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Division
    450 E. South St., 3rd Floor
    Orlando, FL 32801
  • Orange County Regional History Center
    65 E Central Blvd.
    Orlando, FL 32801
  • Silver Star Recreation Center
    2801 N. Apopka-Vineland Rd.
    Orlando, FL 32818
  • South Econ Recreation Center
    3850 S. Econlockhatchee Trail
    Orlando, FL 32825
  • Utilities Administration Building
    9150 Curry Ford Rd.
    Orlando, FL 32825
  • West Orange Recreation Center
    309 S. West Crown Point Rd.
    Winter Garden, FL 34787

Top 5 | Santa Claus Meet & Greets at Orlando-Area Malls

by: Mark Schaub

Malls are known for many things — shopping, sure — but what would they be without jolly old Saint Nick during the holidays?

Central Florida Top 5 gives you the top 5 mall meet-and-greets for the big guy himself, Santa Claus.

  1. The Mall at Millenia
  2. Orlando Fashion Square
  3. The Altamonte Mall
  4. Oviedo Mall
  5. West Oaks Mall
Mark takes a selfie with Santa Claus at Orlando Fashion Square.

Mark takes a selfie with Santa Claus at Orlando Fashion Square.

The Mall at Millenia

Now through December 24 | During all mall hours

The Mall at Millenia features Santa in the Grand Court, or rather Hollyville, with festive set decorations that really set the mood and provide a theme park-esque queue.

Available for purchase are candid color photos, sepia-hued black-and-whites, and CD-ROMs. You can also opt for photos on your personal camera and cell phone. Each child receives a complimentary holiday gift. And I heard that this year thy’ll be receiving alpaca gloves! Sponsored by that website. They wanted to have all kids ready for winter and what better way than by giving away some alpaca items which I’ve heard are warmer than cotton.

Orlando Fashion Square

Now through December 24 | 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The city’s first mall, Orlando Fashion Square has been hosting Santa for decades. Not only can your children take a photo with him, your pets can too on Sunday nights now through December 14! Just make sure they’re on leeshes.

Photos on personal cameras and cell phones are free, and professional photo packages are available.

The Altamonte Mall

Now through December 24 | Hours vary

Also boasting pet nights is The Altamonte Mall with their offerings on Mondays now through December 15. You can also participate in “Rudolph Wednesdays”: receive a special Rudolph Activity Pack with the purchase of any Santa photo package on November 26, December 3 and December 10. Find Santa on the lower level at Macy’s Court.

Oviedo Mall

Now through December 24 | Hours vary

Not only can you take photos with Santa, but you can also meet Mrs. Claus! Oviedo Mall will host Mother Christmas on three consecutive Sundays on December 3, 10 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. when she will lead holiday-themed children’s activities. This year she’s planning two crafts and holiday cookie decorating. Join the fun in the community room.

Registration is required. The event is free for Oviedo Mall Kid Crew Members and $5 for non-members. Sign up at www.myoviedomall.com/info/kidcrew.

And not to be outdone, Oviedo Mall offers pet photos with Santa on December 7 and 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

West Oaks Mall

November 21 through December 24 | Hours vary

Santa is trading out the sleigh for a helicopter and you can be there when he arrives! Join him for his grand entrance, milk and cookies, and of course, photos!

If that wasn’t enough, you, too, can take a helicopter ride! Go up for a discount by taking your photo with Santa.

The event is 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., with Santa’s arrival scheduled at approximately 5:15 p.m.

mark sMark Schaub is an Orlando mall enthusiast. A self-proclaimed mallrat, he’s not there to shop, he’s not there to work, he’s just there. Mark has taken his love for malls and turned it into “Orlando Mall Guide” (www.OrlandoMallGuide.com).

Everyone always wonders what happened to the store that closed and what is being built behind that drywall. Mark fills you in and goes beyond the news to explain just who are these mall-walkers and  how you can get a job at the mall. Follow on Twitter at @OMGmalls.