Original story appeared in the Webster County Citizen
On Saturday, November 12, Santa will officially arrive at Santa’s Wonderland at 79* Bass Pro Shops locations nationwide to start the 2016 holiday season. With a little holiday magic, Santa’s Wonderland transforms Bass Pro Shops into a sprawling Christmas village featuring free photos with Santa and free family holiday activities, crafts and games. This year families can also help Bass Pro Shops and AMVETS send a quarter-million cards to active military and recovering veterans overseas and at home.
The magic begins at 5 p.m. local time on opening day when customers can greet Santa, enjoy free cookies, McSteven’s hot chocolate and carols. Children are invited to help Santa light up the outside of the store and a big Christmas tree in the main entrance at participating locations.
“Offering free photos with Santa and craft activities at Santa’s Wonderland is a way for us to say thank you to our customers and communities. Last year we provided more than one million free photos with Santa,” said Stan Lippelman, Bass Pro Shops Vice President of Marketing. “We are also proud to partner with USO and AMVETS to thank the men and women of our armed forces who make all of this possible. We cannot thank them enough for their sacrifices.”
In the spirit of the season, Bass Pro Shops again this year invites customers to support service members, military families and veterans at stores across the country through a donation program for the United Service Organizations (USO) and AMVETS. Beginning on Veteran’s Day, November 11, through the end of the year, customers can round up their purchase and donate the balance to the nonprofit organizations. Families can also complete one of 250,000 cards that AMVETS will deliver to active duty military and recovering veterans. The efforts are just one part of Bass Pro Shops significant commitment to supporting active duty military, veterans and their families including employing thousands of veterans and offering a monthly military/veteran discount.
About Santa’s Wonderland
Nobody celebrates Christmas like Bass Pro Shops. For the ninth year, Santa’s Wonderland will transform Bass Pro Shops into an immersive holiday experience with rustic Christmas cabins, animated holiday characters, interactive talking caribou, and live elves set amongst snow-covered hills, illuminated Christmas trees and an arctic sky. The Christmas village offers remote control trucks, a laser arcade and a foam toy arcade. Families can also spend time at one of the activity tables where they can write a letter to Santa and make Christmas decorations and handmade crafts to take home, all for free.
Get a time, skip the line
The highlight of Bass Pro Shops Santa’s Wonderland is the big guy himself. Guests can enjoy family activities and avoid waiting in line with the free Bass Pass system. Upon arrival in-store, visit the Bass Pass Ticket Depot located at the entrance of Santa’s Wonderland to pick up a time-stamped pass. Return to see Santa at the time marked on the Bass Pass to share Christmas wishes and take a photo. Bass Pass reservations are only available in-store on a first-come, first-served basis; weeknights have the most availability.
Families visiting Santa Claus receive a free 4 x 6 studio-quality photo, and a digital Christmas video card to share online with family and friends.
New In-Store Activities in 2016
- Holiday greeting cards for veterans – 250,000 cards provided in-store for customers to personalize from November 11 through December 16; Bass Pro Shops to mail on their behalf, in partnership with AMVETS
- A big dig excavation area where kids can try out a new ride-on digger and control the scoops and shovels
- Lincoln Logs building area for boys and girls to create anything they can imagine
- An activity center for kids to play games and test out fun new toys of the season
Christmas Wish List Giveaway
Fans can also tune in online where celebrities from the world of sports and outdoors will share their photos with Santa on social media and followers can submit custom photo captions for a chance to win great prizes. Customers have the chance to win their Christmas wish list and share the generosity with a member of their community. For more information and to enter to win your Christmas wish list, visit www.basspro.com/santa.