Legendary Santa During the Pandemic: Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there WILL be Legendary Santa this year! The Children’s Museum is pleased to be able to offer this holiday tradition to our community during such a difficult year.

Have additional questions not answered in the FAQ? Please email santa@childrensmuseumofrichmond.org and we will assist you as soon as possible.

Families come from across the country and even across the ocean to take part in the magical tradition of seeing Legendary Santa. To ensure your family’s visit is the best it can be, here are the ways we have to operate during this global pandemic:

How do I see Legendary Santa? 

We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer both in-person and virtual visits with Legendary Santa for the 2020 season. This year, ALL Legendary Santa visits must be reserved in advance through tickets available for purchase on our website.

What types of tickets are there? 

There are multiple ticket packages including in-person and virtual options.  

What are the In-Person ticket package options?  

There are two timed ticket package options available for in-person visits with Legendary Santa. All tickets must be purchased in advance on our website. There will be no possibility to walk in and wait in line to visit with Santa, as there has been in previous years. One timed ticket includes a visit with Legendary Santa for up to 6 individuals. If you have more than 6 individuals in your party, you will need to book an additional ticket for the same 10-minute window of time. This will ensure that all members of your party will enter Santa Land during the same window of time.

Please note: Children under 1 are not included in your group’s total head-count.

  1. Legendary Santa Chimney Time Tickets – Timed tickets to see Legendary Santa come down the chimney LIVE are just $65. One timed ticket includes a visit with Legendary Santa for up to 6 individuals AND 1 free emailed photo of your visit with Legendary Santa.
  2. Legendary Santa Visit Tickets – Timed tickets to visit with Legendary Santa are just $30. One ticket includes a visit with Legendary Santa for up to 6 individuals AND 1 free emailed photo of your visit with Legendary Santa.  

What are the Virtual ticket package options? 

Virtual Visit with Legendary Santa Ticket Package – Tickets for a LIVE personalized virtual visit with Legendary Santa are $25. One virtual visit ticket includes a ten-minute virtual visit with Legendary Santa for up to six individuals. The visit will include personalized details related to the children in your party.

Will Tea with Santa at the Hilton Richmond Downtown be offered this year?  

The Hilton Richmond Downtown is pleased to offer a virtual version of their Tea with Legendary Santa experience. Details and tickets for Virtual Tea with Santa are coming soon!

When will tickets be available? 

Tickets will be available for purchase by Children’s Museum of Richmond members only on October 29. Tickets will be available for purchase by the general public on November 2. Tickets may be purchased on the Children’s Museum website.

Why do I have to purchase a ticket to visit with Legendary Santa? 

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Like many non-profits, the pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for our organization. We simply could not afford to offer Legendary Santa this year without asking guests to purchase a timed ticket. Your ticket includes an emailed Legendary Santa photo and supports our mission to inspire growth in all children by engaging families in learning through play. 

What if I need a refund? 

All ticket packages are non-refundable. In the event of a pandemic-related Children’s Museum of Richmond/Legendary Santa closure, we will make every effort to transfer all reserved in-person tickets to live or prerecorded virtual visits. 

What will my in-person visit with Legendary Santa look like this year 

Your visit will be as full of Santa magic as ever before!  

  1. First, you will purchase a timed ticket on our website for a 10-minute window of time. You should arrive 10 minutes prior to your ticket time. 
  1. Every member in your party aged 5 and older is required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth. A mask is strongly encouraged for children over age 3.  
  1. Ten minutes before your ticket time, you will enter the Children’s Museum. You may wait briefly in the Museum lobby while socially distanced from other guests. *If you have purchased a chimney time ticket, you will then be ushered into Santa Land where you will watch as Legendary Santa comes down the chimney before proceeding to step 5.
  1. You will be ushered into Santa Land where you may wait briefly before your turn to visit with the Snow Queen.  
  1. Your party will visit with the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen will be wearing a face mask and will be seated behind a protective plexiglass panel.
  1. After your visit with the Snow Queen, Santa will call you over to see him. Santa will not be wearing a face mask, as he will be seated in his chair behind a protective plexiglass panel.  
  1. A Stage Manager will ask your group to sit on the bench placed in front of the protective Plexiglass.  
  1. The photographer will then invite you to briefly remove your face mask for your photo. You will be able to instantly view the photo taken via a large digital screen within the room. Once the photo is taken, you will immediately put your face mask back on.
  1. You will talk with Santa, having the opportunity to tell him what you want for Christmas. 
  1. You will exit Santa Land and proceed to the cashiers’ desk, located in the Museum Lobby. Here you will select your photo, provide an email address for your free digital copy of the photo, and purchase any additional poses or printed photos.
  1. Once your photo selections have been made, you will exit the Museum with wonderful memories of your visit with Legendary Santa! 

What will my photo look like? 

The Legendary Santa team has been hard at work to ensure that your photo with Legendary Santa will be a positive addition (or start) to your collection. Photos with the plexiglass panel have been tested to ensure that you will receive the highest quality photo possible of your visit with Legendary Santa!  

How will I know which Santa I’m visiting? 

As in previous years, we will not be able to publish a chair schedule ahead of time.  

What about Santa’s Elf?  

Santa’s elves are busier than ever preparing toys and gifts for 2020. As much as they would enjoy coming to Santa Land, they will not be able to appear on stage with Legendary Santa this year. A Stage Manager will be assisting both Legendary Santa and visitors to ensure a safe and magical visit. 

Will the Fawn Shop be available? 

Due to social distancing requirements, the Fawn Shop will not be open this year. The Children’s Museum Gift Shop will be open and a selection of Fawn Shop gifts will be available for purchase in the Children’s Museum Gift Shop.

Will the Holiday Village be open?  

The Holiday Village will be available to view in the Lobby and will feature a brand new contactless “I-Spy” experience. Guests will not be able to enter the individual Holiday Village homes due to social distancing requirements.

Will the Post Office be open to mail letters to Santa?  

The mailbox to send letters to Santa will be available; however, the Post Office itself will not be open due to social distancing requirements.

Are Sunrise and Sunset with Santa tickets also available?  

The traditional Sunrise and Sunset with Santa tickets are not available this year. For those who have purchased Sunrise and Sunset with Santa tickets in the past, we encourage you to purchase a Chimney Time with Legendary Santa ticket, as this will provide you with the most comparable experience.  

Are Santa Club Memberships available 

Due to the necessity for timed tickets for visiting with Legendary Santa, Santa Club memberships will not be available to purchase.  

Do I have to wear a face mask?  

Yes. All guests aged 5 and older are required to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth. A mask is strongly encouraged for children over age 3. The face mask may be removed briefly for the photo with Legendary Santa only. Masks may not be removed for photos with the Snow Queen or any other portion of your experience in Santa Land and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. 

Can my child sit on Santa’s lap?  

Legendary Santa will be seated in his chair behind a protective plexiglass panel. Guests will be seated on a bench in front of Legendary Santa’s plexiglass panel, and will not be able to sit on his lap. 

What other COVID-19 precautions are being taken? 

Admission and capacity are being limited to ensure social distancing. 

Santa Land surfaces will be sanitized throughout the day. The photography bench will be sanitized between each and every group visiting Legendary Santa.  

Germicidal UV lights have been installed in the HVAC system servicing Santa Land for near constant air sterilization.

What if I am not comfortable visiting in person? 

LIVE Virtual Visits with Legendary Santa will be offered in December. Tickets may be purchased on the Children’s Museum website.

If I have a question or need assistance, what should I do? 

Please note that our museum locations are open for limited hours and our staff is limited due to the pandemic. Phone calls may not be answered or returned immediately. The best way to reach us will be via email: santa@childrensmuseumofrichmond.org. We appreciate your patience.

The Children’s Museum holds the right at any time during the Legendary Santa season to update any and all procedures for the safety of our team and guests.