Posted: 5:00 am Friday, November 4th, 2011
By Emily Roach
Some little pockets of Palm Beach County are starting to feel a lot like Christmas.
Walk into Christmas, Etc. at CityPlace where you can wander among the miniature Department 56 Villages and train sets. Then stroll over to the kid-sized train in the plaza for a ride. The tree is up too.
Tree lightings, ice skating rinks and snowfalls start soon and last all the way through the Christmas and Hannukah celebrations. Shopping has already started, though predictions say we’ve cooled our spending since last year.
When I asked Bill Laughlin, owner and manager of Christmas, Etc., what his prediction for the holiday season was, he noted (on Wednesday) that we were only two days out of Halloween so far. But for a holiday-themed store, “For us, it’s always been good,” he said.
After 14 1/2 years at Belvedere Road and Interstate 95, Laughlin moved to CityPlace, at least for six months. The old store, which is about twice the size of his temporary quarters, needs an overhaul. But Laughlin said he’s considering making the move permanent.
The Mall at Wellington Green is busy with holiday plans.
“Our Ice Palace display is currently under construction in the Grand Court,” Marketing and Sponsorship Director Rachelle Crain said in a recent email. “Santa will be available for photos on Thursday, November 10th.”
Saturday, Nov. 12 is MallStars Breakfast with Santa from 8:30-10 a.m. It’ll feature entertainment and gift bags for the kids and a complete breakfast. Space is limited, so make your reservation now.
Sunday, Nov. 20, and Dec. 4, is Paws ‘N Claus from 6:30-8:30 p.m. These pet photos with Santa (cats and dogs only) take place after mall hours and you need to wait outside the Food Court entrance.
Saturday, Nov. 12 is the tree lighting with a whole slate of activities highlighted by an ice skating performance by Palm Beach Ice Works. The ceremony starts at 6 p.m.
Then the 1,300-square-foot synthetic ice rink will be open to the public starting Nov. 16. Twenty minute sessions are $5 including the skate rental; hours 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday.
Nightly snowfalls happen at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with an additional 8:30 p.m. snowfall Thursday through Sunday.
The Gardens Mall “celebrates one holiday at a time,” new Marketing Director Dana Romanelli said.
That means Santa arrives after Thanksgiving — Nov. 26, in fact.
The mall will hold an event before Santa’s arrival, slated for 9 a.m. that Saturday. The holiday gift wrap suite will open on Black Friday and this year it will be a “relaxation oasis,” Romanelli said. The Salvation Army Tree begins Nov. 25.
Boynton Beach Mall
Saturday, Nov. 12, marks Santa’s arrival, heralded by a dancing procession around the mall. Photos begin at 6 p.m.
Pet photos available at 11 a.m. Dec. 11.
Town Center in Boca Raton
Santa arrives Friday, Nov. 11. Photos are available starting at 6 p.m.; pet photos available from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12. Appointments required: call 303-807-7893.
Breakfast with Santa is 8:30 a.m. Dec. 10 in the food court.