Visting Santa: Awesome Experience at Abt!

When I had my first child, I knew visiting Santa was high on our list. What I didn’t realize is what a racket it had become- $47 for a “photo package,” and I wasn’t even allowed to snap a few of my own photos on my phone.

I don’t even remember my mom paying for photos when I was little- we brought our own camera, went to sit on Santa’s lap, told him all about the Jem and the Holograms, Get in Shape Girl Ribbon Dancer Kit, and Sweet Secrets that I wanted, and that was it. No massive quantities of money (large enough to support a starving third world child for a year) changed hands.

Me (left) and my sister Amy- I was about Charlotte’s age!

I was incredibly disappointed, and the magic of Christmas lost a little bit of luster. I decided not to pay the exorbitant fee and tried to find somewhere more reasonable.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to stumble across a wonderful location while our family was shopping for home theater equipment at Abt. I took a walk around with our then two year old while my husband talked subwoofers and amps with the salesman. I wanted to show him the fountain they have in the main lobby area, but instead stumbled across Santa! Luckily, Bryson was down to hop on his lap and smile for the camera. A little bit of that Christmas magic snuck back into our lives, and I was incredibly thankful to Abt for providing this opportunity for my family.

This year, we grabbed lunch at BurgerFi (which, if you haven’t been, it is just around the corner from Abt and the food is amazing, check out my review here) and made our way to Abt. I was even more impressed- they had a Frozen theme throughout the entire lobby! You could make a snowman, a princess crown, get your hair braided Elsa-style, and even send letters to soldiers overseas.

Frozen-themed fun at Abt in Glenview

Making crowns at Abt for the holidays- Frozen theme fun!

I quickly tossed my 11 month old to Santa hoping to catch her by surprise and delay the inevitable “strange man cry” for a minute- worked like a charm.

Charlotte's first photo with Santa 

My 3 year old decided to hide behind my husband’s legs, refusing to sit on Santa’s lap. Santa looked at the despair on my face as I tried every trick in the book, and said, “Don’t worry, I will be here all afternoon. Take your time.” So my husband took a walk and talked to Bryson, and we eventually came back. I think Santa was about to take a break, but saw Bryson approaching with trepidation and gave him a fist bump and sat back down. He spoke to Bryson on his level and didn’t rush, and even beckoned the rest of the family in for a photo. They then print the photos out for your for FREE and put them in a paper frame.

Family photo with Santa at Abt in Glenview!

Oh, and I did I mention Olaf was there?!

Olaf visits Abt fo the holidays!

I just wanted to say thank you to this Santa and Abt for giving these memories to my family!

To confirm hours for Santa, give them a call: 847.967.8830. They usually list them on their Facebook page here: Happy Holidays!