Our Christmas Photos with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Today’s post is sponsored by Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and Twelve Oaks Mall. I am excited to share with you our visit with Santa George at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Keep reading for more details on how to make a reservation at the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, Michigan!

I think I’ve found a new holiday tradition that’s just for my daughters: a Christmas Girls’ Day Out! Yesterday, I took the girls to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets for pictures with Santa George and some holiday shopping. Zhen had been asking me for some time if we could have a girls’ day, just the four of us, so this was a perfect opportunity to make it happen. Before Zaya was born, we would have a girls’ day a few times throughout the year. We always go to the mall, eat our favorite Chinese food, and then do some light shopping.

After Zhen woke up, I gave her a hug and told her, “I have a surprise for you!” She looked a little puzzled, smiled at me, and said: “Okaaay? What is it?!” 

“Today, we’re going to have a girls’ day and we’re going to a BIG mall!” I told her.

Zhen gave me another hug and excitedly asked, “We are?! What mall are we going to?!” 

So I told Zhen we’d be going to a big outlet mall and we were going to take pictures with Santa. That really sweetened the deal for her because she’s been wanting to take Santa pictures for weeks now. It was our first time visiting Great Lakes Crossing Outlets so when we pulled up to the mall, Michala and Zhen were amazed at how big it was. “Wow!” Zhen exclaimed. “Is this the mall we’re going to? It’s huge!” 

Here are a few highlights from our pictures with Santa George.

Pictures with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets


I had scheduled our pictures with Santa George for the afternoon so that way Zaya would already have her long nap time out of the way. By the time we got settled into the mall, Zaya was awake and in a happy mood. I didn’t want her to be fussy during the photo session so our timing worked out perfectly.

I like that we were able to book a photo session in advance because it made it easier for us, especially with the baby. We didn’t have to wait in a long line and the advance reservation was a great way to maintain social distancing.


Since we were planning on looking around the mall, we wanted to make sure we wore outfits that were comfortably stylish. Michala wore a dressy white blouse with blue jeans. Zhen chose a red top with silver Christmas bows and jeans. I put red and white flower clips on one side of her hair to match her outfit. For Zaya’s outfit, I dressed her in a cute, Santa outfit with a burgundy bow for her hair. And I wore a long sleeve, burgundy blouse with black skinny jeans. (I brought along my sneakers for after the photoshoot.)

Pictures with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets


After our picture session, Zhen took a few minutes to chat with Santa George. She sat on the row of cushions that were placed six feet from Santa. She was a little shy at first, but I stayed with her to help her out. Santa George was really friendly and asked Zhen the famous Santa question all kids love to hear, “Ho! Ho! Ho! So what would you like for Christmas?”

Zhen didn’t hesitate at all and started to tell Santa the gifts she’s hoping she’ll get soon. She was even sweet to ask Santa George if her little brothers could get a PJ Masks toy set for Christmas. 

Pictures with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets


Santa’s Flight Academy holiday set is very pretty. When we entered the set, it was just us with the photography crew. Everyone, including Santa George, wears a mask at all times and keeps a six-foot distance from each other.

There are Christmas trees surrounding the set with glittery, faux snow. I like that the trees serve as a border for the photo set because it maintains social distancing precautions to keep families safe.

Zhen loved the walk-through snowglobe (which also serves as the exit of the photo set) because on the inside of it there is a short video of animated elves dancing to holiday music. Of course, she had to have a quick jam session. If Zhen hears music, she will not hesitate to have a dance break! 

Holiday Photos at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Michigan

I’m so happy that the girls and I were able to do a holiday activity together and visit Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. Plus, it is Zaya’s first Christmas and Santa photos so that made the experience even more special!

I know Christmas looks a little different this year, but we are doing our best to keep our Christmas spirits up and enjoy our family time together. It made my mama heart so happy to see my girls’ joy. It has definitely shown me that the magic of Christmas is in our hearts.

You can still book a photo reservation to take your kids to see Santa George at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, Michigan! Below, I have listed everything you need to know. 


Book a Reservation for Pictures with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and Twelve Oaks Mall!

Twelve Oaks Mall 

Dates: Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6

Mall Address: 27500 Novi Rd, Novi, MI 48377

Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Here’s what you need to know about visiting Santa George:

• All photo sessions are by reservation only and require pre-payment. 

• Masks required at all times, including the photoshoot, for guests ages 2 and up (and Santa too!)

• Santa will social distance by keeping six feet from guests at all times.

• Heightened cleaning protocols and hand sanitizer provided.

Visit Santa’s Flight Academy FAQ page to get more details to help you prepare for your children’s visit with Santa George.


It’s really easy to make a reservation for pictures with Santa George. You can click here to schedule a reservation at Twelve Oaks Mall. 

Remember– Santa George will be visiting the Novi mall location on Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. so make sure you book your time today!



2 thoughts on “Our Christmas Photos with Santa George at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

    1. Hi, Kangie! Yes, you are right about the pictures serving as a reminder of 2020. I was telling my husband this, too. I said the photos will definitely be a great way for us to remember what 2020 was like. I hope that my kids will look back on it and remember how we did our best to bring joy during a very challenging time. xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *