Santa Claus arrives at Tampa Bay area malls

- It’s that time of year again!  Santa Claus (along with his helpers) is arriving at Tampa Bay area malls, ready to take photos and hear your kids’ most secret Christmas wishes.

It looks like Santa arrives at Tampa’s International Plaza first.  His “Santa’s Flight Academy” experience opens today.

Most Bay Area malls have a schedule of daily appearances.  Many are also offering “Sensitive Santa” dates designed to accommodate children with autism or other special needs.  And a few malls also offer pictures with pets on select days before the rest of the mall opens; check with your favorite mall for timing.   

Here’s the list of when Santa first arrives at Bay Area malls:

International Plaza (Tampa): November 9 (with Signing Santa on Dec. 3)

University Town Center (Sarasota): November 10 (with Sensitive Santa on Dec. 3)

Westfield Brandon Mall: November 10 (with Sensitive Santa on Nov. 26)

Westfield Citrus Park Mall (Tampa): November 10 (with Sensitive Santa on Nov. 26)

Westfield Countryside Mall (Clearwater): November 10 (with Sensitive Santa on Nov. 26)

Westfield Sarasota Square: November 10

Shops at Wiregrass (Wesley Chapel): November 11

Westshore Plaza (Tampa): November 17 (with Sensitive Santa on Dec. 3)

Tyrone Square Mall (St. Pete): November 18 (Sensitive Santa on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3)

Eagle Ridge Mall (Lake Wales): November 18

Lakeland Square Mall: November 18 (with Sensitive Santa on Dec. 3)

DeSoto Square Mall (Bradenton): November 21

Lakeside Village (Lakeland): November 25 (Saturdays only)

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