But the Trafford Center has found a way to make the experience safe within the current Level 3 restrictions in place in the area, according to mall officials.
Its new Reindeer Lodge will open on the top floor next to the main dome between November 17 and December 24.
The children will first meet Norbert, an adorable young reindeer who aspires to drive the sleigh on Christmas Eve and who wants to share a very magical secret of his own.
Before meeting Santa, the kids will be invited to collect some magical reindeer food and bring it home to sprinkle outside to help Norbert’s reindeer friends take flight.
Santa will then wait in a sparkling and comfortable cabin. The little ones can approach the front of their sled from a safe distance of two meters to say hello and share their Christmas wishes, before having their picture taken and receiving a gift.
There will also be cave experiences suitable for autistic people, with smaller groups of visitors, quieter music, and specially trained characters.
Zoe Inman, Center Director, said: “Here at the Center, we look forward to celebrating Christmas traditions with our visitors all year round.
“We know how special it is for families to meet Santa Claus and share these very important Christmas greetings.
“While the holiday season may be a little different this year, we are delighted to bring this charming experience to our little visitors and their families, sprinkling a little extra magic over the holiday season. “
What do you think of the cave plans? Give your opinion in the comments below
Bosses say the experiment was carefully evaluated and designed in accordance with COVID-19 rules.
Hand disinfection points will be located everywhere and the cave will also be cleaned regularly.
It will operate at a limited capacity, allowing five groups per session – all of which will be remote from each other.
Each child will receive a disinfected spoon and a gift bag to collect their reindeer food.
They will move through the area from one section to another in a structured format, keeping a safe distance from other groups.
Tickets will be sold for a maximum of five people per group, and people should only visit with members of their household or blow bubbles in accordance with level 3 restrictions.
There is a maximum of two adults per group. Those wishing to add a sixth person to their group should contact the customer support line to arrange.
Adults and children over 11 years old must wear a face mask (unless exempted).
Tickets cost £ 10.50 per child and £ 5.50 per adult and must be booked online prior to arrival at tickets.eskimojoevents.co.uk/trafford_2020.