As residents gear up to begin their annual holiday shopping, La Palmera is once again preparing to kick off a number of programs designed to provide special seasonal services while assisting community organizations.
Although Macy’s and JCPenney will open late Thanksgiving Day, La Palmera officially will be closed. JCPenney will open at 2 p.m. and Macy’s at 5 p.m.; shoppers may access the stores through the outer doors of each as the mall entrances will not be open. On Friday, Nov. 23, the mall doors will open at 6 a.m. for access to select stores opening early, with all stores opening by 10 a.m. A full schedule of early store openings will be available at lapalmera.com .
Meanwhile, many of La Palmera’s annual holiday events are already underway.
Boys and girls are invited to stop by for visits with Santa Claus, presented by Apollo Towing, every day through Dec. 24 in Center Court during mall hours. Guests may pre-purchase their photo package and reserve a time for their Santa visit with a FastPass, available online at lapalmera.com .
Now in its tenth year, “Pet Night with Santa,” presented by Apollo Towing, will return for six nights beginning in November. Guests may bring their favorite dog or cat Monday and Tuesday evenings, November 19–20, 26–27 and Dec. 3–4 from 5-8 p.m. As always, the events feature a local organization benefitting animals, including Gulf Coast Humane Society, Mission Pawsible, Kanines and Kitties, and The Cattery Cat Shelter. Only dogs and cats are permitted, and all animals must remain on a leash or in a carrier at all times.
Guests can once again take advantage of La Palmera’s charity gift-wrapping service every Friday through Sunday beginning Nov. 30, and the entire week before Christmas. The gift–wrapping station is located on the Main Level near Concierge where volunteers from local charities will provide their wrapping services for donations each of those days from noon–6 p.m.: The Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center (11/30–12/2), Relay for Life — American Cancer Society (12/7–9), Bikes for Kids (12/14–16), Coastal Bend Blood Center (12/17–19), CASA of the Coastal Bend (12/20–22) and Foster Angels of South Texas (12/23–24).
The Santa Cares program for special needs children will be held Sunday, Dec. 2 and 9, from 9–11 a.m. These events provide a sensory-friendly environment before the mall opens — no fountain, no background music, no crowds — giving those with developmental or physical challenges and their families more time to enjoy quiet one-on-one time for photos with Santa. Provided in partnership with Autism Speaks and Cherry Hill Programs, which oversees photo programs at La Palmera, guests can make the required reservations online at lapalmera.com .
La Palmera will host a special Breakfast with Santa on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.–noon in Center Court as part of the monthly Tide Turners Kids Club event. Designed for kids 5 and under this free event includes arts and crafts, story time, refreshments and more.
The Salvation Army bell ringers will also be stationed in their traditional locations at select mall entrances.
For more information on La Palmera and holiday events, go to lapalmera.com or call (361) 991-3755.