Adventure to Santa at South Bay Galleria – a new way to visit Santa


Yesterday, my family and I experienced Adventure to Santa at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach at a special influencer/blogger event hosted by Club MomMe. There are 12 of these pop-up Shrek themed Dreamworks DreamPlaces across the United States, and two in London, England this season (click here for other locations). It was unlike any other Santa village I’ve seen before. Here’s what we experienced:

The exterior is animated with a Shrek theme

Santa’s house is quite a sight to see. Windows open and close, and Shrek characters smile and appear to be inside the house, but are actually on LED screens.

Here is a quick clip from my Instagram feed

Games and activities while you wait to see Santa

The idea behind the Dreamworks DreamPlace is there is no waiting in a boring line to see Santa. Instead,  families book a time for their “boarding pass” either online or in person. Upon check-in time, they are guided through a 15-17 minute experience. Eight reservations are admitted at a time. Past the big, red front door…

Sled racing game on a tablet

There is a cute sled racing game for the kids to play on tablets in the first room, which is actually a race against the other activated tablets. You get to choose the type of sled for your game among other fun options. First place winner has their choice of where to sit for the next experience (most kids choose to sit in the first row).

Sled riding experience

The next room reveals a beautiful sled and a big screen, for families to have a “virtual” sledding experience. Here, the floor shifts to coincide with the adventure on the screen. It’s a safe and fun ride, although my 2.5 year-old daughter clung to me the entire time.

Decorate a Gingy

In the final room before meeting Santa, guests can decorate their own Gingy ornament. Using an app on the provided tablets, this experience is exclusive to Dreamworks DreamPlace guests. Your design is saved online and available as a 3-d printed ornament available for purchase at

Meet Santa

Each reservation is ushered in one at a time to meet Santa. Doors open to reveal Santa greeting you while sitting on a velour couch. It’s great for kids who are familiar with Santa, or who are too young to be afraid, but the whole Santa experience might be a little much for 1.5 through under 3 year old crowd. My daughter Aria was terrified, so we should have prepared her a little better for it (post on that coming soon). Overall, for the ones who are comfortable with Santa, it’s a nice, cozy set-up and a beautiful backdrop.

Buy Stuff

In the tradition of theme parks, this experience has a gift shop at the end. There are plenty of cute stuffed characters for sale that will help your child remember what a fun time they had!

More photos



For more information:

Adventure to Santa at the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach

Dream Place Experience Website

Gingy’s Cookie Maker – FAQ

Club MomMe

Check out the hastag #adventureSBG on Instagram for photos from other guests’ experiences at Adventure to Santa at South Bay Galleria!