Santa’s been in town for a while.
He has taken up daily “residency” through Dec. 24 at the Manteca Bass Pro Shops store in The Promenade at Orchard Valley off of the 120 Bypass and Union Road in Manteca.
Yes, those channeling Santa this time of year are a dime a dozen, there is a reason why visiting with the jolly old guy at Bass Pro is an experience that families travel from throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley to do every Christmas season with their young children.
It is because a visit to Santa at Bass Pro Shops isn’t your standard standing in line for an hour inching forward with a candy cane perhaps as a reward for your antsy and impatient child experience.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops is just that — a wonderland — with an online reservation system for a visit that includes a free 4 by 6 studio quality photo that assures a trip to see Santa isn’t a trip to test your stamina when it comes to standing in line.
There are also games, activities and — if the timing is right — free gifts.
Kids can mail their wish list to Santa and enjoy activities led by his helpers.
Photo sessions are offered daily. Reservations can be made online at www.basspro.com.santa up to seven days in advance.
There is the added bonus of being able to wander around what has been described as “America’s most unique outdoors sporting goods store”.
Where else do you enter a store by passing through a 56-foot replica of the General Sherman — the world’s largest tree by volume — that’s in Sequoia National Park?
You can spend hours just meandering through the 120,000-square-foot store marveling at 125 native fish species in a 24,000-gallon freshwater aquarium bellowing a 30-foot soaring replica of Yosemite’s El Capitan as well as trout swimming in a pond, checking out the replica, view numerous murals depicting the great Northern California outdoors and enjoy more than 3,500 area artifacts, antiques, pictures, mounts and memorabilia plus pictorial and tributes to John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt.
As an added bonus, if your “sleigh” is a Tesla or other EV, there is a Tesla Supercharging station in the parking lot as well as other chargers.