We’ve all heard of, and probably had, children’s photos taken with Santa Clause. But what about families who count their four-legged friends as part of the family?
My schnauzer Nelson with the big man in red.
For a few years now Sydneysiders have been able to take their pets to have their very own photo with the big man in red. Some do photos with the whole family, some just of your pet with Saint Nick, but most will allow you to choose.
Santa waving at the eager crowds.
For me, I chose to go to the Home HQ shopping centre at Atarmon. Here, they have free digital photos for your family or pet. You simply line up, taking a ticket to ensure your place, and they will take a few photos for you. You are then shown the photos, of which you will get to choose one. They will then email it to you straight away – they do not do printed out copies, which seems fair when it’s free. The whole process is so quick that I had the photo in my email inbox before I had even actually left the shopping centre.
Home HQ at Atarmon has an offer for a free digital photo.
At Home HQ, they also have a staff member on hand especially for dealing with the dogs. The day I went there was a well-trained lady who not only gave advice on keeping our dog comfortable with his suddenly strange surrounds, but gave him a lot of cuddles too. There is also a fenced-off area with a water bowl, so dogs don’t have to be around the crowds while they wait, and any children who are also waiting won’t be scared. These photos only run on select days, but don’t worry, you haven’t missed out. You can still get your pet photo taken with Santa there on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December, between 10:00am and 3:00pm.
The photo is then emailed to you straight away.
There are plenty of other options for getting your pet’s photo taken with Santa in Sydney. Another option that is great is going to one of the many places that are doing them in conjunction with the Animal Welfare League NSW. Prices for these vary from a donation to a set price, but the proceeds go to support stray and abandoned pets in the AWL’s care over the Christmas period. Some require bookings, so for information and locations check out their website awlnsw.com.au .
Getting ready for the big event.
There are also a number of Westfields that have a few designated dates and times for pet photos with Santa this year. This differs from location to location, as does the cost, so it’s best to check out the website for your local Westfield if this is the option that appeals to you.
It might seem a strange thing to do for some people, but I say why not? It gave my dog a bit of a different outing, not to mention some socialising. It gave my friends and family a good laugh when I emailed the photo around as a Christmas greeting. And it got me in the festive spirit. And when you can have all that for free, or by supporting a worthwhile charity, what is there to stop you?
Where: Various locations including Home HQ Atarmon and various Westfields
Why: For the novelty of it
Cost: Ranges from free to $15
When: Between now and Christmas
Good for kids: Yes - some locations allow you to have family photos with the pet