Meeting Santa at the shopping mall is pretty much a rite of passage for kids these days, but The North Pole Adventure at Ridge Hill is a much different, more exciting and interactive experience … and it’s free!
The Holiday Cottage
The Adventure is housed in a 2,000-square-foot holiday cottage located right next to the Cheesecake Factory. The attraction, a DreamWorks DreamPlace, is brought to you by the movie studio behind favorites such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon. The cottage is very impressive from the outside, adorned with garland, lights, and some huge LED screens. Kids will certainly be entertained as the animated characters from Shrek dance in and out of the simulated windows.
Once you step inside, you begin a guided tour that lasts about 15 minutes. The first stop is a room with a big curtain that says “Santa.” But once it’s pulled back — oh no! — Jolly Old Saint Nick is nowhere to be found! Of course, there’s no need to worry, because Shrek and Donkey show up to save the day. The characters direct everyone into the next room, where guests can create their own sleighs to follow Santa to the North Pole. Small tablets are set up around the room and everyone can choose a color, seats, and even jet packs for their ride.
Once that task is complete, your guide will take you to the next room, where a real sleigh is waiting to take everyone on a fantastic flight. The room is a mini theater with a wrap-around screen in front. Shrek and Donkey (along with some of their friends) lead the way through the night sky toward the North Pole. Parts of the journey almost feel like a rollercoaster. The animation makes it seem as if you’re flying up high and then gliding down a mountain. And make sure you hold on tight, because the sleigh shakes! Plus, you’ll get a bit wet and windblown as you move through the wintry scenes.
After the ride ends, you exit to the next room where an elf is waiting with games to play. Tablets are once again used as kids try to earn “nice points.”
And Then …
Then comes the moment everyone has been waiting for … a face-to-face with Santa himself! Following tradition, kids can sit on Santa’s lap and talk about those holiday wish lists. Staff members will also take photos, available for purchase in the adjoining gift shop. But it’s not only pictures that you can buy, because your kids’ interaction with Kris Kringle is also captured on video. Pretty neat.
Ridge Hill is one of only seven locations in the country that has a DreamWorks DreamPlace this holiday season. To attend just make a reservation online or through a special app (hours vary). It is open through December 24th.
The North Pole Adventure
A DreamWorks DreamPlace
Through December 24th
Book online at:
Or download the DreamPlace App
1 Ridge Hill Blvd.
Yonkers, NY 10710