Santa Claus Is Coming to Town — By Reservation Only

November 20, 2017, 11:54 AM UTC

Santa is now available by reservation only, Macy’s says.

This year, the Macy’s store in New York City’s Herald Square is implementing a reservation system for a seat on Santa’s lap for the first time in its 155 years of playing host to Old St. Nick. The new system is intended to cut down on long lines and wait times that have become a problem in recent years.

Thanksgiving is still three days away, but bookings are already available for Santa’s first five days on the job.

From November 24 to December 24, visitors be able to make a Santa reservation online as many a five days in advance. Admission to see Santa is free, but professional photo packages start at $20.99.

In previous years, Macy’s has made an Express Pass available to those who wanted to skip the line, but pass holders had to skip a portion of the store’s Santaland experience inexchange for the privilege. The retailer says the new system will give everyone the advantages of the Express Pass while also letting them take in the full Christmas spirit.

The Herald Square Macy’s isn’t the only place to see Santa in New York City, but with all its frills it is seen as the definitive one. Of course, you could just skip the whole thing and spare your kids from the embarrassing photos.