People mingling on the lawn at the foot of the lit Christmas tree at night at Easton Town Center

8 Ways Easton is Safely Driving Foot Traffic This Holiday Season

December 2nd, 2021

By Jennifer Peterson

Easton launched the 2021 holiday season in style on November 19 with our Grand Illumination—a family-friendly, center-wide celebration that included live music, costumed characters, special holiday trees and the simultaneous illumination of more than 2 million lights throughout the whole property. Spreading out the lighting installations as opposed to hosting a single tree lighting ceremony made sense, to avoid a large crowd congregating.

This year, the Easton team has taken what we’ve learned from last year’s pandemic-fueled holiday and created experiences that mix old with new. From our iconic holiday lighting kickoff to activities with Santa, carriage rides and more, we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure foot traffic remains strong, while staying safe.

Here are just a few of the creative, family-friendly holiday experiences we’re hosting at Easton in 2021. 

The Easton Lodge
We converted Easton’s flexible activation space—which this summer was home to our Prosecco Plaza concept—into an outdoor Après Ski-esque environment dubbed, The Easton Lodge. This social space will feature heaters, cozy seating, blankets, games and more. The Lodge will serve as a hub for winter activities at the Center. 

Seasonal Tenants
Aside from welcoming more than 20 new, permanent tenants in the last year, Easton is also hosting several seasonal pop ups. In our Station Building, the Santa’s Ornaments brand is back, along with our newest Shop/LAB tenant, the Glenn Avenue Soap Company. Also, returning to Easton is Wanderlust Shops, offering gifts from around the world, as well as the Columbus Fashion Alliance Marketplace, feature 5 local DTC businesses, showcased in a brick & mortar space for the first time.

Winter Wonderland
Santa-related activities are as timeless and pervasive a tradition as shopping centers themselves. This year, though, the Easton team has converted an open tenant space into the “North Pole”, an enchanting Winter Wonderland, complete with over 50 holiday trees, whimsical décor and beautiful windows created by local fashion design students. A reservation system and social distancing markers will assist with crowd control. 

Photos With Santa
Similar to pre-pandemic photos with Santa, we will strongly encourage reservations to manage flow. Families can take their own photos for free, or get a special 5×7 for only $5, making the Santa Experience as accessible as possible. Other deluxe packages are also available. Back by popular demand, we’ll be offering a limited number of personalized videos from Santa, to serve those still not comfortable returning to an in-person environment.

Carriage Rides
Horse-drawn carriage rides have been a holiday staple at Easton since our inception, and this year is no different. We work with a local stable to give guests a magical experience with rides throughout the center’s North District and Fenlon Square. Of course, we are taking extra precautions to keep people safe—including thorough sanitizing and digital queuing.

Menorah Lighting
In addition to our Grand Illumination, Easton will be hosting a Menorah Lighting on December 4 as our way of being as inclusive as possible for community members to celebrate the season. Spreading out the lighting installations and ceremonies makes good sense and allows for more celebratory moments.

Complimentary Photos
On December 4 and 11, Easton’s professional photographer will be stationed at one of Easton’s most photogenic spots, the Central Park Fountain. Guests will be able to get their photo taken, printed and/or texted and cherished forever—all at no cost. This simple, safe experience gives people a memorable takeaway that keeps our Center top of mind when they think about holiday shopping and enjoying the season.

Surprise and Delight
In addition to all of these wonderful planned activities, Easton will have plenty of surprise and delight moments as the Center welcomes elves, live musicians, buskers and carolers every weekend (and every weekday, too, closer to the holiday). These delightful little moments help imprint the memory of Easton into the families that visit, ensuring a return year after year. 

There’s still so much to enjoy and to explore this holiday season, and Easton is doing it all in a safe and responsible way.

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