Green Ogre in a Red Suit- Unique Santa Experience Opens at Oakbrook

Written for Chicago Parent Going Places magazine- Winter 2014

Meeting Santa is one of the signature moments in childhood, but after a couple of times, it starts to become a little same old, same old. This year, you can make new memories at the immersive Adventure to Santa, which debuts at Oakbrook Center in November.

Created by DreamWorks Animation, the creative minds behind such hit franchises as Shrek, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon, this 2,000-square-foot holiday cottage combines the latest technology with magical storytelling for a unique and personalized experience for today’s tech-savvy kids.

One of seven nationwide and the only one in the Midwest, Adventure to Santa includes five rooms with fun and interactive activities as well as six different light shows. Shrek, the curmudgeonly ogre, and his hilarious sidekick, Donkey, guide you on a free 15-minute adventure to Santa’s workshop. Guests can customize their leather-seated sleigh for a personalized picture package of 12 photos and a video with Santa for $50.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, your specially provided passports will be processed at the North Pole Customs Shop by one of Santa’s elves.

This eye-popping experience will be available Nov. 18-Dec. 24 during Oakbrook Center’s hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Skip the long lines and make an appointment online at or via the DreamWorks DreamPlace app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Adventure to Santa promises an unforgettable experience infused with humor, storytelling and a bit of Christmas magic.

As Shrek himself would say: “That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.”