Shop. Dine. Be Merry!

Holiday happenings are underway at La Palmera, the Coastal Bend’s one-stop shopping destination.
By: Sarona Winfrey

The holidays are in full swing at La Palmera with shoppers taking advantage of all the season has to offer, including great deals and traditional holiday events. The mall expects to see big crowds again this year as guests search for the perfect gift. And although the mall will be busy throughout December, La Palmera offers a variety of guest amenities to make the visit enjoyable.

At Elves Inc., located at Concierge on the main level near Forever 21, guests can rent strollers and wheelchairs, purchase gift cards and request a security escort to their vehicle. The mall also provides ample free parking, including a covered parking garage with direct mall access, as well as valet parking located at the mall’s main entrance between P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Many of those guests will be stopping by to see Santa Claus, who visits with 20,000 boys and girls on average each year at La Palmera. Photos with Santa, presented by Apollo Towing, are available every day in Center Court through Dec. 24 during mall hours, and guests have even more time to shop and see Santa with extended holiday hours throughout the season. A complete schedule of holiday hours is available online at lapalmera.com.

Shoppers can also help numerous Coastal Bend charities again this year through a number of holiday programs, including La Palmera’s charity gift-wrapping. This popular service is available every Friday through Sunday and Christmas week from noon to 6 p.m. beginning Dec. 2. The gift-wrapping station is located on the main level near Concierge where volunteers from local charities will provide their wrapping services for donations:

– Malkan Broadcasting on behalf of Bikes for Kids (12/2-4)
– Dress for Success Corpus Christi (12/9-11)
– Calallen Topcat Dance Team (12/16-18)
– CASA of the Coastal Bend (12/19-21)
– Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas (12/22-24)

Guests can also visit La Palmera’s Forest of Giving, a collection of uniquely decorated trees representing different Coastal Bend charities located near the escalators by Aldo Shoes. Shoppers may cast their vote through Dec. 16 in ballot boxes set up next to the trees; the tree receiving the most votes will win $1,000 for that charity. This year, guests will find trees representing:

– Gulf Coast Humane Society
– Brooke’s Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Foundation, decorated by Tuloso-Midway High School Theater Department
– Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas
– For the Love of Strays
– YMCA of the Coastal Bend
– CASA of the Coastal Bend
– The Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center
– Mission Pawsible
– Montessori School of Corpus Christi
– American Red Cross
– Dress for Success Corpus Christi

“This is the time of year when helping others is top of mind,” said Fred Walters, general manager and vice president of La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera. “We have a number of nonprofits doing great work here in the Coastal Bend, and we are happy to partner with so many of them in an effort to help those in our community. It’s important that we all do what we can to make a difference.”

With more than 130 shopping and dining options at La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera, shoppers are sure to find everything on their gift list. For those who can’t decide, La Palmera gift cards are available in exclusive holiday designs (while supplies last) at Elves Inc. at Concierge, or online at lapalmera.com in amounts from $10 to $500. The cards are good at most retail and dining locations at La Palmera and The Shops at La Palmera, so they make the perfect gift for anyone.

Although the mall will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the holiday rush isn’t over. On Monday, Dec. 26, when the mall reopens at 10 a.m., many find themselves back at the mall, not shopping for others, but instead for themselves using those gift cards they received.

“Our holiday shopping season is really almost a two-part event,” Walters said. “Many of our guests who shop in those weeks leading up to Christmas actually plan to be back and hit the stores again on Dec. 26 to pick up some deals. It’s really a smart thing to do since many stores will have great sales into the New Year. So if someone receives a gift card of any kind, they can get more mileage out of it during that time.”

For more information on La Palmera, go online to www.lapalmera.com, or visit us on Facebook, stop by Concierge or call 361-991-3755.

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