Gateway is embracing the festive season on a grand scale, creating unique experiences that bring families and friends together, to make special holiday memories and shopping a pleasure.
By mid-November, much of the super-regional mall in the heart of Umhlanga was transformed into a festive light experience with eight magical scenes and popping photo ops.
“We invite visitors to use what we’ve created as fascinating backdrops to capture holiday fun together,” says Gateway Theatre of Shopping Marketing Manager, Michelle Shelley.
“With enchanting holiday displays stretching the length of the mall, visitors can join the festive light experience at any point and follow the trail of lights to make sure they don’t miss anything,” Shelley says.
Santa has taken over the Expo Explore area to set up a village where there are a host of interactive scenes to enjoy. “It’s a place to let your imagination loose, have fun and take unforgettable pics,” says Shelley.
Using VR to enhance the experience, Santa’s sleigh will be making virtual flips to deliver presents from 3 –23 December. “Hop on and feel the exhilaration of soaring around the world on our Covid-compliant sleigh,’ enthuses Shelley.
The Palm Court promises to be extra-special this summer, dressed up as the ‘garden of light’. With twinkling fairy lights, a suspended swing will be picture-perfect. “The outdoor area is ideal for relaxing over a meal and enjoying summer outdoors,” says Shelley. “In addition to the Lighthouse & Ocean Play area, we will be hosting live music in the evenings from 16 December, turning up the holiday vibe.”
The mind-bending World of Illusions will be dressed up in festive finery from mid-November. “These unbelievable scenarios have been a runaway hit,” says Shelley. “The six rooms all have a festive snap-ready holiday theme. Can you imagine yourself in a snow globe?”
‘A present surprise’ starts the trail outside @home, and the grand scale continues to a walk through the giant bauble for a dash of stardom.
In the centre of the mall, couples can snuggle up close on the colour-changing ‘love in Paradise’ bench, while kids enjoy ‘a teddy bear’s Christmas’ on the other side of the escalators.
Decorated with plush Disney character toys, the impossibly tall giant Disney tree is back on the glass floor at Food Republic. As a Disney, Gateway, Nedbank and SMILE Foundation initiative, the plushes are generously donated to children.
Giving back to the community and offering a valuable service to shoppers, Reach-for-a-Dream will offer gift-wrapping at a station set up in the mall.
Gateway’s extended trading hours make it possible to enjoy more of the mall for longer. From 15 December the mall will be open from 9 am to 10 pm and close at 9 pm from 24 December to 7 January, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s which is optional trading. On New Year’s Eve, the mall will close at 8 pm.
Please see Gateway’s social media, or www.gatewayworld.co.za for trading hours updates and more detail on live acts in the Palm Court. Stay safe this festive season by wearing your mask and practising social distancing.