Although it’s mid-December, there’s a good chance you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping.
In fact, it’s possible you haven’t even started.
While retail stores, quick-service cafes and sit-down restaurants tend to break out the festive holiday decor in early November, sometimes the holiday spirit doesn’t hit until there’s snow on the ground, Christmas music emanating from every speaker and a frantic panic to get all that shopping done before Christmas Eve.
“Some people need cold and snow to make them realize that Christmas isn’t that far away,” says Eleni Koukoulidis, marketing director with Bramalea City Centre.
While it might take some Bramptonites longer than others to start shopping, there’s no doubt that Bramalea City Centre attracts an enormous number of visitors during the holiday season.
“Typically, on Black Friday and in December, we can get over three million visitors,” Koukoulidis says.
Since Christmas is a little less than two weeks away, you might be wondering how to navigate one of Brampton’s busiest and most bustling shopping centres.
Fear not, we’re here to help!
When To Shop:
This year, Christmas Day falls on a weekend. That means that, starting now, you won’t have many free Saturdays and Sundays to get those last minute gifts, party fixtures and holiday gathering outfits and accessories.
“Now with Christmas Eve on a Saturday, it makes the push a little harder. Weekdays will be crazier than normal because you don’t have the weekend to shop,” says Koukoulidis.
While it won’t be realistic to expect quiet at the mall, there are times when stores will be just a little bit quieter.
“The earlier the better,” she says. “There are days where we open at 8 am. During the week of Dec 12-18, we’re open from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. The week leading up to Christmas Eve, we’re open 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and we’re open from 8:00 a.m until 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 24.”
So, if you want to hit the mall while crowds are thin, you might want to consider hitting the mall nice and early. If you, you can grab a morning beverage from Starbucks, Second Cup, Tim Hortons or Teavana to give you a little extra energy.
Where To Park
One of the more stressful parts of holiday shopping is parking. Often, lots fill up fast and close spots can be hard to come by–and that’s extra annoying when it’s freezing outside and you’re ferrying big packages to your vehicle.
Fortunately, there are options in terms of both spaces and warmth–you just have to make sure you’re at the mall nice and early to nab one.
“BCC has over 6,000 parking spots and my preferred location would be the underground parking,” says Koukoulidis. “It’s warm and free of the winter elements.”
What Events and Promotions Should You Check Out?
Naturally, guests can expect some facetime with Santa during the holiday season. If you’ve got little ones at home, you might be interested to know that it’s not too late to take them to see St. Nick.
Santa will be at BCC from now until Christmas Eve and, for the first time ever, the mall is offering families the VIP Santa Experience.
“It’s new this year and it allows people to book an appointment [with Santa], she says. “There’s toys and crafts and kids get one on one time with Santa. Families can take their own pictures and videos. For $79.95, you get photos and a special ornament keepsake and FashioniCITY members will receive a BCC gift card for $15.00 as an additional thank you gift.”
If you’re interested, you can book an appointment here.
Kids are also free to visit the usual Santa from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Santa will also be available on Christmas Eve from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Where to Shop
If you’re looking for deals and promotions, BCC retailers have plenty of those going on. There are also some brand new stores to check out while hunting for the perfect gift.
“We are pleased to have welcomed Torrid, they specialize in ladies fashions for sizes 10-30, and this past summer we welcomed Sephora to our retailer family, in addition to Foot Locker and House of Hoops,” says Koukoulidis. “ And Topshop/Topman opened before Black Friday in Hudson’s Bay.”
In terms of promotions, you can find deals at Running Room, Jean Machine, The Body Shop and more–so you might want to click here http://bramaleacitycentre.ca/promotions before you head to the mall if you want to search for budget-friendly gifts beforehand.
If you want access to more deals, you can participate in Flash Your App Fridays. If you show your app while shopping on Friday (and you still have two more before Christmas!), you access more deals at participating stores.
Happy Shopping, Everyone!