As retailers enter their busiest time of the year, some of the Valley’s largest retail centers are going beyond the traditional mall Santa gimmick to attract holiday shoppers off the internet and into their stores.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield-owned malls in Canoga Park, Valencia and Sherman Oaks will feature family-friendly ice rinks and roaming carolers; Caruso’s outdoor Americana at Brand in Glendale has already dressed up its main courtyard as “Santa’s Workshop,” complete with appearances from a few North Pole elves; The Oaks Shopping Center in Thousand Oaks has set up a Christmas tree farm selling Douglas firs and white pines decorated by local businesses; and, in addition to serving hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies, the Sherman Oaks Galleria will host an “elf magic show” and ornament decoration station...

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