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PINETOP-LAKESIDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)--There's a little extra holiday magic happening in Arizona's White Mountains this Christmas.  

Santa has a brand new workshop, and families from around the state are invited to come visit.

"Santa's White Mountain Adventure" opened this past weekend in Lakeside.  The idea was born after last season's lackluster snowfall meant a pretty quiet tourism season for communities in the White Mountains. 

"We got our heads together and we thought, 'You know what?  We need something in the White Mountains," said one of the organizers, Mark Chilton. 

"We have a magical area up here, and Christmas is a big part of the mountains.  And we thought 'Why don't we build a toy factory?' We could put something on up here to draw people up, and everybody can enjoy it."

They talked to Santa and he was on board. 

"I think Santa's been looking over this area for quite a few years," said Chilton.  "And so we put some feelers out, and sure enough Santa said 'I'd love to put a toy factory up here.'"

Inside the toy factory, kids first step on the "naughty or nice meter" before helping elves make and test holiday toys. 

There are plenty of cookies and hot cocoa for refueling after all that hard work. 

Mrs. Claus also visits with kids, reading to them from holiday storybooks.

You can write and mail a letter to Santa.  You also get to visit with the big guy himself and take a photo.

But the toy factory isn't the only stop on Santa's White Mountain Adventure.  There are several other official adventure stops around Pinetop-Lakeside. 

There's an elf photo booth at the Green Tree Inn. 

You can make your own Christmas ornament at The Burly Bear. There are a few more, and if you go to all the stops, you can get your ticket stamped for a chance to win prizes.

The town hopes this idea will become a tradition for Arizona families, boosting tourism in the region.

"We're really creating a lot of Christmas magic up in the White Mountains.  And hopefully it'll go on and on each year. " 

You can find more info and ticket prices for Santa's White Mountain Adventure here:  https://www.santaswhitemountainadventure.com/

 


Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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