Santa arrives at local mall this weekend

Christmas officially arrives this weekend at Gwinnett area malls.

Santa will arrive at Mall of Georgia as part of an all-day Santabration event at 3 p.m. today in the Village Pavilion at the mall, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. The event will include live entertainment and holiday festivities culminating in the mall's annual tree lighting at dusk. A free screening of "Polar Express" will follow the tree lighting.

Photos with Santa will be available today through Dec. 24 in the lower-level Nordstrom wing at Mall of Georgia. Pets can get their photos taken with Santa from 6:15 to 8:15 p.m. Dec. 2.

At Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Santa will arrive at 11 a.m. Nov. 10 in the center court of the mall, 2100 Pleasant Hill Road. Photos with Santa will be available daily through Dec. 24, and pet photos with Santa will be taken from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 18, 25 and Dec. 2.

Discover Mills will host its annual Santa Parade, featuring cast members from Medieval Times, at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at the mall, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville. Photos with Santa will be available from Wednesday through Dec. 24 near the Bass Pro Shops in the mall courtyard. Pet photos with Santa will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

Festival of Trees, featuring designer trees created to honor patients and families of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, will run Dec. 2-9 at Gwinnett Place and Discover Mills malls.

For more information, visit www.simon.com.