ARDEN -- This weekend is arguably one of the busiest times of year for shopping centers across the country.
Being this close to December 25th, many online shopping orders may not make it in time for Christmas, forcing many last-minute shoppers to an actual store.
As people are getting off of work, many of them have headed to the mall for some last-minute gifts. And if you still have to come to the mall, be prepared to have to fight for a parking spot and to wait in line.
A visit to the local mall Santa Claus is a holiday tradition for millions of families.
“We’re really only here because of Santa,” said mall patron Kristi Conner.
It’s also infamous for being the longest wait at almost any shopping center.
Oscar Ponce said he had to wait, “about a good 30 minutes.”
Ponce says after seeing how happy his daughters were, he didn’t mind.
“It’s a wonderful thing to see the kids smiling,” Ponce said.
And Conner says the wait Friday morning was nothing compared to what she and her two kids have endured in the past.
“We did the weekend line last year, and it wrapped around about 3 different times,” Conner stated.
However, today may have been the calm before the storm.
Entering the final weekend before Christmas, the holiday shopping rush is now in full swing. And malls are expected to be packed.
To avoid the crowds, experts say arrive early, Arden fair mall opens at 9 a.m. Or go later in the evening as some stores are staying open as late as 11.
A lot of the people FOX40 spoke with say they are doing some of their shopping online, but they do want to come to the mall for certain items, like for example clothing, because they say they want to feel the fabric they’re buying.”
“You get a better taste of what you’re going to see and what’s the quality of the things you’re going to get,” said Ponce.
“I’m always cautious of buying clothes that I’m not familiar with the brand name unless I touch them and feel them. The quality, you never know what it’s going to be when you’re doing your last-minute shopping online,” Conner said.
Conner got some gifts on Amazon but says that comes with a risk.
“I ordered two days ago and some of it is arriving after Christmas, so…,” she said.
A risk which is forcing so many other last-minute shoppers to navigate through the crowds.
“I’d imagine this weekend, Saturday and Sunday is going to be pretty scary here,” Conner said.
At Arden Fair Mall, they do want to remind people there is plenty of extra parking spaces in the side lot next to Sears and in the back lot behind the mall.