YORKTOWN, NY With only one week until Christmas and Hanukkah beginning on Tuesday, the Jefferson Valley Mall is seeing brisk business and is a beehive of activity.
Shoppers Saturday said that while the mall was crowded it wasn't crowded enough to discourage shopping. "When I got here I thought it looked bad but, overall it wasn't that bad" said Yorktown resident Brian Lazzano, who was shopping with friend Rob Loftus
"They've got a crowd but it's not packed," added Loftus
College students Brian Lewis and Lois Lerro of Yorktown said they stopped by the mall to browse at the Gamestop store. The two were in very different stages of holiday preparation. "I still have to finish all my shopping," Lewis said.
Lerro, on the other hand, said he finished his shopping a month ago. "This was the first time - I usually wait until the 24th," Lerro said as he held up his bag. "This is for myself."
Andrew Ocasio of Mohegan Lakesaid he was almost done shopping for his family's gifts.
"I got some good deals," he said as he left the mall with several bags. "Hollister seems to have it going on right now. "They're giving out gift cards when you make a purchase as a promotion."
Ocasio said he was happy to see the mall crowded.
"People need to start investing back in the community and shop locally," Ocasio said. "And the mall is packed, so maybe things aren't as bad as they seem."
Director of Mall Marketing & Business Development Lauren Penchina said the Simon-owned mall, the only indoor mall in Northern Westchester, was doing all it can to make shopping an enjoyable experience, including staying open late to accommodate shoppers.
We are open from the 18th to the 23rd from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Christmas Eve were open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Penchina said.
In addition to the traditional Santa set where kids can have pictures taken, the mall is giving out free Ghirardelli Chocolate to kids and adults at guest services and the Santa set, she said.
Live entertainment will also be continuing. On Sunday from 10-10:45 a.m. and 11:30-12:15 a.m. dancers from the Pulse Performing Arts will be on hand and the Yorktown Teen Center will be presenting live entertainment from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Frosty the Snowman will also be walking around meeting children from 6-9 p.m. Events will continue throughout the week.
On Tuesday at 7 p.m., The Yorktown Jewish Center will light the first menorah candle for Hanukkah, with Temple Beth Am and First Hebrew Congregation of Peekskill lighting candles. Temple Beth Shalom will lighting a candle at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
There will also be groups doing gift wrapping for donations all day long from area schools and social groups.
The mall is also helping to raise money for charity. For every purchase of an American Express Simon Malls Candy Cane gift cards over $25 will donate a dollar to the American Red Cross until Dec. 31.
The mall will also have the Rejuvenation Station by the Sears inside entrance, with a wide screen TV, comfy couches, toys and a virtual fireplace and air hockey and foosball tables.
Special holiday deals are listed on the mall website and are printed out at the guest services area and throughout the mall. Shoppers can also access deals through the Simon Malls mobile app that can be downloaded on Apple or Android platform devices, she said.
They can just text the word mall68 to 74666 and that will give them all the exclusive mall offers and event info right to their phone
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