Santa and his elves have another busy schedule this holiday season, which is why it's a good idea to plan ahead for your family's visit with him.

Santa will be at the Empire Mall in Sioux Falls through Christmas Eve on Monday through Saturdays and on Sundays too.

Santa's hours change the closer it gets to Christmas. Reservations are strongly encouraged, but walk-up guests are also welcome.

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This year the "Caring Santa" event sponsored by Autism Speaks is on Sunday, December 3 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM. Reservations are required for this event as it is specifically for children who have special needs.

Santa is also more than happy to take holiday photos with your pets. This special day will be on Sunday, December 10 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. The best entrance to the mall for this event is by Athleta. The mall asks that you have your pet on a leash at all times and that you bring something to clean up any unexpected "surprises".

For more information and reservations for the "Santa Experience" at the Empire Mall see the website.

A Survival Guide For Your First Winter in South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the rest of the Sioux Empire (AKA southeastern South Dakota) are welcoming thousands of new residents every year.

Many of you new folks will be experiencing your first eastern South Dakota winter. While it doesn't usually get as bad as our Dakota friends up north, I speak from experience when I say it can get a little rough.

So, to help ease you into winter in Sioux Falls and South Dakota here are some winter survival tips: