It's that time of year - when parents are bracing themselves to take the kids to see Santa.
And it seems plenty are willing to pay for the privilege of skipping long queues.
Tickets to do just that at Auckland department store Smith & Caughey's cost $30 and are selling fast.
Smith & Caughey's - known for its elaborate Christmas window displays - has today opened its annual Santa's Enchanted Forest grotto.
The Auckland-based store located on Queen Street is charging visitors $30 per child for pre-booked visits and $15 per child for non-booked visits. Tickets to the walk-through grotto, which is now open for the fourth year in a row, includes a collectible bauble and a keepsake photo with Santa.
Smith & Caughey's project manager Kevin Broadfoot said the best time to beat queues at Santa's Enchanted Forest was before schools break up for the summer.
"Anytime Monday to Friday before the schools break up for summer holidays is good. Weekends are usually the busiest days and the closer we get to Christmas," Broadfoot said.
He said 2500 pre-booked visits to see Santa had already been confirmed and the retailer was expecting many more.
"We introduced the booked Santa room option last year after significant requests from guests from previous visits. With the two options of booked and non-booked wait times for guests who prefer not to book have been significantly reduced."
Broadfoot said popularity in the retailer's Enchanted Forest grotto was increasing every year, seeing approximately 16,000 visitors last year.
Westfield shopping malls around the country, owned and operated by Scentre, have also opened for children to meet Santa in his grotto - between 10am and 4pm.
Entry to meet Santa at the mall is free, but it costs $15 to have a professional photo, or you can take one yourself. There are also activities for children.
Scentre national public relations manager Debra McGhie said the themed Santa sets located at each Westfield mall were rotated on a yearly basis.
The various set themes include a forest scene, castle set, toy shop, snow set and an elf set. Other features include drumming soldiers, fairies, trains, and a gingerbread house.
The Westfield Newmarket Grotto had "more of a walk" in comparison to other sets, McGhie said.
"The Westfield Newmarket Grotto whilst we respect it might not be as big as Smith & Caughey's, it's free to visit, comparable and will delight children."
Lifestyle blogger Anna Reeve, wife of Hauraki radio host of Jay Reeve, has already visited Smith & Caughey's Enchanted Forest grotto.
Reeve posted a photo to Instagram, saying it was her third visit and that it was "a nice tradition".
Tips to get the most out of your Santa visit:
1. Avoid visiting at lunchtime.
2. Try and visit before school is out for summer.
3. Make a day of it so you don't have to rush around.
4. If budget is a worry, take your own picture.