During the pandemic, you never know what's open, what's closed, or if hours have changed. Google and Facebook have been helpful, but I wanted to let you know what's crackin' at the Southgate Mall for the holiday season.

First, and most importantly in my opinion, is that Noodle Express is open. I was under the impression that it was completely closed due to the construction of the new Scheel's in the old JC Penney court, so I've been using the Broadway location exclusively. That's what I get for assuming. Noodle Express is actually open in the Southgate Mall, in the old Bob's Pizza location, to my great delight.

I've only been to the Mall twice, briefly, during the pandemic year, but we got curious about holiday shopping and popped in for a quick visit. A lot of the south wing is closed, Bath & Body Works is open, those yummy smells are important for a proper holiday season. Lucky's is serving as the space for the Saturday Winter Market (9a-2p), and most everything else is open. The Zales jewelry store is under construction, the See's Candy store is back for the season, and the AMC is actually showing films.

Santa photos begin on November 27th. Typically, Santa's arrival is a big deal with hundreds of kids on hand to welcome him to the Mall, but that's a bad idea for 2020. However, Santa will be available for photos through Christmas Eve. I imagine kids and St. Nick alike will be wearing masks in this year's photo, which certainly captures the weirdness that is 2020.

Current Mall hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Sundays, which are noon to 6 p.m.