What do you think is worse - a crowded mall before Christmas or driving to that very same mall with a couple of kids? I think it's a toss-up. Last time we drove to the mall as a family, my daughter must have said "Mom" about a thousand times. Yet she somehow still managed to fight with her brother too. (The same brother who was poking me through the space in the car seat just at neck/shoulder level.) The kids are really into "punch buggy no punch backs" right now. And then they fight over who did it first. (Is it just me or are Volkswagen Beetles experiencing a resurgence in popularity? I have the bruised shoulder to prove it!)
It kind of makes you want to give up and do your shopping online. But sometimes (especially with a long holiday gift list) you need to browse shops in person for ideas. And, as Christmas approaches, you might worry about items being shipped to your home in time.
Here's where RBC Avion cardholders have the advantage. The RBC Avion Holiday Boutique at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre is a place that contrasts starkly with the stressful car ride to the mall and the chaotic mall full of holiday shoppers itself.
I recently attended a media open house and got to explore all of the services that are available to Avioners. Starting with free valet parking! That will no doubt come in handy as we get closer to Christmas. And then there is the free coat & parcel check. Because, as experienced northern-dwelling shoppers know, you either dash to the mall sans giant winter coat and freeze on the way, or juggle a heavy coat with all of your shopping bags. The coat check beats both of those options.
Once you ditch the coat, you can enjoy coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit-infused water and some tasty little treats at the boutique's cafe (all free to Avioners!).
Enjoy free gift wrapping while you continue to shop too. There is also a concierge on site to make your shopping easier.
Or take a break from shopping to sit in the lounge and enjoy the live piano music.
The Avion Holiday Boutique is a place for the whole family to escape the frenzied mall for a bit. Children can enjoy a selection of holiday books while Mom browses through magazines. You can also borrow an iPad that's loaded with movies and stories for kids. And there's free wifi!
Okay, this candy was at the media event only (along with hors d’oeuvres and wine) but I just wanted to show it to you anyway, because I think a candy bar like this one would make a great addition to your Christmas Eve open house. (Don't forget to invite me!)
Here's me with a much happier expression than I wore on my face in the car. The Avion Holiday Boutique is truly the perfect place to relax and regroup while you're holiday shopping this season.
In addition to Yorkdale, there are Avion Holiday Boutiques at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga and Coquitlam Centre in B.C. There's a mini boutique pop-up at Halifax Shopping Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia too. The boutiques are open during mall hours from November 22nd to December 31st. While the RBC Avion Holiday Boutiques are for Avion cardholders, the public can access valet parking, coat & parcel check and gift wrapping for a fee.
Follow the hashtag #AvionVIP to see how others are enjoying the boutiques. Visit RBC online for more information.
What's your favourite feature of the Avion Holiday Boutique?
Disclosure: I am part of the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.