An abandoned mall transformed into 'winter wonderland' for Milwaukee kids

Maria Sergeeva
December 21, 2017

Christmas time is a wonderful time when even a place which looks more like an ideal location for a horror film, an abandoned mall, can turn into a "the most crazy winter wonderland imaginable."

And this is when any trip becomes possible, even in the Winter Wonderland of your dreams, And it is just the case of the Northridge Mall, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which became the most wonderful present for the Boys and Girls Club.

This mall was abandoned since 2003 and would probably never have brought joy and happiness without YouTube star Casey Neistat and Samsung.

Neistat, whose YouTube channel has more than 8.3 million subscribers, and his crew partnered with Samsung and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee to fulfill the clubs' kids dreams in two steps.

First, the night before the video shoot was planned, the crew offered to the kids various types of Samsung gadgets so they can shoot their own videos just like famous YouTube bloggers.

According to a post on the Boys & Girls Clubs site, members of the clubs' video production and STEM programs each received a Samsung Chromebook Pro, and the Fitzsimonds Boys & Girls Club was given a television and 30 Samsung Note8's for use in programming. Those were not the gifts the club's receive for every holiday, so they wept tears of joy.

It seemed the excitement of this project had already peaked, but less than 24 hours later as school let out, two busloads of Club members were transported to Northridge Mall where Neistat met them at the mall entrance and revealed why Samsung Note8s should beready for filming. In the middle of the mall was a winter wonderland right out of a child’s dream – fluffy snow, a giant, edible gingerbread house, an ice rink, train rides, sledding down escalators, a Santa bearing gifts, and of course, hot chocolate.

Till the last moment kids didn't know what the abandoned mall was hiding behind its walls.

«No doubt was this experience fun, but it goes much deeper than that. It was clear in that moment, in that space, our kids were special, and they felt it. Why else would people go to so much work to create this dreamlike experience? In the middle of an abandoned mall, these children could forget their problems, their worries, and be lost in joy.», according to the post.

Neistat also recruited some other YouTube stars to join in on the fun, including Akilah Hughes, Dotan Negrin, Jesse Korgemma and many others, according to the video’s description.

Neistat said goodbye to the surprise kids by donning a Santa suit and was pulled to the roof of the mall by a giant drone.

Neistat's Christmas videos are very popular. Last year's, "Human Flying Drone," has been viewed nearly 9.3 million times.