Christmas time is here, no doubt! There are massive lines at every mall filled with families anxiously waiting to sit on Santa’s Lap.

For some families though, this is not the case. For so many children with Autism and sensory processing disorders, visiting Santa and his elves creates a different kind of anxiety. The crowds, the lights and the music are far too much for them, and it is a nightmare for not just the children but their parents as well.

Can you believe that there are events nationwide that cater to children with Autism and sensory processing disorders? What a relief to parents of these wonderful children that Sensitive Santa is available! At these events specifically designed for all special needs families, you and your family can come visit Santa with lower lighting and quieter surroundings in a “sensory friendly” environment. They keep musc very low or have none at all, and events are kept to a one or two hour limit to avoid long lines and the crowding special needs children need to avoid.

Here is a list of some of the events. It is hard to find ALL of them, but if you don’t see your area here, search for Sensitive Santa in your city online to see if there will be one near you.

 

CALIFORNIA

Puente Hills Mall in City of Industry, California
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
 
Weberstown Mall in Stockton, California
 Contact: Marci Blower  MBlower@glimcher.com

COLORADO

Town Center in Aurora, Colorado
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
RSVP here: http://community.abilitypath.org/Events/Caring_Santa_Aurora_CO
 
Colorado Mills in Lakewood, Colorado
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
RSVP here: abilitypath.org
 

CONNECTICUT

Autism Family Fun Day at Bounce Town in South Windsor, Connecticut
Saturday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:30 am
No reservation needed
 
 FLORIDA
 
 WestShore Plaza in Tampa, Florida
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Email wspevents@glimcher.com or call (813) 286-0790
http://whatsdoingtampabay.com/2012/11/westshore-plaza-to-host-a-sensitive-santa-event/
 

GEORGIA

Heritage Christian Church in Fayetteville, Georgia
Friday, November 30 – Sunday, December 2, 2012
For more information, visit www.heritagechristian.org or call the church office, 770-716-5768
http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/11-27-2012/heritage-plans-christmas-events-kids-special-needs
 

MAINE

The Maine Mall in South Portland, Maine
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Contact Stefanie Millette, 207-828-2063 x 224
http://www.mainemall.com/events/sensitive-santa
 

MASSACHUSSETTS

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church Function Room in Hopedale, Massachusetts
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
RSVP via email at info@senseabilitygym.com 
http://milford-ma.patch.com/blog_posts/hopedale-non-profit-to-hold-sensory-friendly-holiday-party-with-santa
 
The Auburn Mall in Auburn, Massachusetts
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
RSVP here: http://community.abilitypath.org/Events/Caring_Santa_Auburn_MA
 

NEW JERSEY

La Regia in Secaucus, New Jersey
Saturday, December 1, 2012, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
$25 per ticket
Write to Janine at sweetpea569@hotmail.com for tickets
 
Quakerbridge Mall in Lawrence Township, New Jersey
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
RSVP here: abilitypath.org
 

NEW YORK

Church of the Resurrection, 325 East 101st Street in New York, New York
Saturday, December 22, 2012, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Email Kat at kat@tommyland.org to RSVP
 

OHIO

Indian Mound Mall in Heath, Ohio
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
http://www.unitedwaylc.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=19
 
River Valley Mall in Lancaster, Ohio
Sunday, December 2, 2012 (no time listed)
Contact Brenda Miller at brmiller@glimcher.com
http://www.rivervalleymall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145405452
 

OKLAHOMA

Tulsa Promenade Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 11:00 am
Email Eileen Neighbors at eneighbors@glimcher.com
http://www.tulsapromenade.com/news/sensitive-santa-sun-dec-2/2129980214
 
New Towne Mall in New Philadelphia, Ohio
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
http://www.newtownemall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145394887
 

PENNSYLVANIA

Colonia Park Mall in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Contact Susan Ariail at sariail@glimcher.com
http://www.colonialparkmall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145405698
 
637 College Avenue (Steinman College Center at Franklin & Marshall College) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Contact Sugey at sugey@tommyland.org for more information
 

TENNESSEE

The Mall at Johnson City in Johnson City, Tennessee
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Email Marsha Hammond at mhammond@glimcher.com
http://www.mallatjohnsoncity.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145405073
 
Governor’s Square Mall in Clarksville, Tennessee
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
RSVP at www.abilitypath.org/santacares
http://www.theleafchronicle.com/article/20121127/NEWS01/311270029/Santa-meet-special-needs-children-Clarksville
 

WASHINGTON

SuperMall in Seattle, Washington
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:45 am (reserved time slots)
Email cherburger@glimcher.com or call 253.833.4401 to RSVP
http://www.outletcollectionseattle.com//event/sensitive-santa-2012/2145405221
 

WEST VIRGINIA

Morgantown Mall in Morgantown, West Virginia
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Contact Harry or Sarah at (304)983-6200 or sshaffer@glimcher.com
http://www.morgantownmall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145406362
 
Grand Central Mall in Vienna, West Virginia
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Contact Katrina Stephens at kstephen@glimcher.com
http://www.grandcentralmall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145404709
 

WISCONSIN

Alexian Village Retirement Community, Pavilion Building 9225 N. 76th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Saturday, December 15, 2012, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm 
Event is free but register here: http://www.assew.org/2012/10/08/holiday-concert/