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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.
CALIFORNIAPuente 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 [email protected]
COLORADOTown 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
CONNECTICUTAutism 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 [email protected] or call (813) 286-0790 http://whatsdoingtampabay.com/2012/11/westshore-plaza-to-host-a-sensitive-santa-event/
GEORGIAHeritage 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
MAINEThe 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
MASSACHUSSETTSSacred Heart of Jesus Church Function Room in Hopedale, Massachusetts Sunday, December 2, 2012, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm RSVP via email at [email protected] 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 JERSEYLa Regia in Secaucus, New Jersey Saturday, December 1, 2012, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm $25 per ticket Write to Janine at [email protected] for tickets Quakerbridge Mall in Lawrence Township, New Jersey Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 am RSVP here: abilitypath.org
NEW YORKChurch 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 [email protected] to RSVP
OHIOIndian 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 [email protected] http://www.rivervalleymall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145405452
OKLAHOMATulsa Promenade Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 11:00 am Email Eileen Neighbors at [email protected] 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
PENNSYLVANIAColonia Park Mall in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am Contact Susan Ariail at [email protected] 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 [email protected] for more information
TENNESSEEThe Mall at Johnson City in Johnson City, Tennessee Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:00 am Email Marsha Hammond at [email protected] 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
WASHINGTONSuperMall in Seattle, Washington Sunday, December 2, 2012, 8:00 am – 10:45 am (reserved time slots) Email [email protected] or call 253.833.4401 to RSVP http://www.outletcollectionseattle.com//event/sensitive-santa-2012/2145405221
WEST VIRGINIAMorgantown Mall in Morgantown, West Virginia Sunday, December 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 11:00 am Contact Harry or Sarah at (304)983-6200 or [email protected] 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 [email protected] http://www.grandcentralmall.com/event/sensitive-santa/2145404709
WISCONSINAlexian 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/