My youngest has a hard time going up to meet Santa. He is autistic and needs more time to warm up to a guy he only sees once a year. Most trips to see the jolly guy we go at odd hours to try to avoid a line, then Brady ends up standing off to the side, showing Santa a toy and leaves before getting a photo with him. The crowds, waiting, lines and “hurry up” feeling just gets to be too much. I’m so happy to hear that Southlands Mall in Aurora, Colorado is partnering with the Autism Society of Colorado to bring back the Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience. AMC is also holding a special sensory friendly viewing of Pixar and Disney’s new movie “The Good Dinosaur” on the same day!
DENVER, CO Nov. 25, 2015 — ‘Tis the season when kids, with lists in hand, eagerly wait in lines for their turn to sit on Santa’s lap. But, for children with sensory processing disorders and autism, this holiday tradition is overwhelming. Southlands Shopping Center and Autism Society of Colorado are doing their part to change that with the 3rd Annual Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience. Children with sensory processing disorders and autism are invited to Southlands Shopping Center on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 for a special visit with Santa and a Sensory Friendly Movie Day at AMC Southlands 16 Theatre.
“We are proud to have created a program that allows everyone to enjoy the spirit of the holidays,” said Joyce Rocha, director of marketing for Southlands. “Through our partnership with Autism Society of Colorado, we are able to give these children the chance to experience the same holiday enjoyment as others, except in a much quieter, less intimidating setting,”
For the Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience the shopping center will provide a dimly lit, noise-reduced setting for children to enjoy a private meet and greet with Santa from 8:00 to 10:00 am. The event will take place on Main Street between American Eagle Outfitters and The Children’s Place. This photo session is complimentary and limited to children with sensory processing disorders and autism. Santa photo packages are available for purchase and pricing can be found at: www.shopsouthlands.com.
To participate in the Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience, please RSVP by Friday, Dec. 11 by 4pm to (303) 903-1627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMC Southlands 16 Theatre will also show a sensory-friendly film for the children and their families who attend the Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience. This is part of a nationwide initiative to offer kids affected with sensory processing disorders a chance to enjoy a day at the theatre. The movie, “The Good Dinosaur,” will be begin at 10am and be shown with the lights on and the sound turned down. Attendees are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing as they please. Tickets will be available for purchase for $5 at the Sensory-Friendly Santa Photo Experience or at the AMC Theatre Box Office. Seating is limited.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the Colorado autism community and we are thrilled to collaborate with partners like Southlands to spread the joy of the holidays to everyone,” said Mikayla Houser, executive director for Autism Society of Colorado.