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“Santa Cares” Experience Creates Holiday Magic for Children With Special Needs

Published: 10/28/2016

Salmon Run Mall presents sensory-friendly photo sessions with Santa exclusively for families of children with special needs

Watertown, NY— Salmon Run Mall is presenting Santa Cares on Sunday, November 20th, welcoming children with all spectrums of special needs to a photo environment supportive of their sensory, physical and developmental needs.  The sensory-friendly event will take place prior to public hours on Sunday, November 20th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in a comforting and physically accommodating setting designed to lessen behavioral triggers associated with this bustling time of year.

The nationally recognized Santa Cares event will take place at the Santa Photo Experience in Bon Ton Court, in partnership with Autism Speaks, AbilityPath.org, and The Noerr Programs, a leading digital event imaging company providing the Santa Photo Experience at venues across the nation. This year, Hasbro Toys is providing Play Doh for families to play with at activity tables before their visit with Santa. 

“Many children with special needs have never had the opportunity to experience the joy and tradition of a magical visit with Santa.  That’s why we are participating in Santa Cares, to create a compassionate, welcoming environment. We will open prior to public hours and create a calmer atmosphere by dimming lights, muting music and fountains. Families will enjoy fun activities while anticipating their private visit, instead of waiting in lines that make some children anxious,” said Karla Woods, Marketing Director at Salmon Run Mall.

Santa Cares fulfills our dream of providing a comforting and physically accommodating experience for families with children that have special needs,” said Judy Noerr, Noerr Programs CEO. “We appreciate the participation of Salmon Run Mall in supporting this heartwarming program, allowing more families to share the magic and tradition of the holidays.” 

The private event begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 11:00 AM at Salmon run Mall, in Bon Ton Court when the mall opens to the public. This year, families that purchase a keepsake photo package during Santa Cares will also receive a bonus gift of four Christmas Photo Cards. Families are highly encouraged to RSVP in advance, to reserve their time slot at www.SantaCares.com.