As a new mom to a child with additional needs, I was scared to death to take Olivia to see Santa during her first holiday season. She went through a phase where she wouldn’t even let me hold her, only my husband. Do you know how hard that makes the days upon days we were spending together? She was afraid of everyone and she instantly bristled and often screamed when anyone was near. Something about his big strong arms and a horrible singing voice that put her at ease. There was no way I was taking her to see Santa or the Easter bunny, and certainly, we weren’t leaving the house at Halloween. Until I found out that there are opportunities for us to tailor her experience on these special occasions. There are folks out there that understand these concepts better than I did, and I’m grateful I didn’t let my fear of her reaction dampen her opportunity to enjoy holiday traditions.
I remember being enthralled with Santa as a child (and my parents did a great job of keeping up the act until that year we found video footage of Dad laying out all the Santa gifts :/) and wanting to make sure that I communicated appropriately that those interchangeable New Kids on the Block watches were the only thing that would do this year. I’m grateful for organizations like Cherry Hill Programs and Autism Speaks that have partnered with the South Plains mall to provide a more educated approach on how to make the Santa visit an experience that EVERY child will enjoy. There is no tradition worth making anyone uncomfortable and we have a duty to our children to know better and then DO better.
This year, the South Plains Mall has taken an inclusive approach and scheduled a session where the general hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season will be muted for our friends that prefer a quieter and more comforting setting. All ages and all abilities are welcome and encouraged to join Santa and take a flash-free picture prior to the public opening of the mall. SPM has gone to great lengths to ensure accommodations are made to support the sensory, physical, and developmental needs of this special audience.
This sensory-friendly opportunity will be held on Sunday, December 1st from 10am until noon. Santa visits will continue when the mall is open to the public until 6:00pm. If you can’t make it today, view the full schedule on their website. Visiting Santa is free of charge and all children are welcome. However, if you’d like to purchase a photo package and see options for a Fast Pass, you can find the details here: https://www.southplainsmall.com/Events/SantaPhotos_2019
BONUS! As an exclusive offer for the Lubbock Moms Blog crowd, show this post on your device and receive a FREE 5×7 with the purchase of any photo package during the month of December, courtesy of our friends at South Plains Mall!
We’d love for you to join us on December 1st and the rest of the month to visit Santa at the South Plains Mall. Santa visits are welcome daily now until he leaves for his biggest night of the year on Christmas eve. Post your pictures for all of us to enjoy and have a happy holiday season!
Additional Details and Daily Santa Hours
SUN (12/1): 12:00 PM-6:00 PM, BREAK: 2:30 PM-3:15 PM
MON-FRI (12/2-12/6): 12:00 PM-8:00 PM, BREAK: 3:00 PM-4:00 PM
MON-SAT (12/7-12/23): 10:00 AM-9:00 PM, BREAKS: 1:00 PM-2:00 PM / 5:00 PM-6:00 PM
SUN (12/8, 12/15, 12/22): 11:00 AM-7:00 PM, BREAK: 2:30 PM-3:15 PM
TUES (12/24) CHRISTMAS EVE 8:00 AM-6:00 PM, BREAK: 12:00 PM-12:30 PM
November 11- December 16 every Monday evening from 4-8pm.
Breakfast with Santa Saturday, December 7 Enjoy a delicious breakfast, exciting entertainment, and amazing giveaways. SEE DETAILS
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the
needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing
understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder, and advancing research into causes and better
interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Go to AutismSpeaks.org to learn more,
donate or join a fundraising walk.
About Cherry Hill Programs
Cherry Hill Programs represents over 96 years of combined experience and thought leadership from the
most respected pioneers in the experiential photo industry. They bring the magic with authentic Easter and
Christmas Experiences for the young and young-at-heart. Cherry Hill Programs operates in hundreds of
premier retail and entertainment venues across the U.S. and Canada during the Christmas and Easter season,
utilizing innovative technology and authentic characters. Their mission is: Delivering a magical
experience. Every time. Visit www.cherryhillprograms.com.
Don’t forget to check out the LMB Advent Holiday Advent Calendar for more fun around town in December!