The holiday season can be stressful for anyone. For a child with sensory processing issues, though, it can be overwhelming. Recognizing the need for sensory-inclusive environments, more special events are being offered with adjustments like dimmed lighting, reduced crowds and easier accessibility. Here are some sensory-friendly events to make your holiday a little easier.

A Visit with Santa

Sugarloaf Mills. Dec. 5, noon-7 p.m.

Cumberland Mall. Dec. 5 and 12, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Perimeter Mall. Dec. 5 and 12, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Lenox Square Mall. Dec. 12, noon-6 p.m.

Mall of Georgia. Dec. 12, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

ChanceLight Autism Services Decatur. Dec. 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Sensory-Friendly Performances

Georgia Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. Dec. 2, 7 p.m.

A Christmas Carol at The Shakespeare Tavern. Dec. 4, 2 p.m.

A Kids’ Christmas at Johns Creek United Methodist Church. Dec. 18, 2:30 p.m.

Sensory-Friendly All Year

These area attractions have accommodations for guests with sensory processing issues, including early admission, lower lighting and quiet areas: The Children’s Museum of Atlanta hosts Sensory Sundays on select Sunday mornings. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History has Sensory Sensitive afternoons on the last Tuesday of every month. Tellus Science Museum offers quarterly Quiet Mornings.

The Georgia Aquarium has expedited entrance lines, designated quiet zones and sensory bags with noise-cancelling headphones, sunglasses, fidget devices and communication cards. The Aquarium’s staff are trained in working with guests on the spectrum.

At the College Football Hall of Fame, team members are trained in sensory awareness; guests can check out sensory bags with noise-cancelling headsets, fidget tools and verbal cue cards or relax in one for the designated quiet areas.

-Mary Williams

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