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

Lenox Square Mall Caring Santa. Dec. 1, 8-10 a.m.

Mall of Georgia Caring Santa. Dec. 1, 8-10:30 a.m.

Sugarloaf Mills. Dec. 1, 9-11 a.m.

Santa Cares at Atlantic Station. Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-noon.

Town Center at Cobb Caring Santa. Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-noon; Dec. 8, 9-11 a.m.

The Battery Atlanta Sensitive Santa Sundays. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 10 a.m.-noon.

Arbor Place Santa Cares. Dec. 8, 9-11 a.m.

A Quiet Shopping Hour

Lenox Square Mall. Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-noon.

Mall of Georgia. Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-noon.

Phipps Plaza. Dec. 1, noon-1 p.m.

Town Center at Cobb. Dec. 1, noon-1 p.m.

Sensory-Friendly Performances

Georgia Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Infinite Energy Center. Dec. 6, 11:45 a.m.

A Christmas Carol at The Shakespeare Tavern. Dec. 7, 2 p.m.

A Christmas Carol at Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. Dec. 21, 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 Friendly Saturdays on the first Saturday of each month. 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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