December 14th and 21st from 5 pm-8 pm, with an ornament craft sale Free of Charge a Gift to the Community
Officials at STRIVE say, not every child experiences these meetings the same, especially those with developmental disabilities and intellectual delays.
That’s why STRIVE partnered with the Botanical Gardens to host a Sensory Friendly Christmas.
“Kids really want to come and participate seeing Santa and things, but in some instances, they just don’t fit well with the environments where they’re really loud and flashy, like a mall or something like that,” says Doug Sorter with STRIVE.
That’s why STRIVE and the Botanical Gardens created a Sensory Friendly Christmas.
“In this environment, we keep it low-key, so that they are able to participate with Santa on their terms,” adds Sorter.
This includes low light level, low music levels, sensory sounds and smells, all to help the children relax.
“Because they want to see Santa just as much as anybody else, every other kid,” adds Sorter.
Santa himself even knows how to be sensory friendly, as some of his elves require this type of environment.
“He’s really skilled at what needs to happen and how things need to occur, and the slower pace of things,” says Sorter.
All of this to bring the joys of Christmas to those children who may have otherwise missed out.
“Fun and the smiles and all the things that go along with seeing Santa, that excitement, boy those kids really get excited because they know what he brings to the table,” says Sorter.
Which is Christmas joy and hope, presents under the tree.
The Sensory Christmas takes place at the Botanical Gardens, located at 641 Struthers Avenue in Grand Junction.