During the holidays, Willowbrook Shopping Centre will have special sittings with Santa, and more community initiatives. (Black Press)

Langley’s mall hosts Santa visits for people with special needs and pets

Special events help Santa visitors avoid the hustle and bustle of the season.

Kids with cognitive issues don’t have to miss out on the magic of a visit with Santa Claus.

Willowbrook Shopping Centre is hosting sensory friendly Santa visits and photos in partership with Autism Speaks Canada. The sessions are tailored to help kids and families by adjusting the sensory environment so the children don’t feel overwhelmed.

“These hours will occur before the centre opens and will have the music turned off in, fewer shoppers and extra ‘sparkle’ in place to ensure that every family has a magical experience with Santa,” explained Kaylesha Penner, the centre’s marketing director.

A session is planned for 9 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 2.

Tail waggers

Good doggos and other pets can get photos taken with Santa. Sessions are available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 9. There are tips at shopwillowbrook.com on the sessions, including what pets are allowed and that pet owners must have their pet leashed or in a carrier.

Jolly old elf

Santa is at the mall until Christmas Eve.

“Santa visits are always complimentary, but photo packages can be purchased as well,” Penner explained.

• Learn more about the community initiatives at Willowbrook Shopping Centre

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