Londonderry Mall celebrates the holidays with events for everyone, even your furry friends. Get a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Elsa and Anna or the Pumpkin King from The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can even bring your pet.
“We’re kicking off the holiday season with photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, who have been here for years and people drive in from all over to come see them,” says Vanessa Treleaven, assistant property manager for Londonderry Mall.
Londonderry Mall is working with Autism Edmonton for the sixth year for Silent Santa, an initiative that allows children with sensory sensitivities to visit Mr. and Mrs. Claus before mall hours. The mall lighting is dimmed, the lights in the Santa centre are turned off and the music is turned down.
“All of those accommodations make it an experience that’s enjoyable for kids on the autism spectrum and accessible for all children with special sensory needs,” says Melinda Noyes, executive director of Autism Edmonton. “It’s all about family, and for families to do the things that other families do and to have a picture with Santa is amazing.”
Treleaven says there was a need in Edmonton for families and children with sensory sensitivities. She adds that standing in line at a crowded mall is an unrealistic scenario for families with children who don’t do well in loud, busy and chaotic environments.
“We’ve had so much feedback from parents who were in tears because they were never able to take their kids to see Santa before and this was the first time, so it was really special,” says Treleaven.
Appointments are five to 10 minutes long and closed to the public. Appointments must be made in advance and special accommodations are available upon request.
Silent Santa appointments are available on December 5 and 12. Photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus during mall hours are available daily until December 24. Pet photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus are on December 7 and 14. Social distancing measures are in place for all photos with a plexiglass barrier standing between the photo bench and Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The full schedule for holiday photos and appointment bookings are available online.