Special Needs Santa & Holiday Events

by Janet Jonus

Special needs kids have a lot to choose from in and around Pittsburgh this holiday season. Check out our list below.

Caring Santa

Have a special visit with Santa in a sensory friendly environment. Mall sounds are reduced as is the lighting. The event is held when the Mall is closed. Most Malls require a reservation. You can arrive right before your Santa time so no waiting.

South Hills Village, December 1st 800-1000AM: https://www.simon.com/mall/south-hills-village/stores/santa-photo-experience/stream/caring-santa-6149711

Caring Santa at Ross Park Mall, December 1st 830-1030AM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/caring-santa-tickets-77856427671?aff=affiliate1

Uniontown Mall, December 1st, 930-1100AM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uniontown-mall-121-santa-cares-tickets-73433721237

Beaver Valley Mall December 1st, 900-1100AM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beaver-valley-mall-121-santa-cares-tickets-72539558773

Ross Park Mall December 1st, 830-1030AM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/caring-santa-tickets-77856427671?aff=affiliate1

Washington Crown Center December 8th, 930-1100AM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/washington-crown-center-128-santa-cares-tickets-73870680193

Monroeville Mall December 8th, 930-1130AM: http://www.monroevillemall.com/event/bltffcf85e9508b25c7

Westmoreland Mall December 8th, 930-1100AM:  http://www.westmorelandmall.com/event/blt591456da50e5d0d7

Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills December 8th, 900-1030AM: https://www.pittsburghmills.com/event/Santa-Cares/2145535371/

Sensory Friendly Polar PJ Parties at Carnegie Science Center

For a special holiday treat, head over to the Science Center for a Polar PJ Party. Wear your PJ’s. Enjoy a hot chocolate bar with nitrogen-frozen marshmallows, crafts, a special star show, and the Polar Express movie in 2D. The Science Center has reduced noises and lighting and specially trained staff. Reservations required. Tickets are $19. November 30th 830AM-1200PM & December 14th 830AM-1200PM. http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/programs/polar-express-events/

Holiday Pops Sensory-Friendly Concert

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents its Holiday Pops concert for kids and adults on the autism spectrum or with sensory needs. The performance is 45 minutes long. The house lights will be kept up, there is a quiet room, and noise-cancelling headphones are available. There are special performances by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, vocalist Katy Williams, the Pittsburgh Youth Choir, the Three Rivers Bell Ringers, and Santa! The performance is at Heinz Hall on December 21st at 230PM. Tickets are $15.00. https://pittsburghsymphony.org/production/67038/sensory-friendly-concert-holiday-pops

Note: There is no sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker this year. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater will be having a sensory-friendly performance of Beauty and the Beast in 2020.

Do you have an event to add to this list? Please let us know!

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