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Special needs children invited to sensory-friendly Santa event

The Windmill Project invites families with children who have sensory or other special needs to attend its annual Sensitive Santa Event on Sunday, December 15 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Grand Arbor in Alexandria.

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The event is open to families that have children with special needs, and siblings are welcome. Enjoy a sensory-friendly visit with Santa and activities for the whole family.

The event is geared toward children and their families who deal with sensory challenges, including autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and general intellectual disabilities.

Children with these issues often have trouble dealing with the noise, lights and crowds associated with the typical store Santa. The free Sensitive Santa event provides a quieter alternative, allowing children to visit Santa in a low-key setting with less commotion surrounding them.

Laura Knudsen, with Laura Knudsen Photography, will be on hand to take pictures. Digital photos will be available shortly after the event. Families are welcome to bring their own cameras as well.

A special showing of Rudolph will be hosted in the Grand Arbor Theater. Show times are at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. During the movie, lights are brought up and the sound turned down. Dancing, walking, talking and singing allowed.

Holiday crafts will be available. Gluten-free, casein-free, peanut-free and sugar-free foods are available upon request.

RSVP is requested due to limited space. To RSVP or for more information about the event, volunteering and participating, contact Gail at (320) 763-9228 or e-mail