BEL AIR — Bringing the kids to see Santa is a tradition for many families, but for some children with differing abilities the noise and activity can be challenging.
This holiday season, Harford County Parks and Recreation invites these children and their families to meet Santa in a small, quiet setting at Santa’s Sensory Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 14. The event will include photo ops with Santa and crafts that engage the senses of children with differing abilities.
Reservations are available from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to meet Santa and attend the craft workshop at the Churchville Recreation Center-Level Building, 3023 Level Road in Churchville.
Santa’s Sensory Workshop is presented by Harford County Parks and Recreation’s Office of Therapeutic Recreation under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. Children of all ages are welcome; registration is required.
Families will be greeted upon arrival by their personal “elf” who will walk them through Santa’s workshop, take their picture with the family’s own camera or smartphone, and introduce them to Buttons, Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding’s miniature pony (a.k.a.“reindeer”). The elves will also help children create holiday crafts to take home.
Families are encouraged to register early, as spots are limited. The fee is $3 and registration is on the county website at www.harfordcountymd.gov/parksrecregistration under the Therapeutic Recreation section. Once registered, participants must contact the Therapeutic Recreation Office at 410-638-4899 to choose their time slot, to minimize the long wait times often experienced at other Santa events. Five-minute time slots between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Volunteers ages 15 and older who would like to help make this a memorable experience for Harford County families should contact the Therapeutic Recreation Office or email Rachel Kollasch, CTRS, at email@example.com. Help is needed with the entire event for setup, during the workshop and for cleanup.
“Children of all abilities should grow up having fun like their peers,” Glassman said. “We hope Santa’s Sensory Workshop will let every kid in our community feel included and help families make holiday memories together.”
Harford County government provides recreation programs for citizens with disabilities, free local events, learning opportunities, community partnerships, and resource referrals to Harford County citizens of all ages and abilities. More information is on www.harfordcountymd.gov.