There is nothing better than seeing the holidays through the eyes of a child. It’s sweet and magical. The best part is when they come to visit the big guy in red … Santa!

For some, that visit with Santa is a time filled with anticipation and excitement. For others, the buildup, wait and stress promise anything but a fun holiday outing. And if you have a child with special needs it can be especially difficult. So much so, some families skip it altogether.

But by making a few accommodations, families don’t have to miss this memorable holiday visit. Thanks to two organizations acting as Santa’s helpers and making those accommodations for years now, families with a child with special needs are able to enjoy a stress-free visit with Santa.

The Naperville Park District, one of WDSRA’s founding park districts, designates four evenings during the holiday as Special Needs Nights at their Santa House solely for families with special needs. The entire family can visit with Santa privately making it a welcoming atmosphere. They also extend the visits to be just a little longer and take reservations. This allows families to better manage the wait time because they know exactly what their time slot is.

Thanks to the Naperville Evening Kiwanis Club, every family will get a free photo commemorating their visit with Santa. Cookies and juice while waiting are also thanks to this group.

WDSRA is thrilled to be a part of this event for many years. WDSRA provides inclusion support at all four of the Special Needs Nights to assist families. We also provide games and activities to make any wait more fun all so families can have the best possible experience.

None of this would be possible without the support of Santa’s helpers … the Naperville Park District and the Naperville Evening Kiwanis Club.  Thanks to them, the holidays are just a little brighter for families.