Autism Society brings special Santa visit to Eastwood Mall

Local News

The event is free and a variety of photo packages will be available to buy

Eastwood Mall reopening, coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: WKBN

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – The Autism Society of Mahoning Valley is partnering with the Eastwood Mall Complex to bring a special Santa visit to the mall this holiday season.

The event, being held outside normal mall hours, will bring in a trained, caring Santa for the private photo session.

It’s set up to support the sensory, physical or other development needs of children with all abilities.

The special visit will be held Dec. 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Eastwood Mall.

“For one day, the mall will open up early, turn off the holiday lights and music and help kids meet Santa on their terms,” says Board Vice President Aundréa Cika Heschmeyer. “There will be no lines, no crowds, no music, but our families will have the opportunity to enjoy a moment with Santa.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing will be practiced and the visit will be in scheduled 15-minute increments. There will be an acrylic wall between Santa and visitors, allowing for safety and a great photo op.

Masks must be worn, and a doctor’s note may be required for anyone not able to wear one. Visitors can take the mask off for the photo and then put it back on.

The event is free and a variety of photo packages will be available to buy.

Pre-registration is required. To register an appointment, visit

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