949.428.3900 29 Hubble, Irvine CA 92618 | Mon & Tues Closed | Wed – Sun 10am – 4pm

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Autism Night & Sensitive Santa

December 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Thursday, December 16 | 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Ho ho ho! Santa is coming to Pretend City Children’s Museum for Family Autism Night! This event provides a sensory-sensitive experience with low carols, dim lights, and a Sensitive Santa who’s equipped to ease some of the stimulation-induced anxieties that may occur for our little ones during this time of year. It’s a magical time, and this special environment is ideal for parents who hope to capture photos of their child with jolly Saint Nick, but are deterred by the hustle and bustle of malls.  

Specifically, for: Families with children of all ages who are on the autism spectrum and with other disabilities. Pretend City will be closed to the public. 

This special evening is an opportunity for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have some fun in an autism-friendly environment along with other families. Many of our community partners, who specialize in supporting children on the autism spectrum, will be on-hand to enrich your family’s play experience with welcoming smiles and practical support. Watch a video tour of our museum here. 

  • Sensitive Santa (5:30 – 7 PM): Sensitive Santa is excited to see all the visiting families, one family at a time, in a private room. 

Grown-up Tip: Quite a few children are hesitant of Santa, and that’s just fine! Talking about who he is and what he does beforehand can be helpful.  We encourage you to ask specifical role-playing questions such as, “What are you going to say to him when you meet him?” or “Why do you think he is coming all the way to Pretend City?” This allows your child to prepare for the event. But even with all that preparation, they might still get cold feet at the very last minute, or absolutely refuse to come near Saint Nick. It’s important to encourage our little ones to try new things, while still respecting their boundaries and limits. 

RSVP: HERE max: 250 guests  *Only guests with a reservation and a confirmation number will be admitted.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: We have a reoccurring predicament that we need your help with! Consistently, 200 guests register, but then never attend. To mitigate this, we’ve decided to open registration closer to the event’s date so parents can better gauge their ability to attend. We know that a child’s temperament, nap schedule, energy level, will and desire to play can be unpredictable – we don’t want to discourage you from signing up for that reason! We simply want to spread awareness: When you sign up knowing that you likely won’t come, you are taking the spot another neurodiverse family might use! Thank you for your consideration and kindness!

Fee: FREE to behavioral therapists and children on the spectrum or with other disabilities and their immediate families

Play Partners: Kyo Autism Therapy 

Play Partners: Kyo Autism Therapies, our experienced stage staff of trained early childhood and child development educators, and grown-ups! Kyo Autism Therapy: ABA is a highly effective treatment that helps people with autism to develop language and daily living skills. ABA can also be used to decrease challenging behaviors, such as aggression or self-injurious behavior. The goal of ABA is to increase independence and quality of life for the child with autism and their family. At Kyo, ABA therapy is also naturalistic and fun! The Kyo team uses child-centric, play-based activities to help children meet their goals. By incorporating each child’s interests throughout treatment, therapy sessions are both highly effective and engaging. 


December 16, 2021
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Pretend City Children’s Museum
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Pretend City
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618 United States
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