HCN News & Notes

Holyoke Mall to Host Sensory-friendly Holiday Shopping Dec. 18

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Mall and Autism Speaks will host sensory-friendly holiday shopping on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 8 to 10 a.m., allowing children with special needs to be welcomed into an environment designed to support them.

“We were approached by representatives from Autism Speaks,” said Lisa Wray, Holyoke Mall’s marketing director. “Shopping malls can be overwhelming for children with special needs, which is why we are working with them to offer a special time for shopping with minimal distractions.”

During the event, Holyoke Mall will turn off overhead music in the shopping center and encourage individual stores to do the same. There will be a designated quiet area for families as well as an informational table staffed by volunteers from Autism Speaks on the lower level near Sears.