For those who feel holiday shopping and family gatherings may too much for some kids who prefer smaller, quitter settings, libraries in Forsyth County are offering free holiday-themed storytimes, movies, craft sessions and activities for patrons of all ages in December.
Sensitive Santa events will be held at three of the four Forsyth County Public Library branches in the next two weeks, offering an easier and less stressful setting for kids to meet Old Saint Nick.
“Sitting on Santa’s lap can be uncomfortable or scary for children with special needs, as well as frustrating for their parents who just want to give their child a positive experience with such a beloved part of the holiday season,” said Laura Bradley, program manager for the library system.
Santa will be at the Cumming Library at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and at the Hampton Park Library at 2 p.m. The program will be hosted at the Post Road Library on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 1:45 p.m.
Bradley said this is the third year they are offering Sensitive Santa, a chance for kids to meet him in a room where the lights are dim, voices are quiet and children can move at a slower pace.
Parents and caregivers can take as many photos of their child with Santa as they want.
Advance registration is required to participate.
Special character visit
Fans of Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” can meet Cookie Mouse at a series of events promoting the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.
“The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten programs helps parents understand the importance of reading aloud with children from birth to age 5,” Bradley said. “The library offers special recognition to children as they meet 100-book milestones on their way to reading 1,000 books to encourage their language development and to foster a love of reading.”
Patrons can listen to holiday stories, sing, dance, make a Cookie Mouse craft and take a picture with Cookie Mouse on Thursday, Sec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cumming Library and on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at the Hampton Park Library.
The Post Road Library will host events on Friday, Dec. 9 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. and Saturday, Sec. 10 at 11:15 a.m.
Polar Express storytimes return
“The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg, is a favorite holiday story, and the library will host several events to get families into the spirit of the season.
Children are invited to wear their pajamas and listen to the book while making crafts, and they will be visited by a special character from the North Pole.
The event will be held at the Hampton Park Library on Tuesdays, Dec. 6 and 13 at 6 p.m., at the Post Road Library on Monday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., and at the Cumming Library on Monday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 4 and 6:30 p.m.