Hillmount is introducing quiet hours with Santa this Christmas at its grotto in the Castlereagh Hills – one of the largest garden centre grottos in Ireland. The quiet hours are aimed at spreading Christmas cheer and providing a magical experience for visitors without the stress or panic that can sometimes occur when large crowds are queueing to visit Santa.
On Wednesday 6 December, the grotto doors will open from 12.00noon until 2.00pm for people with special needs and on Sunday 10 December the grotto will open for a quiet hour between 11.00am and 12.00noon for children with Autism but advance booking is essential as numbers are limited on both days.
Q Radio Presenter Stephen Clements said: “As an ambassador for Autism NI I’m delighted to see Hillmount is offering an Autism friendly hour at their grotto. For me, the important thing is that initiatives like this one allow children to enjoy the magic of Christmas and not be an event that they want to enjoy but that can intimidate or even frighten them.”
Alan Mercer, Managing Director, Hillmount, said: “We are committed to ensuring that a visit to Santa’s Grotto is a fun experience where families can create memories for years to come. Whilst we want everyone to enjoy the festive season celebrations at Hillmount, we appreciate that for some people a visit to Santa’s Grotto can be overwhelming, distressing or even frightening.
“That’s why this year we’ve introduced our quiet hours to ensure visitors during these hours can get into the Christmas spirit with a visit as magical as we expect all our visitors to Santa’s Grotto to enjoy but without the typical trappings of loud noises and loud music, large crowds or bright lights that are synonymous with a visit to Santa.”
Santa arrives at 12.30pm on Saturday 25 November and to book a place to visit Santa during the quiet hours on 6 or 10 December, call Hillmount on tel 028 9044 8213.