Niles, OH -- Visiting Santa Clause is a tradition that many kids in our country enjoy.
But for some kids visiting Santa among large crowds can be upsetting in a traditional setting of long lines and big crowds.
To make the experience fun and enjoyable the Eastwood Mall opened doors early so kids with autism or special needs, and their families, got an opportunity to experience some joys of Christmas in an inviting safe space.
Sunday morning, some special kids, teens, and their families got to experience a few traditions of Christmas such as visiting Santa to let him know what they want for Christmas.
At this event held at the Eastwood Mall the lines were kept short on purpose for a picture perfect moment captured on camera.
The event was held prior to the mall opening kids or teens who have autism or special needs feel welcome, not overwhelmed.
"Their kids don't have to wait long for Santa and everybody is patient, everyone is kind. It's just one of those days where there is no pressure," Jodi Glass Vice President of Autism Society Mahoning Valley said. 
Justacia Dawson and her children look forward to playing games and taking part in this this special event each year.
"We love this program. There are not a lot of places out here where you can really take kids like that because they get so overwhelmed at  a regular place, so this is more sensory for them. It's more their speed. They can move how they want to and they won't feel so overwhelmed," parent Justacia Dawson said.
There are arts and crafts for the children, teens, and siblings to enjoy.
F5RS Rabbit and Rescue Sanctuary brought therapy rabbits for a sensory experience that can elicit happiness and calm.
It was all aboard for some kids as they took an opportunity to hop on a train and take a ride through the mall. 
Some parents rode with their children so they could share in their child's joy as they experienced the train ride while making memories together.
Around 60 families from Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties took part.
One of the young kids talked with WFMJ News about how much he liked taking his picture with Santa, the train ride, and other activities. 
"It's a pretty nice tradition where everyone gets together and has a big celebration," Blake said.
The event and activities are sponsored by the Cafaro Foundation which also paid for free 5x 7 pictures that captured magical moments of children with Santa.
"It means everything! We have families who wouldn't have one picture with Santa if it was not for our event. So it's very important," Robin Suzelis the Director of Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley said.
Parents with kids who are living with autism and other special needs encourage other parents to sign up for programs for their children, which are often at no cost to a low cost to take part.
You can find information about registering for events on the Facebook page for Autism Society of Mahoning Valley.