April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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In Search of an Arizona Santa Claus

It’s hard for special needs kids sometimes to deal with characters who are in costume, but still appear human.  My son has been dealing with this for a couple of years.  Last year’s picture was a struggle and after dozens of visits to Santa, we almost gave up.  His grandma ended up being the one to convince me to sit with him.  I was not interested in being in his picture!  But, we got it and thankfully I am pretty good with cropping.

Because of this, we have decided not to pay or get a very cheap Santa picture.  And thus begins my search to save our wallet and our sanity!  We have been scouring the internet and the newspaper with the hopes that something will turn up.  It’s harder in Arizona, I believe, to find free or really cheap events for kids and families.  It’s even harder to find things for special needs kids.  Then, the Santa Claus events don’t really happen until the week before Christmas, so you don’t have the pictures in time for the family.

Here are a few places that I have found already that have cheap or free Santa pictures:

Cabelas FREE-Dec. 10 & 11 / 17 & 18, Saturday & Sunday, Sat., 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Sun., 1:30-5:00 p.m. (One photo per family.)

Thorobred Chevrolet FREE-Mon.-Sat. Noon – 7pm, Sun. Noon – 6pm, Saturday, Christmas Eve  8am – noon

Bass Pro Shops  FREE-Dec. 13-23rd, M-F-10 am-8 pm, Sat. 10 am-9 pm, Sun. Noon-5 pm.  If you go right when they open, you can get a Bass pass and not wait in line.

Unfortuately, these are the only ones I have found so far and I am pretty sure that they are going to be packed.  If you can take your kids during the day, you are going to be better off and not have to wait in long lines.  Please feel free to comment with any additional free or really cheap Santa Picture info.


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