SENSORY OVERLOAD: Gympie Central is offering a much-needed alternative to hectic holiday shopping.
SENSORY OVERLOAD: Gympie Central is offering a much-needed alternative to hectic holiday shopping. Jacob Carson

Sensory shopping returns for Gympie families

GIVEN the large positive reception Gympie locals gave toward last year's sensory shopping experience at Target, it makes sense there'll be more options for local families in 2017.

Designed for children with autism, ADHD, Asperger's or other sensory conditions, sensory shopping events are designed to create a safe environment for families to shop and get their Christmas photos in peace.

Dubbed "Sensitive Santa”, the service will allow local families to visit Santa in low-stress surrounds during the early trading hours of the centre, with special lights and low music provided.

Set for December 17, it follows a major announcement by Coles, which is introducing its own "quiet hour” across the country.

"Coles has recently commenced Quiet Hour across 70 of their stores, of which our immediate area wasn't included in,” said Gympie Central and Goldfields Plaza manager Michelle Boreham.

"But this is being considered for the future.”

That being said, Ms Boreham mentioned there were discussions for Gympie's Coles store to find out if it could be included in the local event.

It is unclear at this stage whether stores in Gympie Central will open specifically for the Sensitive Santa event, however there are tentative plans to bring back the experience at Target on Sunday, December 10.

With a number of bookings already confirmed, families are encouraged to secure their place ahead of time.

To make a reservation, phone Gympie Central on 5482 9840.