Orland Square Mall, Chicagoland’s leading fashion destination, announced today that it will hold a Caring Bunny™ event this holiday season on Sun., March 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Caring Bunny is a special event dedicated to families that have children with special needs, providing a subdued environment to visit this year’s Bunny Photo Experience.
The presenting sponsor for the 2013 Bunny Photo Experience is Gymboree. Serving as an associate sponsor this year is Scanimalz, a collectible plush line that brings kids a fun, safe way to enjoy what they love: toys, technology and playing games.
Caring Bunny has been developed by Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, and is guided by AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community. Over 70 Simon® properties will host the Caring Bunny this season.
Many steps are taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for the children’s magical visit with the Bunny. This environment is likely to include (specific elements or aesthetics may vary):
- Turning off in-mall music, stopping escalators located near the Bunny set, dimming the lights, and shutting down fountains for the duration of the event.
- Eliminating queue lines through the use of a numbering system whereby guests approach the set when their number is called.
- Special activities and stories geared toward the needs of the child during the ‘wait’ period to help the child understand what activities will occur during the visit.
This will be the third year for the Caring Bunny program at many Simon malls. “Last year, we saw families who received a Bunny photo with their child for the very first time,” said Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath.org. “We are fortunate to have terrific alliances with Simon and their photo operators who have worked with us to lessen potential triggers, like having the event occur during private mall hours and other slight adjustments that help provide a calmer sensory-friendly environment for all children to enjoy.”
“We are thrilled to be the venue for this incredible event,” said Gayle Gleespen, director of mall marketing at Orland Square Mall. “The Caring Bunny program brings a lot of joy to children with special needs and to see that happen at our mall is truly an honor.”
Participants are encouraged to RSVP for the Caring Bunny event at Orland Square Mall by going to www.AbilityPath.org.
About Orland Square Mall
Orland Square Mall, Chicagoland’s leading fashion destination, is anchored by Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Sears and jcpenney. This climate-controlled indoor mall features more than 150 popular retail stores, such as Apple, A|X Armani Exchange, Banana Republic, Coach, Disney Store, Express, Guess, H&M and Victoria’s Secret. In addition, shoppers enjoy a variety of dining options, including recently opened The Cheesecake Factory and Dave & Busters, as well as Starbucks, Great Steak & Potato Company, Taco Bell and more. Orland Square Mall is located at 288 Orland Square Drive in Orland Park, Illinois, at the intersection of 151st Street and La Grange Road. For additional information, please contact Orland Square Mall at (708) 349-1646 or visit www.simon.com/mall/orland-square-mall, www.facebook.com/OrlandSquareMall or www.twitter.com/OrlandSquare.
About Simon Property Group:
Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 328 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 243 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at www.simon.com.
AbilityPath.org is an online hub and special needs community for parents and professionals to learn, connect and live a more balanced life. The website combines social networking features with expert content from AbilityPath.org’s team of educators, parents, therapists and medical professionals.AbilityPath.org was created by Community Gatepath, a nonprofit with over 90 years of experience serving families and children with special needs by fostering hope, dignity and independence. AbilityPath.org may also be found on Facebook and Twitter.