Discovering Inclusive Events and Activities Across the United States
In an increasingly inclusive world, many places in the United States are recognizing the importance of creating sensory-friendly environments for individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and autism spectrum disorders. These spaces offer sensory-friendly hours, times, or designated areas to ensure everyone can enjoy their visit comfortably. In this blog, we’ll journey across the nation to uncover some amazing places that go the extra mile to cater to sensory needs.
Sensory-Friendly Movie Theaters
Many movie theaters in the U.S. now offer sensory-friendly screenings. These screenings typically have reduced volume, dimmed lights, and a more accepting atmosphere. AMC, Regal, and Cinemark are some national chains that often provide sensory-friendly showings, and smaller independent theaters also participate. Check out AMC’s twice monthly participating list of theaters here. They even partnered up with the Autism Society to make this happen!
Children’s museums are fantastic places for kids to learn and play, and many now offer sensory-friendly hours. These special hours often feature reduced crowds, quieter environments, and sensory-friendly activities tailored to children’s needs. Check out museums like the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia or the Discovery Cube in Orange County, California, for such initiatives.
Sensory-Friendly Zoos and Aquariums
Zoos and aquariums are places of wonder, and they’re becoming more inclusive. Some, like the Cincinnati Zoo and the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, offer sensory-friendly events with quieter exhibits and designated spaces for sensory breaks.
Sensory-Friendly Theme Parks
Theme parks have also started to recognize the importance of sensory accommodations. Legoland, Sesame Place, and Six Flags have introduced sensory-friendly hours or areas where families can enjoy the thrill of amusement parks with reduced sensory stimuli.
Libraries are essential community hubs, and many have embraced sensory-friendly practices. They may offer sensory-friendly storytimes, quiet reading areas, and noise-canceling headphones. Check out your local library’s schedule for such events.
Sensory gardens provide a peaceful oasis for individuals with sensory sensitivities. Places like the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, and the Denver Botanic Gardens have designed sensory-friendly areas with calming plants and soothing features.
Sensory-Friendly Sporting Events
Sports enthusiasts can also join in the fun. Some sports teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago White Sox, host sensory-friendly games. These events feature reduced sensory input and designated sensory-friendly zones.
Sensory-Friendly Retail Stores
Shopping experiences have evolved too. Chains like Target and Walmart offer sensory-friendly shopping hours with dimmed lighting and quieter store environments. These hours provide a more relaxed shopping atmosphere.
As our society becomes more inclusive, it’s heartening to see so many sensory-friendly places in the United States taking steps to accommodate individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder and sensory sensitivities. These sensory-friendly hours, times, and areas provide an opportunity for families to explore, learn, and enjoy various activities together comfortably. Be sure to check with each location for specific details and schedules to plan your next sensory-friendly adventure. Or call your favorite place and see if they have sensory-friendly events! Together, we’re making the world a more inclusive place for everyone.