Sensory Friendly Entertainment

February 16, 2015

Like many parents these days you may find that your child likes to stay busy and active.  But what do you do if your child needs options that are sensory friendly?  Thankfully through autism awareness campaigns, an ever  increasing number of entertainment venues are offering sensory-friendly options for families who would otherwise not be able to enjoy activities such as going to the movies, seeing a live performance or participating in indoor recreational activities. Here is a list of resources that you may find helpful for planning a birthday party, a playdate or just a fun family outing without having to worry about music that is too loud,  rooms that are too dark/light, or other sensory issues that many families need to plan for in advance.

  1. Movies- Who doesn’t like the movies and a huge bucket of popcorn to share? AMC  Theaters and Chunky’s Cinema and Pub are to movie chains locally that host sensory friendly movie experiences where the house lights are up, the volume turned down and an accepting atmosphere where children can get up walk around if they need to or enjoy the movie in a way that is comfortable for them.
  2. Baseball – Take me out to the ballpark!  Major League baseball teams around the United States host sensory friendly evenings  (often on Autism Awareness Night). Accommodations include sections of the ballpark where the speaker volume is lowered, quiet rooms are made available, activities are provided and tickets are given away to individuals with autism.
  3. Trampoline and Jump Zones – If jumping, tumbling, sliding and climbing are things that your child loves then try sensory days and times at Sky Zone or Pump It Up. At Pump It Up modifications are made depending on the needs of those in attendance but typically music will be turned off as will some of the equipment if the inflatable blowers are too loud. At Sky Zone the music is turned off and families  are allowed to jump for half the price of regular admission.
  4. Museums and Activity Centers – Local Museums for younger children such as the Discovery Museum  and Science Center in Acton, Massachusetts offers special days for children with sensory disorders.
  5. Eating OutAutism Eats hosts friendly, non-judgmental family dinners at restaurants with others that get Autism, and there is no need to be nervous or explain any behaviors. Reservations are required. Check out their next dinner out at