Sensory-Friendly Activities in

Iowa

Sensory-Friendly Films

From the museum: The Putnam GIANT Screen Theater will premiere the next sensory-friendly film experience on May 13 at 1:45p.m., with the NEW documentary "Oceans: Our Blue Planet 3D".

 

Guests of all ages have the freedom to move around and make noise during the show, as well as bring in outside food and drink to suit their dietary needs! A designated “chill out zone” is available outside of the theater featuring therapy dogs from the Quad Cities Canine Assistance Network to provide comfort for those attending.

 

ALL ticket prices will be $5 per person using promo code ASQC at checkout. Tickets are available HERE. This ticket gives patrons access to the film in the theater as well as “chill out zones” if any patron feels the need to leave the theater and calm down in a quiet area.

 

Sensory-friendly films at the Putnam are proudly sponsored by the Autism Society of the Quad Cities. The Autism Society of America, the national chapter, aided in suggesting the guidelines set in place for the theater showings. For more information on autism sensory friendly film showings on the GIANT screen, visit call 563-324-1933.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center

1717 W. 12th St.

Davenport, IA 52804

563-324-1933

The Putnam Museum and Science Center

Sensory Friendly Hours

The Science Center of Iowa is an exciting place, bustling with sights and sounds... but one Saturday morning each month, we provide a quieter, less crowded visit for Sensory Friendly Hours!

 

Families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders will enjoy exploring the Science Center of Iowa with the help of Sensory Guide signage, which indicates audio, visual and activity stimuli.

 

Sensory Friendly Hours are the first Saturday of the month from 8:30–10:00 am, October through May. Admission is free, and no advance tickets are required. Simply check in at the Box Office when you arrive!

Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

401 W Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway

Des Moines, IA 50309

515-274-6868

The Science Center of Iowa

Sensory Friendly Performances

Des Moines Performing Arts is excited to continue a sensory-friendly initiative as part of the Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Family Series.

 

Sensory-friendly performances are geared towards those on the autism spectrum, individuals with other sensory sensitivities and their families. These dedicated performances will contain all the joy of a typical theater setting with a few adjustments to help those in attendance feel more comfortable. This will include alterations to light and sound, a variety of seating options, an environment that will encourage movement and breaks when needed, ASL interpretation, and inclusive staff that will welcome guests from the moment they arrive. Families who do not require these accommodations are still welcome to attend.

Social narratives and picture schedules are available at the website above.

Des Moines Performing Arts

221 Walnut Street

Des Moines, IA 50309

515-246-2300

Des Moines Performing Arts

National Chains That May Have Sensory-Friendly Activities in Your Area: 

Alamo for All

From their website: "Welcome to Alamo for All - a movie program for young families and guests with special needs.  All shows starting before 2 pm on Tuesdays follow Alamo for All rules, with more shows on the weekends.  Schedule may vary during holidays.  At sensory-friendly Alamo for All shows,

  • Lights are turned up and sound is turned down

  • All ages are welcome (including infants)

  • Talking and noise is allowed and guests can move around

  • Latecomers are admitted

  • Adaptive technology is welcome (but no other electronics, please)

 

Bought a ticket to an Alamo for All show by mistake?  No problem!  Contact the theater and we'll be glad to refund or exchange your ticket for another show.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Alamo Theatre

The Gym for All Kids

From their website: "We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gyms was founded to provide a place for children of all ability levels to play and grow together. As the only kids gym that offers an inclusive philosophy we have found all children can benefit from our uniquely designed sensory equipment that is specifically designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders. However, in our experience, all children are able to benefit greatly from this equipment and by allowing children of all ability levels to play together they are able to learn a great deal from each other and become the best motivation for success on every level.

Our Gym Includes:

  • Suspended equipment with swings – for balance and vestibular treatment

  • Crash mats and crash pillows – for fun, motor planning, and strength

  • Zip line – for stress release and joint and body relaxation

  • Trampoline – for building leg and core strength

  • Indoor play structure – for climbing and increasing playground skills

  • Sensory-based toys – for improved auditory processing and fine motor skills

  • Fine Motor and Arts and Crafts Area – for improved hand-eye coordination"

​Check the link above for locations.

We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym

Autism Friendly Dining

From their webpage: Providing autism-friendly non-judgmental environments for family dining, socializing and connecting with others who share similar joys and challenges. ALL behaviors are welcomed!

Check the website above for restaurants and dates!

Autism Eats

Sensory Friendly Films

Sensory Friendly showings provide families with varying abilities the opportunity to enjoy a family friendly film where kids can be kids in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums are made comfortable by brighter lights and the sound level is turned down. The audience is encouraged to be themselves and interact with the movie, while having fun without the worry of disturbing others. Dance, sing and enjoy the show!!!

All shows will begin at 10am local time. Films, dates and program are subject to change. Tickets are available in person only the Wednesday prior to each showing.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Cobb Theatres

REEL MOVIES FOR Real Needs

A Special Showing for Families and Individuals with Special Needs. We understand that sometimes it is difficult or uncomfortable for families with special needs children to attend movies together.

 

Marcus Theatres Reel Movies for Reel Needs is a specially designed program to serve families with special needs such as autism or other challenges, who seldom attend movies. Reel Movies for Real Needs creates a welcoming and comfortable environment – lower sound, lights up – where families with children who need accommodations will be able to share the experience of seeing family friendly films at a theatre.

Check the link above for dates and locations.

Marcus Theaters

Sensory Friendly Jump

NEW sensory friendly jump time for our special needs community only, every First Sunday of the month from 10am-12n (time/date varies per location).

No flashing lights, no whistles, low music level, and less crowded. We invite you and your families to join us! Reduced rates available (varies per location). Open to sensory-sensitive individuals, their siblings and care-givers only.

Check the link above for dates and locations.

Urban Air Adventure Park

Sensory Friendly Screenings

A pillar of SMG’s Outreach since 2003, our monthly Special Needs Screenings are designed for families raising children with special needs. Special Needs Screenings are shown with the lights up and the volume lowered and children are free to move around, talk, or even dance in the aisles during the movie.

The sensory friendly screenings are free for children with special needs and their siblings. Adult tickets are available at before-noon price. There are no advance ticket sales. Parental guidance is always suggested.

Special Needs Screenings are shown at 11:00am at all SMG locations except EpiCentre. SMG Downey, Monrovia and Redlands look forward to offering our special needs screening program in the near future. We are currently in process of installing new seating and will subsequently undergo remodeling to our full concept. These locations will offer special needs screenings as soon as this work has been completed. 

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Studio Movie Grill

My Way Matinee

Sensory friendly movie screenings with sounds lower, lights brighter.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Regal Cinemas

Sensory Friendly Films

AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don't forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

AMC Theaters

Wings for Autism®/Wings for All®

Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® are airport “rehearsals” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The programs are designed to alleviate the stress that families who have a child with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities experience when flying. It provides families the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane. Airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel also have the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured learning environment.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Major Airports

Sensory Hours

Enjoy the freedom of jumping. Sensory hours provide a quieter, toned-down jumping experience for those with special needs.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

Sky Zone

Sensory Sensitive Sundays

Chuck E. Cheese's is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun filled visit. The Sensory Sensitive Sundays experience includes:

  • Less crowding and noise

  • Dimmed lighting

  • Show and music turned off or down

  • Limited appearances by Chuck E.

  • Food and games are offered

 

Check the link above for dates and locations.

Chuck E. Cheese

All Abilities Night

All Abilities Night at iFLY is a unique event that makes the dream of flight a reality for those in the special needs community. This program has been custom designed for those with physical and cognitive challenges to create an environment of support and inclusion, while focusing on making what seems impossible, possible.​

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

iFly