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Sensory-Friendly Activities in

New York

Spellbound Theater

Sensory Friendly Free Family Art Day

 Join us for a FREE sensory friendly pop-up show called The Naughty Penguin and an art activity for the whole family.  Where? Ulmer Park Library, 2602 Bath Avenue at 26th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214 When? Saturday, June 29 @ 11:00am - 12:15pm Who? Children ages 2-7 years old and their families  Our sensory friendly event includes a chill out zone, a visual guide of the show, sensory toys, and talking though the show and meeting the puppets beforehand.

The Ulmer Park Branch Library

2602 Bath Avenue at 26th Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11214


New York City Ballet

Sensory-Friendly Performance

This specially curated performance is designed to provide a friendly, inclusive environment where individuals with sensory processing challenges, including autism, can experience New York City Ballet. 

Slight modifications will include a relaxed entry/exit policy, adjustments to lighting and sound levels, designated break areas throughout the Theater, additional event staffing to assist with audience needs, and pre-visit resources, including a visual schedule. This one-time-only performance features two ballets from NYCB’s expansive repertory. Christopher Wheeldon’s Scènes de Ballet, featuring 64 students from the School of American ballet, offers a glimpse into the rehearsal studio as young dancers refine their artistry. Jerome Robbins’ Glass Pieces, set to music by contemporary composer Philip Glass, highlights the graceful athleticism of the corps de ballet, as the ensemble weaves across the stage with dynamic fervor.

New York City Ballet

20 Lincoln Center Plaza

New York, NY 10023


Kings Bay Y

Art Class for Children with Special Needs

It is a free art class for ages 5-15 although it is a pop up event, we offer so many social and skill building programs for children with special needs.

Kings Bay Y

3495 Nostrand Ave

Brooklyn NY 11229


Unite Through Dance

Dance Lessons

At Unite Through Dance, we have been teaching students of all ages and all abilities to find the joy of movement through dance, yoga, and creative expression. We have been teaching individuals and groups throughout New York City for over 10 years. We specialize in in-home private dance lessons and strongly believe in the intrinsic value of each individual.

We are experienced in working with people who have autism, down syndrome, ADHD, developmental disabilities, and personality disorders. Dance, yoga, and creative movement are joyful ways to connect to music, our bodies, and each other. In addition, dance, and yoga are powerful tools that can aid in physical gains such as improved coordination, balance, mobility, strength, flexibility, and endurance, but even more exciting are the neurological and emotional benefits including improved emotional intelligence, the ability to read and mirror body language and greater neuroplasticity!

Unite Through Dance

Throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan


RockonMusic School

RockonMusic Lessons

Use the positive power of music to learn to play instruments, sing and create. Each one-on-one session is tailored to the individual's skills and motivations. I specialize in those impacted by autism or other disabilities. Live Westchester & Putnam Counties, NY and on Zoom, anywhere....since 2016.



Syracuse WonderWorks

Sensory Days

From their website: "WonderWorks is excited to host Sensory Days! WonderWorks’ exhibits are altered to provide limited stimulation for children with special needs. The music in the facility is lowered, any loud exhibit is not operational and we stop our inversion tunnel creating a safe environment for kids to enjoy the facility without feeling overwhelmed."


The Syracuse WonderWorks is especially AWESOME because they offer a sensory friendly night every month!! 


10302 Destiny Drive

Syracuse, NY 13204 


Theatre Development Fund

Autism Theatre Initiative

From the TDF website: "On October 2, 2011, TDF launched the Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI) with Disney's landmark musical The Lion King, the first ever autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show. Following the success of the first performance, the program, now known as TDF's Autism Friendly Performances continues to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum as well as their families.Each show is performed in a friendly, supportive environment for families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues."


"Slight adjustments to the production are made, including reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe and spot lights that shine into the audience. House lights are faintly dimmed but remain on. Quiet and activity areas staffed with autism specialists are available in the lobby areas for those who need to leave their seats during the performance."

"To personalize the experience for attendees, downloadable social narratives (in Word format) with pictures of the theatres and productions are available in advance of the performances. TDF also produced a video social narrative that describes how best to navigate Times Square."

Broadway Theatres

New York City


Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Early Morning Openings and Access Family Programs

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum offers two different programs for families with autism and sensory sensitivities and learning and developmental disabilities - Early Morning Openings and Access Family Programs.


Early Mornings from the museum: "The Intrepid Museum offers Early Morning Openings for individuals with autism eight times a year. By opening its doors one hour early, program participants - either children (ages 3-18) and their families or teens (15+) and adults - can experience the Museum in a sensory-friendly environment. Educators lead short, interactive tours designed for all learners, as well as drop-in art activities and structured social/play opportunities.


Early Morning Openings are free but registration is required. To register, please fill out and submit the online form. Registration typically opens one month in advance. If you have any questions, please contact or call 646-381-5158."


Access Family from the museum: "The Intrepid Museum offers monthly programs for children (ages 5-17) with learning and developmental disabilities. Similar family programs for teens (15+) and adults with developmental disabilities are offered six times a year. These two-hour programs take place on select Sundays during regular Museum hours. Families take a guided, interactive tour of the Museum and participate in art-making activities that everyone can enjoy." Additional accessibility materials, like social stories, and info can be found here.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Pier 86 W 46th St and 12th Ave

New York, NY 10036-4103


Blue Man Group

Autism Speaks Performances

From their website: The Blue Men show us there are so many different ways to communicate and connect. That's why Blue Man Group teams up with Autism Speaks to host autism-friendly performances suitable for individuals and families affected by autism in New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando. In Las Vegas, Blue Man Group works with Grant a Gift Autism Foundation for an autism-friendly performance at Luxor Hotel & Casino.


Tickets for 2018 performances will be on sale soon. 


At these performances, slight modifications are made including:


Reduction of sound and light levels at various moments during the performance. Please note that while light levels will be reduced, strobe lighting is still used in the show. Please contact us for further information. 


Sound reducing headphones or earplugs (depending on market) available upon request


Blue Men will limit the amount of "chair walking” and keep their approach to the audience more subdued


Calming environments in each theatre’s lobby for families seeking a break from the excitement


Show modifications vary by market. Contact your local Box Office for more information.


"We’ve heard from many families affected by autism that their children responded to the Blue Man character in a very moving way. We are thrilled to provide a safe and welcoming environment and are often quite moved by the emotional response to the show,” says Phil Stanton, Blue Man Group co-founder.

Our 2018 Autism-Friendly performance date will be announced soon. To be notified of our upcoming shows please EMAIL US.

Music For Autism

Autism Friendly Interactive Concerts

From their website: "Music for Autism is enhancing quality of life and raising public awareness through free, autism-friendly, interactive concerts developed specifically for individuals with autism and their families."

Locations vary throughout NYC. Click the link above for performances.

New York Public Library

Sensory Storytime

An inclusive, 4-session program that combines the best practices from special education and traditional storytime to create an interactive, engaging program for children of all abilities!

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

The Lincoln Center

Big Umbrella Festival

An Arts Festival for Children on the Autism Spectrum and their Families

The Lincoln Center

10 Lincoln Center Plaza

New York, NY 10023

(212) 875-5456

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

Turtle Dance Music &

Turtle Dance Music &

Turtle Dance Music and helps kids come out  of their shells with autism-friendly music, bubble and comedy concerts.  Our 30-45 minute concerts are perfect for special events for autism  centers, early learning centers, education conferences and schools! We  play over 60 different instruments including guitar, banjo, didgeridoo,  beatboxing, loopstations and it's funnier than having Jim Carrey or  Robin Williams visit your school. We also do sensory-friendly activities  like big GIANT bubbles! 

We travel all over the country and have a  block-booking pricing structure that will make our fees workable for  your budget. All of our instructors have graduate degrees in special  education, autism intervention, early childhood development and music  therapy. This program is solely for entertainment and special events and  not for private or group therapy services.

Check us out at,, or


Spectrum Sailing

Free Autism Sailing Camps

We are the only national autism sailing program.  Spectrum Sailing travels the country to multiple cities offering FREE sailing camps to local kids.


Glass Slipper Initiative

Summer Art Paradise

Join Glass Slipper Initiative and Friends of Children with Special Needs for a free accommodating online art event for children with disabilities! It will be on July 22nd from 10 AM to 12 PM, where we'll have multiple stations for different crafts for any skill level. All you'll need is paper, scissors, and some coloring supplies! Sign up at  If you can't make the event, but you'd like to be notified about other ones in the future, go to and click "sign up" to join our mailing list for future events and opportunities for your kids.

RockonMusic School

RockonMusic Lessons

Use the positive power of music to learn to play  instruments, sing and create. Each one-on-one session is tailored to the  individual's skills and motivations. I specialize in those impacted by  autism or other disabilities. Live Westchester & Putnam Counties, NY  and on Zoom, anywhere....since 2016.



Proud to Be Me

Free Dance Therapy Classes for Children with Developmental Disabilities!

This dance class is designed for elementary and middle schoolers with any intellectual, developmental, or sensory impairments! Our beginner-level dance and movement classes currently take place through Zoom and provide a fun outlet for children to let out energy and meet new people. The free class is also designed to help refine and improve things like motor skills, concentration, social/communication abilities, and general happiness.

More information on website (linked above).

Proud to Be Me


Alamo Theatre

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.

We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym

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.

Autism Eats

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!

Cobb Theatres

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.

Marcus Theaters


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.

Urban Air Adventure Park

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.

Studio Movie Grill

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.

Regal Cinemas

My Way Matinee

Sensory friendly movie screenings with sounds lower, lights brighter.

​Check the link above for dates and locations.

AMC Theaters

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.

Major Airports

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.

Sky Zone

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.

Chuck E. Cheese

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.


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.

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