Sensory-Friendly Activities in

North Carolina

Sensory Story Time

From the website: The first Saturday of each month!  Sensory Story Time is an all-ages program created for the families of children with special needs. Our goal each story time is to engage the senses through interactive books, songs encouraging movement, and other exciting sensory activities.  Please call the Marion Branch at 828-652-3858 to register or stop by our library.

Marion Library

90 W Court St
Marion, NC 28752

828-652-3858

McDowell County Public Library

Sensory Friendly Night

From the website: 

  • Thursday, May 24, 2018

  • 5:30pm - 8:00pm

For families and visitors requiring special accommodations, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Exploration Center will stay open late for visitation during a quieter evening. There will be plenty of fun activities, scientists and live animals, our featured exhibition “Mazes & Brain Games,” plus much more.

Optional event registration. Those who register will receive a schedule of event activities and other preparatory materials, such as social stories and sensory maps, one week in advance. For special accommodations such as American Sign Language or Deaf-Blind interpretation, requests must be made no less than three weeks in advance.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

11 West Jones Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

919-707-9800

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Special Needs Days

Special Needs days are the first Saturday of the month. They turn down/off the music and they will make an exception to allow outside food, if needed. The first hour of jumping is solely for special needs families and parents/guardians jump for free.

Jump Street

1111 Walnut ST.
Cary, NC 27511

919-234-0722

Jump Street Indoor Trampoline Park

Fun For All

You may be asking yourself whether Carowinds is appropriate for guests with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or whether your loved one on the spectrum will be able to handle the theme park experience. Carowinds has taken steps to be well-prepared to welcome and provide accommodations for all types of disabilities, including autism and related disorders. To continue to provide equal access for all guests, be aware that all guests with mobility impairments or ASD will now receive a Ride Boarding Pass with wait times. Please review the Boarding Pass Program for more details.

Carowinds

14523 Carowinds Blvd

Charlotte, NC 28273

704-588-2600

Carowinds

Sensory-Friendly Performances

Children's Theatre of Charlotte offers a sensory-friendly performance for each of our Mainstage productions, modified for families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues. At the performance, theatre lighting and sound will be softened and the house lights will dim but stay on. Guests will also have extra room in the house to move around as needed during the performance. Quiet spaces, fidgets and headphones will also be available.

Children's Theatre of Charlotte trains all staff to meet the needs of those attending. Before attending the performances, families can walk through virtual tours online and get to know ImaginOn’s public space including the interior of the McColl Family Theatre and the Wells Fargo Playhouse. Parents can download a variety of resources to help them prepare their family for the show.

We create Resource Guides for each of our Productions - a general Resource Guide with activities and background information on the show - plus two guide specfic to our Sensory-Friendly Performances, one for Parents and one for Children. 

Children's Theater of Charlotte

ImaginOn

300 E. Seventh Street

Charlotte N.C. 28202

704-973-2828

Children's Theater of Charlotte

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