Sensory-Friendly Activities in

Pennsylvania

Sensory Story Time

Saturdays beginning November 9, 2019 at 9:30am. PennCares and Coyle Free Library are proud to offer sensory story time. This unique story time is for children of all abilities ages 2 - 4. Join us for an interactive & hands on story time session. Children will enjoy book themed learning stations, sensory play, music & movement and more. While this is geared towards children with sensory needs, all are welcome, no registration required.

 

Sensory story time was made possible through a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities

 

Bosler Library

158 W High St

Carlisle, PA 17013

717-243-4642

Bosler Library

Sensory Story Time

3rd Wednesday of the Month at 10:00am PennCares and Coyle Free Library are proud to offer sensory story time. This unique story time is for children aged 2 - 4 and targeted to those with sensory needs, but all are welcome. Join us for an interactive & hands on story time session. Children will enjoy book themed learning stations, sensory play, music & movement and more. No registration required. Sensory story time was made possible through a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

 

Coyle Free Library

102 N Main St

Chambersburg, PA 17201

717-263-1054

Coyle Free Library

Sensory Story Time

10:30am beginning Friday, October 18, 2019 PennCares and New Cumberland Library are proud to offer sensory story time. This unique story time is for children aged 2 - 4 and targeted to those with sensory needs, but all are welcome. Join us for an interactive & hands on story time session. Children will enjoy book themed learning stations, sensory play, music & movement and more.

 

No registration required. Sensory story time was made possible through a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

 

New Cumberland Public Library

1 Benjamin Plaza

New Cumberland, PA 17070

717-774-7820

New Cumberland Public Library

Sensory Story Time

Mondays at 10:30am PennCares and Dillsburg Area Public Library are proud to offer sensory story time. This unique story time is for children aged 2 - 4 and targeted to those with sensory needs, but all are welcome. Join us for an interactive & hands on story time session. Children will enjoy book themed learning stations, sensory play, music & movement and more.

 

No registration required. Sensory story time was made possible through a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities

Dillsburg Area Library

204 Mumper Ln

Dillsburg, PA 17019

717-432-5613

Dillsburg Area Library

Sensory Story Time

Wednesdays from 11:30am-12:15pm PennCares and Amelia Givin Library are proud to offer sensory story time. This unique story time is for children aged 2 - 4 and targeted to those with sensory needs, but all are welcome. Join us for an interactive & hands on story time session. Children will enjoy book themed learning stations, sensory play, music & movement and more.

 

No registration required. Sensory story time was made possible through a grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities.

Amelia Givin Library

114 N Baltimore Ave

Mt Holly Springs, PA 17065

717-486-3688

Amelia Given Library

Family Access Programs

From their website: "Engage all of your senses in the Penn Museum’s Family Access Programs. Designed for visitors with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families, our multisensory accessible offerings use role play, storytelling, movement, and touch to bring the lives of the ancients to life." Additional programming includes: "ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE A.M.

 

Designed for teens and young adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities, Archaeology in the A.M. pairs the lives of the ancients with making new friends. Participants in this new social program are encouraged to interact with peers through a series of multimodal drop-in activities in the first hour, with the second hour featuring an art-making workshop. A social networking space for parents and family friends will also highlight various community service organizations. A designated quiet space with dimmed lighting and fidget toys will be accessible throughout each event, and a limited number of noise-reducing headphones will be available to borrow.

 

See below for upcoming dates and themes. Archaeology in the A.M. is free with Museum admission, with special discounts available: ACCESS cardholders receive a discounted admission price of $2.00 per person for up to four visitors. Archaeology in the A.M. is made possible by the Philadelphia Autism Project. To learn more visit www.phillyautismproject.org."

 

Penn Museum

3260 South Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

215-746-6774

education@pennmuseum.org

Penn Museum

Relaxed Performances

From their website: "Relaxed Performances are specially adjusted to be sensory-friendly, comfortable for but not limited to individuals on the autism spectrum. To be inclusive of children and families with a wide range of sensory, learning, and communication differences, we designed the theater experience to be welcoming and judgment-free. Many children and adults benefit from experiencing theater in this relaxed environment.

 

Some aspects of this program include: Online pre-visit materials that show patrons what they can expect to see and hear at Montgomery Theater Training for ushers, volunteers, and musicians to help staff cultivate an especially inclusive environment Relaxed rules in the theater so that all responses to the show—clapping, singing, vocalizing, moving, dancing, etc.—are welcome at any time Partially up house lights Fidgets and earplugs A designated quiet space with relaxing activities for patrons who would like to take a break from the performance. Slight mitigation of sudden, loud sounds and events.

 

A modified refund policy that allows families to receive 100% of their money back if they purchase tickets and find they are unable to attend the day of the performance."

 

Souderton - Montgomery Theater

124 N. Main Street

PO Box 64033

Souderton, PA 18964

215-723-9984

Souderton - Montgomery Theater

Sensory Friendly Screenings

From their website: "Our Sensory Friendly Screenings offer a more inclusive atmosphere because we believe that everyone should enjoy their time at the movies. During Sensory Friendly Screenings the theatre lights will be dimmed, the volume will be turned down, and our “no talking during the film” rule will not be enforced. To accommodate any dietary needs and restrictions, individuals may bring their own snacks to enjoy during the film. The Colonial welcomes movie lovers of all ages and abilities. We hope you and your family will join us and enjoy the show!"

The Colonial Theatre

227 Bridge Street

Phoenixville, PA

610-917-1228

The Colonial Theatre

Sensory Friendly Programming​

From the Kimmel Center press release: "The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts announces a broad range of sensory-friendly performances across its Campus throughout the 2018-19 season, with presentations from Broadway Philadelphia and three of the Center’s esteemed resident companies including Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and The Philly POPS.

 

Part of a Campus-wide commitment to present a diverse tapestry of programming to the Philadelphia community, the upcoming lineup of events furthers the mission of reaching broad and diverse audiences. ... In partnership with ArtReach, these presentations embrace individuals with sensory sensitivities, communication differences, and those with autism spectrum disorders by creating a safe and inclusive environment.

 

Theater adjustments include modified sound and house lights and designated quiet areas, as well as relaxed house rules, allowing individuals permission to move around during the performance. Talking and reacting among guests is unrestricted, and outside sensory-friendly stress relief devices are welcome. Sensory-friendly kits are available regularly to all guests on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus and can be reserved on a first come, first serve basis by contacting Patron Services at 215-893-1999. Kits are equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, weighted bean bags, and fidget toys." 

Kimmel Center

Click the link above for performance and locations around Philadelphia or call 215-893-1999.

Kimmel Center

Sensory Night

From their website: "Crayola Experience is proud to offer an exclusive night for families and guests with special needs. Enjoy a fun, creative,night filled with 25 hands-on attractions in a quiet environment (so no music!) Our staff will be there to take care of all needs so your night will be relaxing and fun!

 

For information and to reserve your tickets, call 610-515-8000 (Press 4) or email: groupreservations@crayola.com 1:1 ratio for guests who need special assistance. Advance purchase required for admission." 

Crayola Experience

30 Centre Square

Easton, PA 18042

610-515-8000

Crayola Experience

Certified Autism Center 

From the zoo's website: "In May of 2018 Elmwood Park Zoo became the first zoo in the world to earn certification as a Certified Autism Center. The designation, given by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), is awarded to organizations who have completed a training and review process with the goal to better serve individuals with autism and other sensory needs." You can find a list of their accessibility services here - https://www.elmwoodparkzoo.org/visit/accessibility-amenities/

 

They also hold early morning access and other sensory sensitive events throughout the year. You can check their calendar here to see what is coming soon.

Elmwood Park Zoo 

1661 Harding Blvd

Norristown, PA 19401 

800-652-4143

Elmwood Park Zoo

Sensory Story Time 

Music and movement, stories, and sensory activities! 

Website: https://jeaneslibrary.org/children/childrens-storytimes/

William Jeanes Memorial Library 

4051 Joshua Road

Lafayette Hill PA 19444 

610-828-0441

William Jeanes Memorial Library

Sensory Storytime-Our Book Friends

From their website:

"Spectacular Saturdays Sensory Storytime-Our Book Friends

Saturdays
1/19, 2/23, 3/16
10-10:30a

Ages 3-8
Program Room

 

Join some of your favorite book characters in an interactive storytime! Each month features a new friend!

January 19 – Super Hero Friends
February 23 – Friends Under the Sea
March – Friends on the Farm

This storytime is designed for children with sensory integration difficulties, but is open and welcoming to all! Online registration encouraged."

Upper Dublin Township Library

805 Loch Alsh Avenue

Fort Washington, PA 19034 

215-628-8744

Upper Dublin Township Library

Autism Play Date

Held annually in Philadelphia. From their Facebook post: "Join Councilman Derek Green and Jaden's Voice for a FREE, fun-filled afternoon for kids and their families just ahead of the new school year! Enjoy free play, free food, and entertainment for the entire family."

 

There isn't a link or posting on the playground's website for this event, so we will be sure to update the link on our page. 

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

3500 Reservoir Drive

East Fairmount Park

Philadelphia, PA 19121 

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

Sensory Friendly Afternoons

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh offers tools such as weighted vests, noise blocking headphones and social stories for general visits to the museum as well as specially designated days and times called Sensory Friendly Afternoons for children on the spectrum.

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

10 Children's Way

Allegheny Square

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

412-322-5058

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

Accessible Performances - Family Fun Fest

Millersville University Visual and Performing Arts offers a variety of accessible performances (ASL, audio description, open captioning, sensory friendly) during the academic year.

 

Additionally, they offer social stories customized to each performance. You can contact them at the beginning the semester to see what new awesomeness is slated for that term. The primary contact for tickets and information is Mr. Barry Kornhauser - Barry.Kornhauser@millersville.edu.

 

***Please confirm with Millersville University for the correct location of the sensory friendly event you are planning to attend. ***

Ware Center

42 N. Prince Street

Lancaster, PA 17603

 

Winter Center

60 W Cottage Ave

Millersville, PA 17551

717-925-8466

Millersville University Visual and Performing Arts

Sensory-friendly Performances

From the theater: "Experience the joy of live dance in a supportive theater setting. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is proud to offer sensory-friendly performances for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities or other special needs.

 

We have produced sensory-friendly performances since 2013; PBT was the first professional ballet company in the country to present a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker. Other ballets in our sensory-friendly repertoire are Jorden Morris’ Peter Pan and Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast."

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

2900 Liberty Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA 15201

412-454-9107

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Sensory-Friendly Skate

From their website: Many family entertainment facilities are loud, crowded, and stressful for sensory-sensitive kids. Fun Slides Skating Center is committed to creating a fun,stress-free environment where kids with autism and other disabilities can play at their own pace. Thats why we are committed to making the opportunity for spectrum kids to have a chance to hit the park and have fun at a Sensory-Friendly Skate. Sensory-Friendly Skates give sensory-sensitive children a chance to hit the park and have fun! They can skate, jump, and play without worrying about unexpected noises, loud music, bright or flashing lights, or large crowds of kids. April is National Autism Awareness Month, and we’re excited to do our part to help sensory-sensitive kids in Pittsburgh. 

Autism-Friendly Skating at Fun Slides: Parents and teachers have been successful using carpet skates to help special needs kids. Carpet skates are excellent for helping kids rehabilitate after injuries, teaching kids fine motor skills, and providing fun play for sensory-sensitive children. Carpet skates are available to purchase for use at home, or you can bring your kids into our skatepark during one of our low-stimulation skate events. The benefits of carpet skating include:

  • Increased stability, balance, coordination, and motor skills

  • Improvements in behavior when used as a classroom incentive

  • Increase in hand coordination as kids learn to strap them over their shoes

  • Increased muscle tone, flexibility, cardiovascular health, and general fitness levels

  • Increased eye contact

  • Increased trunk rotation in typically rigid individuals

 

Carpet skating lets kids exercise, play, and socialize on their own terms. Fun Slides has partnered with Autism Village to provide the support sensory-sensitive kids need while they’re here. If you are interested in having your special needs group at Fun Slides, please call and book your private group event today.

Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park and Party Center

1130 Perry Highway

Pittsburgh, PA 15237

412-364-9400

Fun Slides Carpet Skate Park and Party Center

Kids and Families

From the website: NMAJH Family program provides nurturing environment for social interaction, collaboration and sharing among family members. Families may participate in interactive guided tours or self-guided activity, enjoy story and play time, and find creative expression in arts and craft activities designed to create meaningful connections to the exhibition. An open door for all, NMAJH brings to life the stories of Jews in America and invites families to share their own. 

 

For upcoming family programs, visit our calendar or email us at education@nmajh.org.

FAMILIES AND CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

We strive to ensure that the opportunity to learn from our collection is available to all; therefore, we offer tours that are customized to the visitors’ level of comfort and ability, both physical and cognitive. Experienced docents are available to facilitate these tours and activities. We will work with you to adjust our tours and activities to your family needs.

Workshops and tours for families with children with special needs are available upon request and by advanced reservation. For more information contact us at education@nmajh.org or call 215-923-3811 ext. 153 

National Museum of American Jewish History

101 South Independence Mall East

Philadelphia, PA

19106-2517

215-923-3811

National Museum of American Jewish History

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