Available Now
MetroKids

Differences Welcome

Families with kids with special needs have many opportunities to explore programming at area attractions this spring. Local venues offer special events this month in recognition of Autism Awareness and ongoing programming for kids with sensory issues.

Autism Awareness Night at Adventure Aquarium

Autism Awareness Night at Adventure Aquarium

Scroll down to read about special needs & sensory-friendly programs and events for families & children in the Philadelphia, South Jersey & Delaware areas. Or, click on an event in the list below for more information.

Autism Awareness events & Special Needs days 
hosted by Variety – The Children’s Charity, various
locations
- Sensory Friendly Film Screenings, various locations
- KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo
- Philadelphia YMCA programs
Huddle Up for Autism with the Philadelphia Eagles
- Sahara Sam's Oasis Water Park, West Berlin, NJ
- Garden State Discovery Museum, Cherry Hill, NJ
- Delaware Children's Museum, Wilmington, DE

 

Variety programs

These programs are hosted by Variety - The Children's Charity, an organization that provides special needs families with resources as well as recreational & educational activities:


Autism Awareness Nights


Variety Day

When: April 6
Where: Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia
When: April 20
Where: Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA
When: April 27
Where: Adventure Aquarium in
Camden, NJ
What: For families with kids with physical 
and/or developmental disabilities.
What: For families with kids on
the autism spectrum.
 

Special features: Accommodations are made to ensure sensory comfort as kids explore exhibits and attractions, and parents can collect information from various special needs-related organizations.

Details: To attend, families must register through Variety to verify their children’s disabilities; the registration fee for each event is donated to Variety.

 

Sensory Friendly Films

When: April 6, June 1 & 29 (Recurring almost every month)

Where: AMC Theatres in Allentown, Bensalem, Philadelphia, Springfield and West Chester, PA, and Cherry Hill and Hamilton, NJ.

Special features: The lights are turned up, the sound is turned down and guests may walk around, dance or sing during the film.

Details: Check with your local theater for movie schedules. 

 

KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo

When: Opens April 13 (Ongoing programming)

What: Permanent indoor/outdoor children’s zoo where visitors get hands-on with animal care.

Special features: Braille, sign language and a picture-exchange communication system for kids with autism.

 

Who: The Philadelphia Zoo worked with the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Overbrook School for the Blind.

Details: Exploration included with regular admission.

 

Philadelphia YMCA programs
The Y regularly offers ability programs such as aquatic & karate classes and “teen nights” to provide learning in a safe, non-competitive, success-oriented atmosphere. To find special needs programming in your area, visit Philaymca.org

 

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney with fans at Huddle Up for Autism 2012.

Huddle Up for Autism

When: April 14

Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia

What: Meet-&-greets with Eagles’ players, games, arts & crafts and field & locker room tours.

Special features: Child specialists, quiet rooms and gluten-free concessions stands available. To prevent overwhelming guests, the event is limited to 5,000 attendees.

Who: Collaboration between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Center for Autism Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Details: Event is free, but advance registration is required, and spots fill up quickly!

 

Special Evening for Special Needs

When: May 10 (Recurring a few times per year)

Where: Sahara Sam’s Oasis in West Berlin, NJ

Special features: Access to most water attractions with a quiet room for resting. Lights & audio throughout the park are turned down to accommodate guests with sensory issues.

Details: Tickets are offered at a discounted price. Visit the website for more information.

 

Open Arms: Family Evening

When: May 26, Aug. 4 & Nov. 10 
(Recurring a few times per year)

Where: Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, NJ

What: Open play for families with kids on the autism spectrum.

Special features: Event is afterhours to ensure a calm environment, and audio is turned down. Kids can rest in a quiet room, and a sensory area includes activities like drawing with shaving cream.

Details: Admission is free.

 

Sensory-focused activities

When: Ongoing programming.

Where: Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington, DE

What: Activities vary; Kids can squeeze noodles in vegetable oil, dig for mystery items buried in dry rice or beans or play with goop made from cornstarch and water.

Special features: Sensory-focused activities in the art studio, a quieter, confined area of the museum.

Details: Check website for current programming. 

 

For additional special needs events, listings, resources & articles, visit MetroKids.com/specialkids.

 

Mar 11, 2016 06:51 pm
 Posted by  mark c.

My daughter has been diagnosed with autism and i would like to involve my child in any programs available to her..and also involve myself to help others anyway i can...

This has been flagged
Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Special Needs Events

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Weekend Planner

Weekend Planner: May 27, 2016

Weekend Planner: May 27, 2016

Family-fun events and activities in Philadelphia, the suburbs, South Jersey and Delaware for May 27 - May 30, 2016.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Special Needs Parenting

Trouble with Daily Transitions

Trouble with Daily Transitions

Find guidance on smoothing transitions for children or students with special needs.

Can Diet Changes Improve Neurocognitive Disorders?

Can Diet Changes Improve Neurocognitive Disorders?

Learn how an elimination diet and other eating habit changes may have a positive effect on mood and behavior.

What to Do After a Special Needs Diagnosis

What to Do After a Special Needs Diagnosis

When a child gets a diagnosis of a developmental disability, it can be difficult to know what to do. These tips help get life back on course.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Family Fun Features

Fall into family fun on the farm

Fall into family fun on the farm

Celebrate the turn of the season at some of these Delaware, Pennsylvania and South Jersey family-friendly farms.

Play, Ride and Get Excited!

Play, Ride and Get Excited!

New attractions will make their debuts this summer at area amusement parks including Dutch Wonderland, Sesame Place, Morey's Piers, Clementon Park & Splash World, Dorney Park and Six Flags Great Adventure.

Party Places

Party Places

Local venues where you can host a kid's birthday party with popular themes.

Splash Pads & Spraygrounds

Splash Pads & Spraygrounds

Area splash pads and spraygrounds keep kids cool in the heat of summer.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Autism Research & Advice

Educational Interventions for Children with Autism

Educational Interventions for Children with Autism

What types of learning strategies do schools use for children on the autism spectrum? Get the details on programs that support literacy, behavior and scheduling.

Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder

What overlap exists between these two diagnoses?

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Other Disabilities Research & Advice

Tourette Syndrome: What Parents Need to Know

Tourette Syndrome: What Parents Need to Know

Tourette's affects 1 in 360 kids. Here's what parents need to know, from tics to treatment

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »Food & Nutrition

Can Diet Changes Improve Neurocognitive Disorders?

Can Diet Changes Improve Neurocognitive Disorders?

Learn how an elimination diet and other eating habit changes may have a positive effect on mood and behavior.

Food Allergies and Camp

Food Allergies and Camp

If your child has food allergies, ask camp directors these questions as one step toward a safe camp experience.

Make Meal Planning Easy

Make Meal Planning Easy

These meal planners can help answer the dreaded question, "What's for dinner?"

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More on this topic »MomSpeak

A Shelter Cat Finds a Forever Home

A Shelter Cat Finds a Forever Home

Mommy blogger EJ Curran adopts a rescue cat.

Alphabet exercises as easy as ABC!

Alphabet exercises as easy as ABC!

Most kids need repeated exposure to learn the alphabet. Here are ways parents can reinforce ABC learning.

Meds That Mom Gives You… Worth It At All?

Meds That Mom Gives You… Worth It At All?

Blogger M.B. Sanok describes the difficult tradeoff parents face in medicating a child with special needs.

The 7 Wonders of Parenthood

The 7 Wonders of Parenthood

The pyramids have nothing on mom blogger Stephanie Glover's amazing (but recognizable) mom moments.

{/if}