Sometimes you may find it difficult to get out of the house with your special needs child. You may not know where to go or find it challenging to manage your child’s behaviors outside of the house. It is SO important to get out of the house with your child as these outings provide bonding time with your child, provides opportunities for your child to interact with peers, and also provides your child valuable opportunities to learn new vocabulary and increase language skills. If you are attending a specific special needs day at a place, you may also have opportunities to meet parents in similar situations as yourself. You can bounce ideas off one another and offer support. Luckily, many places now cater to children with special needs which will provide you with a more successful outing with your child. Here are 10 places to check out with your child.
1. Liberty Science Center – Jersey City, NJ
Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ is an interactive science museum and learning center. It offers various exhibits geared for children which include many sensory stimulating activities. It is a wonderful place to take your child to learn and have fun. They are always welcoming of children with special needs, however, they offer specific days of the year in which they have classes and presentations specifically geared towards special needs children. To learn more click here. Admission for children 2-12 years is $17.75. Admission for adults is $21.75.
2. Diggerland- West Berlin, NJ
Diggerland in West Berlin, NJ is a construction themed adventure park. Your child will be able to touch, ride, and operate actual machinery. They also offer an arcade, stunt show, and ropes course. Diggerland offers special abilities nights which gives children an opportunities to dig, drive, and ride around in the machinery while keep in mind the unique challenges of the participants. To learn more about their special abilities night click here. Tickets to the event cost $18.95.
3. Sahara Sam’s Oasis- West Berlin, NJ
Sahara Sam’s Oasis in West Berlin, NJ is an indoor and outdoor water park. They offer special needs nights at a reduced rate. During these events, they provide a comfortable environment for the participants and families. They offer lifts for easy entry into the water areas. They also provide quiet rooms, and modified lighting and sound throughout the park. To learn more about the events click here. Tickets to the event cost $18.95.
4. The Funplex- Mount Laurel, NJ
The Funplex in Mount Laurel, NJ is an indoor amusement park including bowling, laser tag, rides, and games. They also offer outdoor water rides and attractions in the summer months. The Funplex offers special needs nights. During these events they turn down the sound and the lights to make the night a more enjoyable experience for the children. Information about the special needs nights can be found here.
5. AMC Movie Theaters- Various Locations in NJ
AMC Movie Theaters offer sensory friendly films on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and Tuesday evenings of each month. They turn the lights up and keep the sound lower to make a more enjoyable experience for the children. To learn more about the program and find a local theater click here.
6. Union County Performing Arts Center- Rahway, NJ
The Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ provides sensory-friendly theater productions that are specifically developed for children with Autism. At these shows. lights remain on and the sound is kept to a minimum. A limited amount of tickets are sold to keep the amount of people in the theater smaller than a typical show. To learn more about these programs click here.
7. Papermill Playhouse- Millburn, NJ
The Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ also offers Autism-friendly performances for children. The lights are turned up, sound turned down, and children are able to vocalize throughout the performance. The children are also able to walk around the theater if needed when supervised by a parent. For more information about upcoming shows click here.
8. Be Inspired Yoga- Pennington, NJ
Be Inspired Yoga in Pennington, NJ offers therapeutic yoga for children with Autism and other special needs. Individual and group sessions are offered. Classes can be customized based on your child’s unique needs. To learn more about these classes click here.
9. Two River Theater- Red Bank, NJ
Two Rivers Theater in Red Bank, NJ will be offering a “sensory-friendly” performance of a show this June (2017). They will also be offering summer theater classes for children with Autism (ages 10-17 years old). To learn more about these programs click here.
10. Sky Zone- Various Locations in NJ
Sky Zone Trampoline Parks have various locations throughout NJ. They offer special nights once a month for special needs jumpers. The sounds will be turned down and there will be extra staff to increase the ratio of adults to children. To find a location and to learn more about these events click here.
Do you know of other special needs programs at places located in NJ? Please let us know!