Children are naturally adventurous & love exploring their surroundings. But not all children are the same. Some are more sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, both factors that hinder their well-being and even their learning process.
Sensory-sensitive children often face difficulties in finding enjoyable activities in Chicago, especially during family outings or events. This can be a source of worry during holidays and even weekends for parents of children with special needs who want to create a fun environment for their children.
But here’s a list of sensory-friendly activities and environments to ensure your child gets a safe and inclusive space to thrive in.
Your child’s needs matter, and that is why InsectÂ Asylum is proud to offer a special sensory activity every Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every week, the Insect Asylum introduces a new and exciting sensory experience for children, allowing them to freely play and explore the museum afterwards.
And as a bonus, don’t forget to use their exclusive promo code SENSORYKIDS to receive a 50% discount on tickets purchased in advance. The Location addressÂ is The Insect Asylum, 2870 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago & Cost is $15-$20
AMC Sensory Friendly Films
Movies are great, except when they are overwhelming your child’s sensory needs. The good thing is that AMC Sensory Friendly Films, located at Various locations in Chicagoland, offers sensory-friendly movie showings for children on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. Moderate Lights are kept on, and the volume is accommodated to the children’s needs. The price also depends on the movie show you would like to watch.
Once a month, on the first Sunday, this one opens two hours early to provide a calm and soothing environment for those who need it. The usual bright lights and loud noises are replaced with soft lighting and reduced noise levels. The location is Chuck E. Cheese in Chicagoland. Admission is free.
When it comes to art institutes, there are many serene areas available for sensitive children. For example, the Art Institute has a map that highlights quiet and less crowded rooms in green while also indicating rooms with natural sunlight in yellow.
Then there’s the Brookfield Zoo, which not only has a sensory-friendly family room and resource centre, but also offers BZ Care Kits that contain helpful items such as noise-reducing headphones and social stories.
Chicago Children’s Museum also provides sound-muffling earphones and a designated “calming corner” on its third floor. These are not all, other examples Include Field Museum for All, Lincoln Park Zoo, Museum of Science & Industry, Navy Pier & Shedd Aquarium.
As for Playgrounds, there are a wide variety of options to suit the whole family. The Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle is a suburban spot that has something for everyone, including a sound garden, tree-top swings, sculptures, and more play areas on the way. For those looking for an indoor option, We Rock the Spectrum has 2 locations in Palatine and Franklin Park with sensory-friendly equipment for kids to use. Both offer a safe and fun environment for children to play and explore.
Illinois Autism Center
So, no matter your preference, a playground that caters to both sensory needs and provides much-needed break areas for families to relax and have fun together is available. In case a child needs extra assistance with their sensory issues, treatment centers are available, such as the Illinois Autism Center.
We specialize in providing individualized treatment plans (ABA therapy included)Â for children with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.