These MA sensory places guarantee safe family entertainment
Summer is right around the corner, which leaves plenty of time to get out and have fun. But for those who have sensory processing issues, finding places to go is not always easy. Crowded spaces, loud noises, very bright lights – can all be overwhelming for people sensory issues.
We’ve rounded up a few places that offer sensory moments, where people can just go and be themselves. Visit their websites for full schedules and information.
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We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym
34 Central Street, Wellesley, 781-943-3125
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is an indoor sensory play area, with equipment designed to help children with sensory processing issues. The gym has therapeutic equipment, an arts and crafts area, a soothing room, and more.
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday. Weekend hours vary.
Altitude trampoline park
700 Boston Post Road, Billerica, 978-663-5867.
People struggling with sensory stimulation are encouraged to enjoy the freedom of flight at Altitude Trampoline Park’s Sensory Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. when the park is less crowded and the music volume is reduced.
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday.
177 Main Street, Acton, 978-264-4200.
Discovery Museuma family and interactive museum that mixes science, nature and play, offers autistic-friendly evenings and sensory afternoons.
The evenings are open to families with members on the autism spectrum. The museum is closed to the general public and numbers are limited. Dinner, including a gluten-free option, is provided.
Sensory afternoons focus on inclusion, and people can explore the accessible Discovery Museum, Discovery Woods, and the Giant Treehouse. The museum is open to the public, but group tours and birthday parties are not scheduled during these times.
School year hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Advance reservations are required for all tours.
20 South Ave., Burlington, 22 Flutie Pass, Framingham, 140 Dartmouth Mall, Dartmouth, 90 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen and 440 Middlesex Road, Tyngsboro
Dance, walk, shout and sing to a AMC Sensory Film, it’s a little quieter and a little brighter. Sensory Films are scheduled on the second and fourth Saturdays and second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at participating AMC theaters.
259 Hartford Avenue, Bellingham; 793 Iyannough Road, Hyannis; 591 Donald J Lynch Blvd, Marlborough
Regal’s Morning My Way gives everyone the opportunity to experience a movie with the auditorium lights on and the volume down. It becomes a safe space where guests are free to express themselves by singing, crying, dancing, walking, talking or shouting while enjoying the latest Hollywood movies.
The screenings are the first show of the day on certain Saturdays and Tuesdays of each month.
blue man group
Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton Street, Boston
blue man group hosts autism-friendly shows for individuals and families. For these performances, sound and light levels are reduced at various times during the performance and sound-reducing headphones or earplugs are available. Families seeking a break from the excitement will find soothing environments in the theater lobby.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
598 Assembly Row, Somerville
LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers special moments for people with sensory difficulties. To LEGOLAND visitors can build and test LEGO racers, see their favorite characters in the 4D LEGO Theater, fly on Merlin’s Apprentice, blast skeletons on the Kingdom Quest ride, build LEGO creations and more.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
New England Zoo
Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston.
Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham
New England Zoo is certified inclusive sensory and partnered with CultureCity to help customers with sensory needs. Zoo staff have been trained to meet customer needs and sensory bags containing fidget tools, verbal cue cards, noise canceling headphones and other resources are available. Bags can be picked up for free by leaving an ID at the admission desk.
Customers can also download the free KultureCity app to view sensory features, including quiet zones and helmet zones.
Summer hours for both zoos are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday and public holidays.
Urban Aerial Adventure Park
189 Mechanic Street, Bellingham, 508-232-4604
From indoor climbing attractions to interactive games and wild rides to high-flying adventures – and yes trampolines – Urban Aerial Adventure Park offers indoor adventures for all age levels.
On the second Sunday of every month from 8-10am, Urban Air offers an event specially designed for children with autism and special needs without loud music or flashing lights.
Regular park hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.
Audubon mass society
Audubon mass society launched a summer program of sensory days in sanctuaries in Massachusetts. During these times properties are closed to the general public or are relatively quiet. Some sites offer special hikes with nature guides, while others offer self-guided opportunities. Many sanctuaries have All Persons Trails, with wide, flat, ADA-accessible trails where visitors can experience the wilderness. Pre-registration is required.