Amusement parks are a world of excitement, adventure, and joy. However, for children with autism, the sensory overload and large crowds can be overwhelming. Fortunately, several amusement parks in the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) recognize the need for inclusivity and offer special events and days designed to cater to children with autism and their families. In this blog, we’ll explore these thoughtful initiatives and the parks that make them happen.
1. Sesame Place – Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Sesame Place is an acclaimed amusement park that takes pride in its commitment to inclusivity. The park hosts “A Very Furry Christmas,” an event tailored for children with autism. During this time, the park’s sensory guide provides information about sensory-friendly attractions, quiet spaces, and low-sensory parade viewing. Additionally, noise-cancelling headphones are available at no cost.
2. Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, New Jersey
Six Flags Great Adventure, one of the largest theme parks in the area, offers a “Sensory Sensitive Day.” This event provides an autism-friendly environment with reduced sensory stimulation. It features sensory-friendly shows, quiet areas, and access to designated ride times to minimize wait times for those who require it.
3. Diggerland USA – West Berlin, New Jersey
Diggerland USA, a unique construction-themed amusement park, hosts “Dig, Dine, and Drive.” This sensory-friendly event offers families a quieter, more comfortable atmosphere. Attractions are modified for reduced noise and shorter lines. Families can enjoy a sensory room and a quiet lunch area.
4. Storybook Land – Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Storybook Land’s “Sensory-Friendly Evening” is designed to accommodate children with autism. The park turns down the music, offers sensory-friendly attractions, and provides quiet areas for a calmer experience. Families can also access sensory bags, complete with noise-cancelling headphones and fidget toys.
5. Adventureland – Farmingdale, New York
Adventureland, situated on Long Island, hosts “Adventureland for Everyone.” This event ensures a sensory-friendly environment for individuals with autism and their families. Attractions are adjusted to minimize sensory input, and staff members receive special training to better assist guests.
6. Lake Compounce – Bristol, Connecticut
Lake Compounce offers a “Quiet Visit” for children with autism and their families. This event provides a sensory-friendly experience with reduced noise, special sensory areas, and a calm atmosphere. Families can also utilize visual supports and sensory bags.
Inclusion and accessibility are key values for the amusement parks in the Tri-State area. The special events and initiatives they offer for children with autism create a welcoming environment where all kids can have a great time. These parks are not only about thrilling rides and fun but also about making sure every child, regardless of their needs, can enjoy the magic of an amusement park. So, if you have a child with autism, consider planning a visit to one of these thoughtful parks for an unforgettable, inclusive experience.