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Autism Awareness Month Events in the New York Area

Autism Awareness Month Events in the New York Area

April is National Autism Awareness Month and there are many sensory-friendly events you can take kids to around the New York area, including shows, fairs, festivals, and museum tours. Autism Awareness Month aims to promote awareness, inclusion, acceptance, and action to help those with ASD. According to the Autism Society, one in 68 kids in America have autism. Find an Autism Awareness Month activity near you in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester County, and Bergen County, NJ.


Autism Awareness Month Events in Manhattan

FREE Artists At the Atrium: Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could
WHEN: Saturday, April 14, 11am and 2pm
WHERE: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts: David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 W. 62nd St., Upper West Side
AGES: 3-5
WHAT: Get ready for a whimsical Americana mashup when the Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter brings his rootsy, accordion-laced pop and rock tunes to Lincoln Center. Designed for kids on the autism spectrum, this performance is part of the Big Umbrella Festival.
WANT TO GO? 212-875-5000. kidsportal.lincolncenter.org.

Big Umbrella Festival
WHEN: April 14-May 6, Saturday-Sunday, see website for times
WHERE: Lincoln Center, Broadway and 65th Street, Upper West Side
AGES: 3-17
WHAT: The Big Umbrella Festival is the world’s first month-long festival dedicated to performing arts programs for children on the autism spectrum and their families, offering three original interactive theater productions made for your family, as well as relaxed performances across the Lincoln Center campus.
WANT TO GO? See website for prices. 212-875-5833. bigumbrellafestival.org.

FREE Autism Spectrum Tour: The Discovery Squad
WHEN: Through Sept. 1: Saturdays, 9-10am
WHERE: American Museum of Natural History, 79th Street and Central Park West, Upper West Side
AGES: 5-17
WHAT: Families with members on the autism spectrum can attend a 40-minute tour led by specially trained guides, then spend some time exploring the Discovery Room before the museum opens to the public.
WANT TO GO? 212-769-5100. amnh.org.


Autism Awareness Month Events in Brooklyn 

Family Fun: Broadway Jazz Adaptive Dance
WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 4:30-5:30pm
WHERE: Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene
WHAT: Explore classic songs and dance moves from the bright lights of the Broadway stage. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, this class is specifically staffed and designed for participants with both physical and developmental limitations.
WANT TO GO? $25 for a family of 2-3; $30 for a family of 4-6. 718-624-8400. markmorrisdancegroup.org.

Sensory Room Family Hours
WHEN: Through Dec. 31: Thursdays and Saturday-Sunday, 2-4:45pm
WHERE: Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights
WHAT: In this inclusive space, children of all abilities can explore their senses. The Sensory Room is a welcoming environment for children on the autism spectrum.
WANT TO GO? $9; $1 for children 1 and younger. 718-224-5863. brooklynkids.org.


Autism Awareness Month Events in Queens

FREE Autism Awareness Action Day 2018
WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 12-5pm
WHERE: The Shops at Atlas Park, 8000 Cooper Ave., Glendale
WHAT: Join Play4Autism for a day of spreading awareness and acceptance. There will be games, autism and special needs informational booths, face painters, arts and crafts, a live DJ, car show, yoga and martial arts demonstrations, vendor/food booths, police and fire safety, sports stations, raffles, and more.
WANT TO GO? 718-440-9863. play4autism.org.

RELATED: Top Things to Do in NYC for Kids with Autism 

Autism Awareness Month Events on Long Island 

'Elephant & Piggie's We Are in a Play!' Sensory Friendly Performance
WHEN: Monday, April 2, 6pm
WHERE: Long Island Children's Museum, 11 Davis Ave., Garden City
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: Introduce young people to theater with a comedic musical adventure, ripped from the pages of Mo Willems' beloved, award-winning, best-selling children's books. Sensory-friendly performances allow for individuals on the autism spectrum to attend theater performances in a more comfortable setting that include lighting and sound adjustments.
WANT TO GO? $13; $12 seniors; free for children younger than 1. 516-224-5800. licm.org.

'The Polar Bears Go Up!' Sensory Friendly Performance
WHEN: Thursday, April 26, 7-8pm
WHERE: Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: The Polar Bears are moving up in the world. They’ll be climbing trees, jumping on clouds, and reaching for the stars as they race all the way up to space.
WANT TO GO? $15. 516-299-3100. tillescenter.org.

Art Compass: Building Social and Vocational Skills for Teens and Young Adults with Autism
WHEN: Through June 12: Tuesdays, 4pm
WHERE: Nassau County Museum of Art, 1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor
AGES: 13 and older
WHAT: Students with autism will have the opportunity to apply their artistic skills and functional academic learning in a real world setting, while preparing to transition to after school life.
WANT TO GO? $12; $8 seniors; $4 children ages 4-12. 516-484-9337. nassaumuseum.org. 

RELATED: Where to Watch Sensory Friendly Films in the NYC Area 

Autism Awareness Month Events in Westchester County

FREE Ecology Club for Families with Special Needs
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 3:30-4:30pm
WHERE: Rye Nature Center, 873 Boston Post Road, Rye
WHAT: Children with special needs are invited to bring a family member or caregiver with them to the Nature Center to enjoy animal programs, hikes, and other fun science and sensory adventures.
WANT TO GO? 914-967-5150. ryenaturecenter.org.


Autism Awareness Month Events in Bergen County, NJ

'Pete the Cat' - Relaxed Performance
WHEN: Monday, April 23, 4pm
WHERE: Mayo Performing Arts Center, 100 South St., Morristown, NJ 
AGES: 5-12
WHAT: Groovy, rockin’ Pete the Cat sets out to turn the super square lives of the family he moves in with upside down in this far out, fun adventure based on the popular book series. This relaxed performance will have lights up, modified sound, a quiet room, and the ability to get out of your seat so children with special needs may share in this family experience.
WANT TO GO? $12-$15. 973-539-8008. mayoarts.org.

'Story Pirates: Greatest Hits' Sensory-Friendly Kidz Cabaret Series
WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 1pm and 3pm
WHERE: Bergen Performing Arts Center, Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood, NJ 
AGES: 3-8
WHAT: Story Pirates turn original stories from kids into wild sketch comedy musicals featuring professional actors. Sensory-friendly performances are designed to make patrons more comfortable with aspects like softer sound levels and keeping the room’s lights on at a lower level. Patrons are free to stand, move around and talk during the performance.
WANT TO GO? $19. 201-227-1030. bergenpac.org.

Autism Awareness Day
WHEN: Sunday, April 29, 10am-4pm
WHERE: Bergen County Zoo, 216 Forest Ave., Paramus, NJ
WHAT: Meet local service organziations, enjoy train rides, carousel rides, live demonstrations, and more.
WANT TO GO? free admission. 201-262-3771. co.bergen.nj.us.


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Main image: The Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center