Inclusive Activities and Events for Children with Special Needs in New York
These venues in NYC and its suburbs will encourage kids with and without special needs to explore, play, and grow together!
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Inclusive Museums in Westchester, Rockland, and Bergen
Westchester Children’s Museum
100 Playland Parkway, Rye
All of the kid-friendly, exploratory exhibits at WCM are accessible for kids with special needs, and the museum will make any further accommodations necessary to ensure all kids are comfortable and having fun.
Inclusive Exercise in Westchester, Rockland, and Bergen
305 Central Ave., Suite 2, White Plains
Martial Arts: Steve Kanney 914-648-0492
Yoga: Kim Gold 914-648-0493
This martial arts and yoga center offers integrated classes for kids with and without special needs. Staff are dedicated to providing individualized, focused attention based on each student’s needs, while helping kids develop skills, build confidence, face challenges, and overcome obstacles.
Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship
1 Succabone Road, Mount Kisco
This stable offers a sibling riding program in which children with special needs can show their siblings the horsemanship ropes! Siblings can participate in riding activities, ground horsemanship, the stable’s show team, and summer camps. Each summer camp is open to kids with and without special needs, and everyone gets to benefit from the physical, cognitive, social, and sensory benefits working with horses provides.
1 Playland Parkway, Rye
At this amusement park, kids with and without special needs can both have fun on certain gentle rides such as the Sun & Moon, Jump n’ Bean, Flying Dragons, and Jolly Caterpillar. All special needs-accessible rides also allow a companion to ride with the child.
Bounce Valley Cottage
612 Corporate Way, Valley Cottage
Kids can jump on several trampoline courts, a slam dunk basketball area, and two indoor dodgeball courts. Younger kids can play on their own trampoline court and foam pit with more supervision. Each week Bounce offers Sensory Tuesday nights that are perfect for children with sensory challenges—sounds and lights are dimmed, and the trampolines are deliberately less crowded.
424 Market St., Nanuet
This bounce center offers a wide variety of programming, such as scavenger hunt bounce sessions, yoga bouncing, and special sensory bounce hours that are run by an occupational therapist on Mondays. There are several kinds of educational bounce sessions that include reading, crafting, and one session that aims to keep kids healthy and active.
401 Market St., Nanuet
This gymnastics facility offers open gyms in which children ages 4 and younger both with and without special needs can play on the equipment under the supervision of their parent or guardian. This includes playing on the bars, beam, trampoline, floor obstacles, and in the ball pit.
100 Hersheypark Dr., Hershey, PA
Guests with special needs are encouraged to fill out the amusement park’s ride accessibility questionnaire, which provides specialized ride recommendations and qualifies them to avoid crowds by skipping the line and entering the ride from special entrances.
The park also offers several quiet locations throughout the complex to provide relief from sensory stimulation.
Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor Water Park
This indoor water park is open year-round, and offers four sensory-friendly evenings per year called Special Evenings at Sam’s, or SEAS. These events provide fun, judgement-free evenings for kids and adults with special needs and their family and friends. At just $15 per person, a limited amount of steeply discounted tickets are sold to reduce overcrowding and noise. Lights are also dimmed, arcade games are turned off, and a quiet room is available. Special SEAS birthday parties and packages can also be purchased.
100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, PA
Sesame Place was the first theme park in the United States to be officially designated by The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) as a Certified Autism Center (CAC). The theme park offers specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs, including trained staff, quiet rooms, noise cancelling headphones, low sensory areas and parades, dietary exceptions, and a ride accessibility program.