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SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Finding Friends | Social Skills Groups | Sensory Friendly Venues/Events | Recreational Activity Guide
Local Sensory-Friendly Venues and Events
Updated November 2022
--Times and Schedule subject to change--
Autism Ambassadors runs year-round exclusive recreational events for children, teens, and adults of all abilities on the spectrum, offering various sensory-friendly outings. The venues vary and include movies, trampoline parks, dance studios, and indoor and outdoor splash parks, with the venues rented out and reserved exclusively, no general public allowed. Food is served, siblings are welcome and the reduced fee is $10/child. Parents and aides attend for free. Email Autism Ambassadors to be added to their contact list and be notified about upcoming events.
7300 MacArthur Blvd. (Glen Echo Park)
Glen Echo, MD 20812
Select performances are slightly adjusted for children with sensory sensitivities. These sensory-friendly performances are pre-scheduled every season. These showings are also open to the general public. Click Here for More Information
AMC Loews Rio Cinemas 18
AMC turns up the lights and turns down the sound for its Sensory Friendly Films, shown the second and fourth Saturday of every month (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences). Movie-goers are invited to get up, dance, walk, shout, or sing. Please check your local listings for specific show times. Click Here for More Information
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
8270 Alumni Drive, Suite 3800
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-1625
Ticket Office: 301-405-2787; Accessibility Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sensory-friendly performances are offered for select events. These offerings are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to people on the autism spectrum or sensory sensitivities and families with small children. Click Here for More Information
511 10th St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
The historic Ford's Theatre offers sensory-friendly performances on select dates. These performances are modified to be welcoming to autistic individuals and those with other sensory sensitivities, and are designed to offer a safe environment where individuals can relax and be who they are. Click Here for More Information
4908 Auburn Ave.
Each production within Imagination Stage’s Lerner Family Theatre Season features a sensory-friendly performance designed to be more accessible for autistic individuals and their families. Sensory-friendly performances aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment where families can simply relax and be who they are. Tickets to sensory-friendly performances are $12–$25 and 100% refundable up until the show begins. Click Here for More Information. Click on specific shows to see the date of sensory-friendly performances.
2700 F St., NW,
Washington, DC 20566
The Kennedy Center offers sensory-friendly performances designed to create a welcoming and comfortable arts experience for people with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social, learning, or cognitive disabilities.
Modifications often include:
The Kennedy Center also offers pre-visit social stories and sensory maps to help prepare for a visit. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or email@example.com with any questions or concerns. Click Here for More Information
Olney Theatre Center
2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Sensory-friendly performances are scheduled each season for select shows. The following adjustments are made for these performances:
Click Here for More Information
The Puppet Co.
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 20812
The Puppet Co. offers sensory-friendly versions of its Mainstage Shows on select dates. The lights are dimmed, the back door of the theater is propped open for easy exit if a break is needed, loud sound effects are toned down, and some visual effects, such as fog, are omitted. Click Here for More Information
Regal Rockville Center
My Way Matinee showings offer an adaptive movie-going experience, with the lights turned up and the volume turned down. Guests are free to dance, sing, and shout along with the characters in the films at these screenings. Click Here for More Information
Strathmore Music Center
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20852
Special sensory-friendly performances are scheduled periodically, welcoming families of children with autism and other sensory sensitivities. Additionally, many of Strathmore's family-friendly shows and Strathmore Kids events offer a welcoming “no-shush” environment and relaxed house rules.
Accommodations for sensory-friendly performances include:
“Get Ready for the Show!” resource materials are available on each event page one month prior to the event to help families prepare. Strathmore also offers sensory-friendly back-stage tours. Participants can play instruments on the stage, see the artists’ dressing rooms, learn about how the lights and sound work, and much more in this tour designed with sensory sensitivities in mind.Click Here for More Information
B&O Railroad Museum
901 West Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21223
“Sensory Sundays” are held on select dates throughout the year. These days feature sensory accommodations, including no music, low lighting, quiet areas, increased signage for areas with sound effects, as well as sensory-friendly activities. Sensory kits, social stories, and a community table are also available. Click Here for More Information
Capital One Arena
601 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Home to the Washington Wizards basketball team and the Washington Capitals hockey team and host to numerous cultural performances, the Capital One Arena is certified as a sensory-inclusive facility by KultureCity, a nationally recognized organization that provides sensory-inclusion training and tools. Visitors can stop by Guest Services to borrow sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, and other resources. Fans also have access to a dedicated quiet room for those who may need a calmer and more secure environment. A social story is available on the Kulture City app to help you prepare for a visit. Click Here for More Information
International Spy Museum
700 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20024
On special days throughout the year, the International Spy Museum opens its doors exclusively for autistic individuals and those with sensory differences. On these Access days, the museum sets private hours so individuals can enjoy a visit with less noise, fewer people, and designated quiet rooms. For guests who are unable to visit on Access days, the museum offers resources to help plan for a successful visit, including social narratives, a sensory sensitivities map, and a "know before you go" video. Click Here for More Information
1 Safari Place
Baltimore, MD 21217
The Maryland Zoo is certified as a sensory-inclusive facility by KultureCity. Sensory-inclusive bags containing fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and other resources can be borrowed at the main gate. Designated quiet areas are located in the zoo. A social story is available on the Kulture City app to prepare for your visit. Click Here for More Information
501 E Pratt St.,
Baltimore, MD 21202
The National Aquarium provides express entry to guests with special needs, as well as early entry on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month, allowing visitors with disabilities and their companions to enter 30 minutes before the aquarium opens for a leisurely, crowd-free visit.
As a certified sensory-inclusive organization through KultureCity, the National Aquarium provides sensory bags, special signage, and staff who are specially trained to help visitors with sensory concerns. The Guest Relations Room on Level 1 offers a quiet space for guests who need a moment away from the crowds. To help visitors with sensory sensitivities prepare for their visit, the National aquarium website specifies sensory elements found in different galleries. A social story is also available on the KultureCity app. Click Here for More Information
National Children's Museum
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
This hands-on museum offers sensory backpacks with noise-reduction headphones and fidgets. Designated quiet spaces are available for breaks, and social narratives can help guests prepare for a visit. Click Here for More Information
1500 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Home to the Washington Nationals baseball team, Nats Park is certified as a sensory-inclusive facility by KultureCity. Visitors can stop by the main guest services location, in Centerfield Plaza, to borrow sensory bags, equipped with noise canceling headphones, fidget tools, and other resources. A sensory room is located near Section 140. A social story is available on the Kulture City app to help you prepare for a visit. Click Here for More Information
Port Discovery Children's Museum
35 Market Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Port Discovery is certified as a sensory-inclusive facility by KultureCity. Staff members are trained on how to recognize guests with sensory needs, how to help handle sensory overload situations, and how to use sensory kits and supplies to help individuals with sensory sensitivities or challenges. Sensory bags containing fidgets, noise canceling headphones, and other resources are available for checkout at no cost. Designated quiet areas help children take breaks as needed. A social story is available on the Kulture City app to prepare for your visit. Click Here for More Information
Six Flags America
13710 Central Ave.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20721
Six Flags America is a Certified Autism Center™, accredited by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. The amusement park offers a sensory guide for every attraction that provides insight into how the attraction or ride may be affected by each of the five senses. Low sensory areas allow guests with sensory sensitivities to take a break and relax in a less stimulating environment, and front-line team members have been trained to better assist autistic guests and those with other sensory sensitivities to help them enjoy their time at the park. The park also offers Sensory Sensitive Days featuring limited sound and music, free noise-canceling ear plugs upon request, and signage highlighting surprise sounds and experiences. Click Here for More Information
Access Smithsonian serves the various Smithsonian facilities
Morning at the Museum is a free, sensory-friendly program for families of children, teenagers, and young adults with disabilities who are neurodiverse, autistic, or have other sensory processing disorders or cognitive disabilities. On specific Saturday and Sunday mornings, pre-registered families have the opportunity to visit a Smithsonian museum, before it opens to the public, to participate in activities or explore the exhibitions independently at their own pace. Programs rotate between the various Smithsonian Institution museums.
Access Smithsonian also offers a variety of pre-visit materials such as social narratives, videos, and sensory maps that can help neurodivergent visitors plan their visits to Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo. Click Here for More Information