(Updated for 2020) Houston Summer has arrived and we’re feeling the heat! While days at the pool and afternoons at the park are always nice, we thought we’d share a list of our favorite sensory-friendly activities to take advantage of around the Houston area; allowing you to beat the heat and have some fun!
Our favorite sensory-friendly Houston activities….
Catch a Flick!
Studio Movie Grill – Offered twice a month at 11:00 am.
“Special Needs Screenings” are shown with the lights up and the volume lowered and children are free to move around, talk, or even dance in the aisles during the movie. The sensory-friendly screenings are free for children with special needs and their siblings. Adult tickets are available at the before-noon price.” – source
Star Cinema Grill – Weekly, Showtimes Vary
We keep the lights up and soften the sound for a comfortable, sensory-friendly setting, ideal for young children and guests sensitive to loud noises or darkness. Every Wednesday (and select Saturdays), guests can enjoy a Bright Stars screening of a popular family film, with the to-your-seat service, full menu, and great experience Star Cinema Grill is known for – for only $5 a ticket. Children under the age of three years old are free! Every Wednesday we’ll have a Bright Stars screening, and tickets will usually be available a week prior.” – source
AMC Theatres – Sensory Friendly Films
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Their Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly. – source
Explore Space at Space Center Houston!
Recently deemed a Certified Autism Center, Space Center Houston hosts monthly Sensory Friendly Evenings that allow their visitors to explore and learn in a stress-free, sensory-friendly environment. Explorers are welcomed to participate in Pop-Up Science labs and enjoy many exhibits manned by professionals who are trained to assist guests with sensory needs. Space Center Houston also shares a designated quiet room in case guests need to take a break. – source
Learn and Grow at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
The HMNS didn’t stop at sensory-friendly visit days, but they’ve also expanded to offering a sensory guide on their website to help parents identify which exhibits may trigger sensory overloads, in addition to their sensory backpacks which include sunglasses, headphones, fidget devices and stuffed animals! – source
Sensory Friendly Days at the Children’s History Museum
Children with autism spectrum disorder and their families are invited to experience the Museum with dimmed lights, limited extra sounds, and no distracting motions during this private event. Extra signage is added to help visitors determine things not to climb on, and entrances between exhibits where it is good to stop and wait for an adult before continuing. – source
Climb and Explore at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym!
With open play, parties, classes, and respite care, WRTS does an incredible job of creating a safe and sensory engaging place for children to explore and play! The gym boasts an impressive amount of equipment including suspended swings, crash pillows, a zip line, trampolines, fine motor toys, and craft areas, and a play structure for climbing! This truly is a gym for ALL kids! – source
We love when local Houston businesses expand their knowledge to include children on all spectrums! Do you know of more hidden gems that are autism-friendly? Send us a message and we’ll check them out! What activities are you most looking forward to this summer? Be sure to tag Behavior TLC in all of your adventures!