Loud sounds and packed crowds can be overwhelming for people with sensory sensitivities. Around the Oklahoma City metro area, family-friendly venues offer inclusive events and other accommodations aimed at welcoming all families to enjoy their fun amenities.
(Editor’s Note: This is a working list last updated Oct. 8, 2021. If you know of other events happening in the Oklahoma City metro area, please email email@example.com.)
At select locations around the country, Chuck E. Cheese opens two hours early on the first Sunday of the month, offering families less crowds, dimmed lighting and low music. Chuck E., their iconic mascot, will make limited appearances as well. The Norman location is participating in this program.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art offers a variety of inclusive amenities. Available free of charge, the museum has sensory booster packs to enhance the museum experience. The pack can include wiggle seats, noise canceling headphones, laminated copies of art for touching and more.
Crowded theaters can be the exact opposite of sensory friendly; however, AMC offers a unique movie-watching experience for families and adults with sensory sensitivities. On the second and fourth Saturday of the month, local theaters offer family-friendly screenings with the lights turned up and the sound turned down. On Tuesday evenings, theaters show movies for mature audiences with the same accommodations.
Select screenings on the second Saturday of the month create a safe and fun space for children who may frighten easily or those that might have sensitivity to a typical theater experience. House lights are kept brighter and sound is turned down. When selecting your film, be aware this same film will likely be playing in another auditorium, just with the usual sound and light levels. So, look for the Sensory Friendly designation.
Several times a year, iFLY hosts an All Abilities Night offering accommodations for all abilities and discounted pricing. iFLY partners with local adaptive, inclusion and special needs organizations. Space is limited.
Organized by Autism Oklahoma, All Star Bowling offers an atmosphere where each person is encouraged to be themselves. Family and friends are welcome to join and ramps and bumpers are available. Bowling is available each Saturday from 1 – 3 p.m.
For select productions, Lyric Theatre hosts sensory sensitive performances.
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym was founded to provide a place for children of all ability levels to play and grow together using uniquely designed sensory equipment that is specifically designed to aid children with sensory processing disorders. Children are welcome to come in and enjoy the same activities that are offered during the private sessions and private parties. This includes full use of the gym with all equipment, and an arts & crafts section that has: beading, painting, lanyards and much more.
Throughout the year, Myriad Gardens offers a variety of family-friendly activities that connect to nature in different ways each season. For example, when Pumpkinville arrives each fall in the Children’s Garden, staff provides a more controlled and welcoming environment for people with sensory sensitivities to experience with no loud music and smaller crowds. Families can enjoy festive booths, crafts and a light snack, on a select evening during the festival. Space is limited, so be sure to preregister.
For even more family-friendly ideas, check out our searchable calendar for fun events happening every day of the week.