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 update Aug. 24, 2017. 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. Occasionally, the museum hosts Low Sensory Mornings, where loud gallery sounds are turned down, attendance is limited, hands-on activities are offered in the galleries and art-making projects are available in the classrooms for children and families to enjoy.
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.
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. Two start times are available each Saturday at 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 1 – 3 p.m.
For select productions, Lyric Theatre hosts sensory sensitive performances. They began offering the performances in 2017 and more are planned for the spring of 2018 for “Junie B. Jones: The Musical.”
Crossroads Church has a new program to make going to church together a little easier. Their Champions Club is meant to provide a safe and educational place for kids who can't attend a typical children's ministry service. Kids age 4-12 with special needs are invited to learn Biblical principles in a fun and relaxed setting. Each child has his or her own teacher with them at all times to cycle through four interactive classrooms.
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. In the fall, Pumpkinville arrives in the Children's Garden. On a select evening, staff provides a more controlled and welcoming environment for people with sensory sensitivities to experience the fall festival with no loud music and smaller crowds. Families can enjoy festive booths, crafts and a light snack. Space is limited, so be sure to preregister.
Sensory Story Times at Metro Libraries
The Pioneer Library System offers monthly story times for kids who aren't comfortable in big crowds or are prone to sensory overload. Families can enjoy books, songs and crafts in a welcoming environment. Check schedule for times and appropriate age ranges.
For even more family-friendly ideas, check out our searchable calendar for fun events happening every day of the week.