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Sensory-Friendly Programs for Kids at Connecticut Attractions

Our #CTcreator from Mommy is back with some great suggestions for places where you can find special sensory programs and hours at some of Connecticut’s top family attractions. 

Children of all abilities deserve to enjoy the best museums and attractions across Connecticut. To make them more accessible to all audiences, many offer sensory-friendly programs and hours. Smaller crowds, dimmed lights, and reduced sound volumes are some of adaptations made to accommodate children with Autism and other sensitivities.

Connecticut Science Center, Hartford

Approximately once a month, during their sensory-friendly days, the volume of demonstrations is turned down and lights are dimmed. Kids can enjoy activities, arts and crafts, and live science performances with a quieter, calmer touch.

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

The Yale Center for British art is one of the best things to do in New Haven with kids, with the largest collection of British art outside of the UK. Their Exploring Artism program is designed for children 5 to 12 years on the Autism spectrum and allows families to create art projects inspired by the museum collection. The program is free, but unfortunately paused due to COVID-19 — be on the lookout for its return! The museum also offers complimentary wheelchairs and stools, sign language interpretation and large print labels. Service animals are welcome.

Niantic Children's Museum, Niantic

During the free monthly sensory-friendly evenings, guests enjoy quiet corners and sensory bins set up throughout the facility. Children can choose which activities they would like to participate in and do them at their own pace within the two-hour time frame. Find other fun things to do in Niantic to make a full day adventure.

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

The Maritime Aquarium is the place to see sea animals and amazing creatures from the deep, and experience a live animal encounter. The aquarium offers periodic sensory-friendly mornings and evenings when it adjusts the lights and turns the sounds down (including for IMAX films) for a more peaceful, less stimulating experience. Call for upcoming dates.

KidsPlay Museum, Torrington

KidsPlay Museum offers regular evening and morning inclusive play times once a month. During this time, the KidsPlay Museum becomes more sensory-friendly and encourages a "no judgment," interactive play time. The tickets are set at a very affordable $2 per child and adult.

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