Sensory Inclusive Spots in Northeast Ohio to Visit this Summer


Photo Credit: Image courtesy of Kulture City

Sensory-Inclusive Activities

Akron Zoo

The Akron Zoo has partnered with nonprofit,KultureCity, to assure a family-friendly, sensory-inclusive experience for everyone. The zoo now has five quiet zones for guests who are in need of a quiet break, including a guest comfort station, which is a private room for guests to use. The zoo has also designated a few areas that may be louder than normal, like the carousel, where guests with sensory needs may want to use noise cancelling headphones. Sensory packs that includenoise-canceling headphones, fidget tools and weighted lap pads are available at Guest Services.

Cedar Point

Cedar Point offers early admission and beach access for families with special needs. They’ve also added a sensory room to the Frontier Town first aid station. Here you will find sensory tools and calming lighting. Families can also check out a sensory pack for the day, which includes headphones, fidget toys, non-verbal communication cards and weighted lap blankets. A Family Care Center can be found in Planet Snoopy, the Town Hall Museum and Guest Services.

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

The museum has partnered with Monarch Center for Autism’s Welcoming Spaces Program to offer customized visual, social, communicative, sensory, and behavioral supports including call-ahead accommodations. A sensory-friendly room is available and guests can also borrow sensory packs that can help make their visit more enjoyable.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Also working with KultureCity, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has trained staff members how to interact and communicate with guests experiencing sensory issues. You will find a few "quiet zones" throughout the museum to take advantage of when feeling overwhelmed by the bright, flashy and loud environment. Guests can borrow sensory bags — at no cost — that include noise-dampening headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads.

Progressive Field

Indians gameday staff have trained to recognize fans with sensory needs and how to handle a sensory overload situation. Guest who may be overwhelmed by the environment can go to Fan Services and borrow sensory bags equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards and weighted lap pads.

Quicken Loans Arena

The Q has become the first NBA arena in the country to accommodate fans with autism, dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder and similar conditions.Because the sights and sounds of a major sporting event can be overwhelming, The Q worked in conjunction with theCleveland Clinic for staff training. And they worked with KultureCity to provide special accommodations including early entry, sensory bags and The Quiet Space – a special room featuring calming paint tones, a textured wall, special seating and privacy away from loud noises and crowds.

Sensory-Friendly Activities

Canton Palace Theater Sensory Cinema

The Canton Palace Theater is offering an eight-week Sensory Cinema Series specially-tailored to audiences on the autism spectrum. Movies begin at 6:30pm, with doors opening at 6:00pm. Admission is only $1.00 and group reservations are available by calling 330-454-8172.

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The 2019 schedule of films include:

  • June 17 - The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  • June 24 - The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
  • July 1 - The Lego Batman Movie
  • July 8 - Smallfoot
  • July 15 - Peter Rabbit
  • July 22 - The Grinch
  • July 29 - How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • August 5 - Wonder

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

"Sensory Friendly Sunday" is a morning designed for those on the autism spectrum. Families are invitedduring special hours -- from 9:30am until 12:00pm -- in order to avoid crowds, noise and distractions. Special activities include "Please Touch" stations, a sensory-friendly planetarium show, modified experiences in museum exhibit and designated "resting spaces."

Playhouse Square Sensory-Friendly Performances

This sensory-friendly initiative is dedicated to increasing access and inclusion for children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorders and other sensory, social and cognitive challenges. Some Playhouse Square’s resident companies also present sensory-friendly programming.

While family bonding experiences are important to every family member, positive, inclusive family experiences that reinforce these meaningful connections are especially important to individuals in the autism spectrum. Make memories this summer that are sure to last a lifetime when you make plans to experience all of these fun times together.

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