Trying to plan a fun (and safe) day out of the house? Look no further!
Check out our list below of autism-friendly places to visit in and around the tri-state area that offer sensory-friendly activities and provide individuals with special needs, a safe and nurturing environment to build social skills, cultivate friendships and have fun!
These autism-friendly places were curated by Bancroft team member, Will Hoheisel, who is also on the Autism Spectrum and an alumnus of The Bancroft School. Will is the first face you see when you come to Bancroft’s administrative offices, and he is also a recent Corporate Service Excellence Award Winner.
Sesame Place has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs, to become the first theme park in the world to be designated as a “Certified Autism Center“. It offers specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs to create a memorable experience for all guests.
Location: 100 Sesame Rd, Langhorne, PA 19047
Phone Number: (215) 702-3566
Website: Sesame Place
Six Flags Theme Parks was designated as “Certified Autism Centers” in February 2020.
Read the full press release!
Location: 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson Township, NJ 08527
Phone Number: (732) 928-2000
Website: Six Flags Great Adventure
The Achieving Community Hopes and Dreams (ACHaD) Department of the Katz JCC provides individuals with special needs, of all ages, a safe and nurturing environment to build social skills, enhance self-esteem and cultivate friendships. Katz JCC’s mission is to enhance the physical, social and emotional development of participants through supportive programs that facilitate a sense of empowerment and independence. Participants express themselves in creative ways, gain confidence to interact with the community and their peer group while developing a sense of belonging.
Location: 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ.
Phone Number: (856) 424-4444
Website: Katz JCC
The Franklin Institute is sensory-friendly every day!
Free admission is available for up to six pre-registered guests, as well as for guests arriving between 8 and 9:30 a.m. Pre-registration closes at 5 p.m. on the Friday before the event. Regular museum admission applies after 9:30 a.m. unless pre-registered.
Sensory backpacks can be borrowed from the Information Desk. These contain sensory guide alerts, noise-reducing headphones, sunglasses and fidgets.
The Franklin Institute is least crowded on weekday afternoons and weekends. Weekday mornings during the summer are usually prime time for field trips. The museum recommends visiting quieter exhibits, such as “Amazing Machine” and “Space.”
Location: 20th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Phone Number: (215) 448-1200
Website: Franklin Institute
We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is a sensory gym franchise that is committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and fun environment for our kids by providing the support and amazing sensory gym equipment to create these safe spaces. The spaces foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences.
*Location: 3111 NJ-38 #14, Mt Laurel Township, NJ 08054
Phone Number: (856) 242-9354
Website: We Rock the Spectrum
*Check online for more locations
Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction is now a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC), designated by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Completion of the certification means that visitors with autism and other sensory needs can now have the sweetest experience possible. The certification process includes evidence-based staff training and certification, sensory guides for each attraction created by IBCCES.
Location: 100 Hershey Park Drive, Hershey, PA 17033
Phone Number: (800) 437-7439
Website: Hershey’s Chocolate World
OrlandoVacation.com is a resource specifically focused on planning vacations at Orlando vacation resorts and Orlando Theme Parks, such as Disney for families of children with autism. The website is also a “Certified Autism Center”.
As a companion to the “OrlandoVacation.Com”, there is also the website of Ashley Mark, a travel agent who’s been awarded a “CATP” (Certified Autism Travel Professional) label! Check out her website “AMark Travel”and her autism travel resources “Traveling With Autism.”
Knoebels Amusement Resort is America’s largest free-admission amusement park and offers free parking, entertainment and picnic facilities. While at the park, enjoy over 60 rides, award winning food, swimming at Crystal Pool, challenging games, gift shops, and Knoebels Three Ponds Golf Club, then stay overnight at one of two campgrounds.
Knoebels has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, which is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The designation demonstrates Knoebels’ continued dedication to providing inclusive and accessible options for guests.
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dramatic, surprising story of the American Revolution through its unmatched collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, documents, and works of art. Immersive galleries, powerful theater experiences, and digital touchscreens bring to life the diverse array of people who created a new nation against incredible odds.
The Museum of the American Revolution has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation.
The Reading Public Museum is a museum in West Reading, Pennsylvania. The museum’s permanent collection mainly focuses on art, science, and civilization. It also has a planetarium and a 25-acre arboretum.
The Reading Public Museum is designated a Certified Autism Center.
Autism Travel would be a very useful resource for families looking to travel to other places in North America outside of the direct tri-state area!
Check out some more of Will’s autism resources you can use to celebrate Autism Awareness with your friends, family and community!