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
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
There are a lot of other great ways to spend time together that don’t involve traveling or much planning!
Visit a local park, play a game, talk on the phone or just stay at home and watch a movie! Simply hanging out with a friend or family member who has autism will bring them so much joy and they’ll appreciate you taking time out to be with them (even if it’s virtually)!