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Discovering Sensory-Friendly Activities, Entertainment, and Shopping on Long Island, NY

rendering of the lighthouse at Montauk

Long Island, with its scenic beauty and bustling communities, is a treasure trove of opportunities for families with special needs. From sensory playgrounds to inclusive theaters and even sensory-friendly shopping, here's your guide to an enriching and inclusive experience on the island.

1. Bay Park in East Rockaway

Location: East Rockaway

Bay Park opens its arms to children with special needs with its innovative sensory playground. Filled with equipment meticulously designed to stimulate the senses and promote physical activity, this park ensures a day of fun and engagement for all.

2. Sensory Beans in Wantagh

Location: Wantagh

Sensory Beans is the place to be for sensory-friendly playtime. It offers a safe and welcoming environment where kids with special needs can have fun and interact with others, fostering both play and socialization.

3. Children's Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton

Location: Bridgehampton

The Children's Museum of the East End goes the extra mile by offering sensory-friendly programs and events. It's the perfect setting for kids to explore, learn, and have a blast, all while being themselves.

4. Planting Fields Sensory Garden in Oyster Bay

Location: Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay's Planting Fields Sensory Garden is a serene oasis designed to awaken the senses and promote relaxation. It features an array of plants and features tailored for kids with special needs.

Long Island children's museum logo

5. Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City

Location: Garden City

The Long Island Children's Museum welcomes children and families with a range of sensory, learning, and communication differences with its Sensory-Friendly Theater performances. Here, live theater becomes an inclusive experience.

6. Family Center for Autism in Garden City

Location: Garden City

The Family Center for Autism in Garden City offers a wide range of sensory-friendly classes and activities for children on the autism spectrum. From obstacle courses to cooking classes to horseback riding, there's something for everyone.

7. Planet Play in Bellmore

Location: Bellmore

Planet Play is your go-to place for Sensitive Space Playtime. Every week, they provide two hours of fun and interaction in a safe and welcoming environment.

8. Theatre Three in Port Jefferson

Location: Port Jefferson

Theatre Three offers sensory-friendly performances of their children's theater productions. They modify sound and lighting to ensure a more comfortable experience for children with sensory sensitivities.

9. Noel S. Ruiz Theatre in Oakdale

Location: Oakdale

The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre also provides sensory-friendly performances of their productions, making theater accessible to all.

10. Chuck E. Cheese's Sensory Sensitive Sundays™

Location: Various

Chuck E. Cheese's, a beloved entertainment spot, offers the Sensory Sensitive Sundays™ program. Participating locations open two hours early on the first Sunday of the month, creating a quieter and more sensory-friendly environment.

11. Dave & Buster’s

Location: Various

Dave & Buster's understands the needs of children with sensory, social, or learning disabilities. Their Sensory Friendly Sundays offer a quieter experience with TVs and music turned off and game volumes reduced until 10:30 AM.

12. Sky Zone Sensory Hours

Location: Various

Sky Zone offers Sensory Hours providing a quieter, toned-down jumping experience for those with special needs. The last hour is private for sensory hour guests only.

Sensory hours take place every last Sunday of the month from 8:00am – 10:00am.

13. AMC Movie Theaters Sensory Friendly Hours

Location: Various

AMC Theaters runs Sensory Friendly Film programs on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the magic of the movies.

14. Walmart Sensory-Friendly Shopping

Location: Various

Walmart has introduced sensory-friendly shopping hours, offering a calmer and more comfortable environment every Saturday from 8 AM to 10 AM. This initiative caters to those who appreciate a quieter shopping experience.

From parks and museums to theaters and shopping centers, Long Island, NY, has made significant strides in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for children with special needs. So, embark on your sensory-friendly journey and explore the beauty and diversity of this vibrant island with your loved ones.

child in sensory bouncy house

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