Sensory Friendly Events For You & Your Family

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Summer has finally arrived! It’s has been a long and wet spring and I think we can all say we are more than ready to kick off the summer!  If you are looking for something fun to do with your family, below is a list of sensory friendly events in the area that we have found for you. We will be sure to add to the list when we find more! Happy Summer!

Massachusetts


July 10th – August 14th – ACEing Autism Tennis in Scituate

July 11th – Quest! A Therapeutic Role Playing Game for kids with ASD

July 15th: Discovery Museum’s Especially For Me Autism Friendly Night

July 22nd – Sensory Sensitive Saturday in Boston

July 29th – Star Wars Night at Brockton Rox Game

August 19th – Children’s Discovery Museum & Discovery Woods Especially For Me 

August 25th – Buttonwood Park Zoo Special Needs Event

New Hampshire

First Wednesday of Every Month 4pm-6pm- Sky Zone
1st Sunday of every month – Chuck E. Cheese Sensory Sensitive Sundays

 

 

 

4th Annual Touch-a-Truck

truck logo
This past Sunday was our 4th Annual Touch-a-Truck event at the Peabody Rec Center with over 1000 people in attendance! The day could not have been any better with perfect weather and a great crowd!

Kids of all ages were able to experience what it was like to be inside firetrucks, race cars, ambulances and even tow trucks! There was plenty of food for guests to enjoy and lots of extra activities to do.  Kids were able to build their own bracelets, get their face painted and get their picture taken with McGruff the Crime Dog.

We want to thank all the organizations that came out. The event could not have been a success without them:

  • Peabody Fire Department
  • Peabody Police Department
  • Atlantic Ambulance
  • Cataldo Ambulance
  • Peabody Transportation School Bus
  • Whoopie Wagon
  • Cod Squad
  • Trolley Dogs
  • Todisco Towing
  • JC Landscaping
  • Peabody Public Works
  • Somerville Public Works
  • D. Beatrice Racecar
  • Stephan Hosker Racecar
  • Mill City Towing
  • Roaming Railroad
  • Aspire Early Intervention
  • Allergy & Asthma Awareness Initiative of Peabody
  • Giovanna Forsley Face Painting
  • Mrs. Eleni
  • Fred Moreau Sand Art

    We also would like to give a HUGE thank you to the Recs Program Coordinator, Reagan Cassidy who organized the entire event this year.  THANK YOU REAGAN!

 

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Tree of Warmth

BE THANKFUL, SPREAD THE WARMTH!

The REC’s Annual Tree of Warmth drive will begin Friday, November 27th.

Both of the REC locations will be collecting coats, hats, mittens and scarves to be donated to the following local organizations:

Citizens for Adequate Housing: Peabody, MA
For 25 years Citizens for Adequate Housing, Inc. has worked toward ending homelessness, providing a temporary home for homeless families and permanent affordable housing to low income families.

Front Door Agency: Nashua, NH
For over 27 years the Front Door Agency has offered support and provided services to assist individuals and families transition from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Please come on by and adorn our trees with these warming items which will be dispersed to the organizations the week of December 21st. In return for your generosity, the REC is offering FREE Open REC to those who donate.

In order to maintain the health of these families in need, we request that all items are new, preferably with the tags.

Tree of Warmth

Thank you for your donation! We are very thankful for all of our REC friends! Please spread the word AND warmth!

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THANK YOU, VETS!

In honor of Veterans Day, we would like to invite military families to the REC during the entire month of November for FREE Open REC.  Click here for Open REC hours.

Please just present a military ID at check-in and enjoy watching your children have a blast in our three play spaces: Indoor Playground, Art Room and the Play & Pretend Toy Room.

veterans day thank you

Thank you for your service to our country!

 

 

Exploring The Great Outdoors

There is no denying that Fall in New England is one of the most beautiful times of the year. It is also a great learning opportunity to teach your child about the outdoors and nature.

Whether you are hiking for the day, heading to the orchards or just exploring in your own backyard, parents and caretakers can help open the doorway to the outside world.

Below are some resources to get started on your adventures!

Autumn Scavenger Hunt

How To Go Apple Picking (Video)

Bundle up using the below clothing guide:

Clothing Guide

HAVE FUN!

Our Fall Favorites!

Today marked the first official day of autumn. With the cooler weather setting in, it is a good time to find some activities to keep your family busy during the months to come. Look no further! We have compiled a list of our favorite New England activities which are more accommodating to the Special Needs Community. The activities are divided into the following categories:

SPECIAL EVENTS
RECREATION AND SPORTS
MUSEUMS AND FINE ARTS
MOVIES
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

SPECIAL EVENTS

Autism Friendly Performance of Cinderella*
Location: Boston Opera House in Boston, MA
Sunday, October 4th at 5:30 PM
*Advanced Purchase Required
More Info

Sensory Friendly Halloween Party
Location: Recreational Education Center in Peabody, MA
Sunday, October 25th 11 AM – 2 PM
FREE Event
More Info 

RECREATION AND SPORTS

Recreational Education Center
Locations: Peabody, MA and Londonderry, NH
Open REC: Daily
Every Tuesday-Sunday
More Info

Pollard Library Lego Time
Location: Lowell, MA
Lego Time for Kids with Special Needs: Monthly*
Next event: Saturday, October 3rd at 10 AM
*Advanced Registration Required.
More Info

Altitude Trampoline Park
Location: Billerica, MA
Sensory Friendly Saturdays: Weekly
Next Event: Saturday, October 3rd
More Info

Launch Trampoline Park
Location: Watertown, MA and Nashua, NH
Special Needs Day: Monthly
Next Event: Tuesday, October 6th
More Info Watertown
More Info Nashua

Cowabunga’s Indoor Inflatable Playground
Locations: North Reading, MA and Hooksett, NH
Kids with Special Needs Night: A Few Times a Year*
Next event: Thursday, October 8th 5 PM – 7 PM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Ultimate Sports Program
Locations: Westfield, MA and other parts of Massachusetts
Social Inclusion Through Sports: Ongoing
Now Accepting Registrations
More Info

For more recreation ideas click here to visit the Sped Child Mass website.

MUSEUMS AND FINE ARTS

Boston Conservatory Music
Location: Boston, MA
Music Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Class Registration
More Info

Museum of Fine Arts
Location: Boston, MA
Beyond the Spectrum: Monthly*
Next Event: Saturday, October 3rd 10:30 AM – 12 PM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Children’s Museum of NH
Location: Dover, NH
Exploring Our Way: Monthly
Next Event: Sunday, October 4th
More Info

Boston Children’s Museum
Location: Boston, MA
Morningstar Access: Monthly*
Next Event: Monday, October 12th 8 AM – 10 AM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Discovery Museum
Location: Acton, MA
Especially for Me: Monthly*
Next Event: Saturday, October 17th 5 PM – 8:30 PM
*Advanced Registration Required: FREE
More Info

MOVIES

AMC Theaters
Locations: Braintree, MA; Burlington, MA; Framingham, MA; Methuen, MA; Tyngsboro, MA
Sensory Friendly Films: Monthly
Next event: Saturday, September 26th at 10 AM
More Info

Cinemagic
Locations: Sturbridge, MA; Portsmouth, NH; South Portland, ME
Sensory Friendly Movies: Monthly
Next event: Saturday, September 26th at 10 AM
More Info

Chunky’s Cinema Pub
Locations: Nashua, NH; Pelham, NH; Haverhill, MA
Sensory Friendly Movies: Monthly
Next event: Wednesday, November 18th at 4 PM
More info

O’Neil Cinemas
Location: Epping, NH
Sensory Friendly Flix: Monthly
Next event: Sunday, September 27th at 10 AM
More Info

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Some organizations and groups that have offered sensory friendly events in the past and may continue to do so for 2016 are as follows:

Autism Eats
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Committed to offering restaurant dining experiences to families with loved ones with Autism. Check their webpage to see when the next dinner is being held.
More Info 

Open Door Theater
Location: Acton, MA
Offered a Sensory Friendly performance of Peter Pan in March of 2015
More Info

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Superhero Staff from last year’s Annual Halloween Party!

Traveling with Special Needs

At times, just the thought of traveling can stir up feelings of anxiety for families who have children or young adults with special needs. With families recently making headlines about their travels with special needs children, many families are left feeling overwhelmed.

Whether traveling near or far, there are many resources out there to help ease the stress and make the trip enjoyable for everyone, especially your special child!

See below for various travel links, tips and suggested vacation spots.*

Travel Agents who specialize in Special Needs Travel

ASD Vacations
Free of charge travel agent service. They contract with hundreds of destinations and resorts for adaptive and special needs friendly experiences.

Autism on the Seas
Cruises for adults and families living with Autism, Down Syndrome and other related disabilities.

Autism Adventure Travel
Individual and Group trips for families and individuals living with Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome and even Wounded Soldiers.

Hammer Travel
Customized trips to fit the needs of each individual family, with all disabilities. They offer both domestic and international trips.

Preparing for Travel

Wings for Autism
Now a nationally recognized program, Wings for Autism is run out of Boston Logan International Airport and gives families the chance to experience a flying test run.

Pre-flight Tips and Check-list
Tips ranging from what types of tickets to book to making a backup plan.

Flying Social Story
Developed by a mom of a 6 year old boy with autism.

kid with airplane

*The purpose of this blog post is to provide information on the various special needs travel resources available to the community. The Recreational Education Center, LLC does not endorse or recommend any of the listed agencies or companies.

Recap of April: Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month. It is the month in which organizations, families and friends all come together to shine a light on Autism Spectrum Disorder with the Autism Speaks slogan Light It Up Blue. Part of Autism Awareness is educating the world about autism and how it effects 1 in 68 people (US statistics). Team REC organized and participated in a number of events this past month to show our support and love for everyone touched by autism. Combined we had almost 2,000 people involved in lighting it up blue!

Now that April has come to an end and the blue lights are turning off, we all harbor a hope that April’s Autism Awareness will turn into AUTISM ACCEPTANCE for the remaining 11 months of the year.

See below for some picture highlights of the April #LIUB events.

REC Spring Into Autism Awareness EGGstravaganza
March 29, 2015

Team REC of NH

Team REC of NH

EGGstravaganza Craft

EGGstravaganza Craft

Sensory Friendly Easter Bunny

Sensory Friendly Easter Bunny

Salem, MA World Autism Awareness Day Walk
April 2, 2015

Walk Around Salem Commons

Walk Around Salem Commons

Team REC Walkers

Team REC Walkers

REC Touch-a-Truck for Autism Awareness
April 19, 2015

Touch-a-Truck Crowd

Touch-a-Truck Crowd

Peabody PD and McGruff

Peabody PD and McGruff

Peabody's Newest Junior Firefighter

Peabody’s Newest Junior Firefighter

Autism Speaks’ Day at the Fisher Cats
April 26, 2015

Watching the ball game in style

Watching the ball game in style

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, attended and participated in any #LIUB events this month! Keep the lights shining!

Lightitup w logo 2