New Jersey has many activities for special needs children and their families to have fun without judgement. Here are 50 options for you to experience and explore.

Enjoy your Family Time and remember, please always call the establishment before visiting in the event the below information has been updated or canceled since our date of publishing.

1. Touch the animals @ Rizzo’s Wildlife World
Unlike other zoos, Rizzo’s Wildlife offers Special Needs Children the opportunity to feed, touch and hold certain animals. These programs cater to the children and can be modi ed according to their needs. It is very interactive as well as educational and enjoyable. 1 Gold Mine Rd, Flanders, NJ.

2. Explore aircrafts @ Aviation Hall of Fame Museum
Smaller museum to explore the history of aviation with full sized aircrafts in the courtyard. Open Cockpit Week- ends return April 14, 15, May 19, 20, June 16, 17, August 18, 19, October 6, 7, November 10, 11. Teterboro Airport: 400 Fred Wehran Dr, Teterboro.

3. Walk through Battleship NJ
Interactive floating museum where you will walk through an actual Navy Battleship requiring ascending and descending its steep steps. Group tours can be arranged for special needs. 100 Clinton St. Camden. www.

4. Equine Tranquility Wellness Center
Providing Therapeutic Horse Lessons for those with physical, emotional and cognitive disabilities. Taught and guided by PATH Certified Instructors, lessons incorporate stretching and games in an indoor arena, outdoor ring, or on a sensory trail. 134 Airport Rd, Andover, NJ.

5. F.I.S.H nights @ Adventure Aquarium
“F.I.S.H Nights” are Family Inclusive Special Hours and events designed for children with special needs and their family. Sound and light adjustments are made to create a more relaxing environment. Next F.I.S.H night is April 7 from 6-8:30pm. 1 Riverside Dr., Camden.

6. Train @ Special Olympics New Jersey Young Athletes
Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics. Young Athletes is
an inclusive play program for children ages 2 through 7 that prepares them for future participation in sports while improving gross motor, social and cognitive skills. It’s play with a purpose!

7. Family Fun Festival June 2nd @ Bergen Community College
Come for a day of fun & adventure in a supported environment for children with autism & their families. There will be food, face painting, games, rock climbing wall, bounce house, and many other family friendly activities. 400 Paramus Rd, Paramus.

8. See the Sky Above @ Raritan Valley College Planetarium
Offering Sensory-Friendly Shows designed for children on the Autistic Spectrum or those with developmental difficulties. During the show, the doors remain open, lights will be dim instead of dark, and audio will be lowered. May 4 at 5pm titled: The Sky Above. 118 Lamington Rd, Branchburg, NJ.

9. Discovery rooms @ Transit Museum
Family programs and Discovery Room with education center are available at this underground museum in a decommissioned subway station. Offered are transportation-themed puzzles, toys, arts & crafts and books. 99 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NYC.

10. Sensory friendly performances @ Mayo Performing Arts Center
Offers Sensory-Friendly performances with lowered sound and lights and the freedom to talk during performances or walk about. April 15: “Dragons Love Tacos and Other Stories,” 4pm. 100 South St, Morristown, NJ.

11. Relaxed performances @ Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College
As part of their performance schedule, the RVCC holds “Relaxed Performances” for those on the Autism Spectrum as well as anyone with developmental difficulties or special needs. Here, seating will be general admission, making it possible to choose your own seats and general sensory sensitivities will be catered to. April 12: Illusionist Kevin Spencer, 7pm. 118 Lamington Rd, Branchburg, NJ.

12. Relaxed performances @ State Theatre of NJ
Offers “Autism-Friendly, Relaxed Performances”. With lighting and sound levels reduced, a judgement-free zone allowing noise and movement throughout the performances, a calming area with  fidget toys, comfort- able seating and activities, as well as trained ushers and volunteers to assist. April 6 “Sweet Beatz, Milk & Cookies”, and May 11 “The Man Who Planted Trees”. 15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick. 

13. Sensory Friendly events @ Union County Performance Arts Center
In addition to offering accessibility for all with physical disabilities, programs with large print, and assisted hearing devices, this theatre promotes multiple Sensory-Friendly events specially adapted for those along the Autism Spectrum, as well as anyone with sensory sensitivities. Each performance is 60 minutes with no intermission, has general seating, lowered sound and everyday lighting even throughout the performances. Children may talk and move about,  fidget and sensory toys will be made available, and professional Autism Specialists will be available to assist. April 28 “Henry and Mudge”. 1601 Irving St, Rahway. 

14. Relaxed performances @ Lincoln Center KIDS
Relaxed performances for children with diverse abilities and disabilities. These performances allow for talking and walking around with reduced sensory stimuli. April 7 & 14 at 11am “Scurry”, and May 5 at 11am “Shh... Bang!”. 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY.

15. Judgement free evenings @ Sahara Sam’s Oasis
Judgement-free evenings for families to enjoy swim time, in their great indoor Swim Park, with special needs children. Upcoming Evening is Friday, May 17, from 6-9pm. Special Needs Birthday Parties are also available. 535 NJ-73, West Berlin, NJ.

16. Sensory TaeKwon-Do Martial Arts - A TaeKwon-Do DoJo committed to teaching and helping special needs children. With multiple day programs as well as afternoon classes, these include Auditory Processing classes, Detox Education and Recreational Martial Arts Classes & Training for all with any disability such as Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Learning and Memory Disorders and more. Locations in Waldwick and Bloomfield.

17. Sensory friendly jumping @ Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Multiple Sky Zones are offering “quieter, toned-down” jumping hours with special needs children in mind. Please check to see the special days and times these Sensory-Friendly jump hours might be near you. Allendale, Mt. Olive, Pinebrook, Springfield, Ocean Township in Monmouth County.

18. Climb @ Challenger Place, Dorbrook Recreation Area
Dubbed as “A playground for children of all abilities”, this outdoor play-space allows all children regardless of ability or disability to play together. Wheelchair accessible, with Braille signs, and varied apparatuses in different areas, it truly is a playground for all. 209 County Rd 537, Colts Neck.

19. Autism Awareness Day @ Bergen County Van Saun Zoo
This 15-acre zoo and park will be holding an Autism Awareness Day on April 27th from 10am to 4pm. Come celebrate together and enjoy seeing and learning about a variety of great animals like monkeys, tapirs, bison, reptiles and so many more. 216 Forest Ave, Paramus.

20. Interactive Children’s Zoo @ Bronx Zoo
Explore the interactive Children’s Zoo along with JungleQuest, Butterfly Garden, Congo Gorilla Forest, and the zoo’s multiple other educational and interactive areas at your own pace. 2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, NY.

21. Intrepid adventures @ Intrepid Museum
“Intrepid Adventures” are weekend hour-long programs specifically for children and their families. They include fun, educational activities and family-friendly talks about the Museum. Next adventure is April 27 & 28 about “Jobs on Deck” and June 8 & 9 about “Flying in Style”.Pier 86 W 46th St & 12 Ave, NYC.

22. Fragrance Garden @ Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
52-acre garden, located in Brooklyn, committed to making exhibits accessible to all abilities and disabilities. There are access paths for those with mobility challenges, a Fragrance Garden created specifically for those who are visually challenged, and educational programs for those with special needs. 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

23. Discoveries workshops @ Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Discoveries Family Workshops” are offered for visitors aged 5-17 with disabilities, learning and/or developmental. These multi-sensory events include tactile activities with multiple fun themes. Next workshops: April 28, 11am-12:30pm, and May 19, 2-3:30pm.1000 5th Avenue, NYC. 

24. Horse back ride @ Pony Power Therapeutic Riding
Therapeutic horseback riding lessons and horse assisted learning are available for children and adults. Schedule a session for individuals, groups or schools with special needs. Mahwah 201.934.1001.

25. Discovery room @ Museum of Natural History
One of NYC’s largest museums with many interactive exhibits to touch and play with. There is also a Discovery Room for children  lled with hands-on activities and games. They also offer an engaging Family Series encouraging participation for children ages 4-11 which runs every month until June. Central Park West & 79th St., NYC .

26. Attend Sensory Friendly Musical Theater Workshops @ Bergen Performing Arts Center
All performances have mobility access, hearing assist services, and sign interpretation upon request. bergenPAC also offers Sensory-Friendly Programming Musical Theater Workshops every Saturday from 2pm to 3pm. 30 N Van Brunt St, Englewood, NJ.

27. Get Covered in Festivities @ the Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center
First of its kind, month-long arts festival dedicated to children on the Autism Spectrum and their families. Enhancing Lincoln Center’s goal to “engage, educate, and inspire”, this festival is an extension of their dedication to make art available for everyone. 2019 dates and information are not yet on the Lincoln Center’s website, but please check 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, NYC

28. Special Autism-Friendly Performances @ Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group offers relaxed, quieter, sensory-friendly performances in the past. Stay tuned to their website for hopeful, future updates or contact them to find out when they will be offering such performances again. 434 Lafayette St #1, New York, NY.

29. Special Performances @ Count Basie Theatre
The theatre has ADA compliant seating, bathrooms and counter-heights at concession stands. They also offer large print programs, assisted hearing devices, and sign language interpreters upon request. 99 Monmouth St, Red Bank.

30. Special Performances @ New Victory Theatre 
This theatre is fully wheelchair accessible and offers assisted listening devices, audio-described performances, sign-interpreted performances and Autism-Friendly shows. Please consult their website for available performances for your specific need. 209 W 42nd St, New York, NY.

31. Autism and Other Disability-friendly Performances @ Paper Mill Playhouse
Autism and other disability-friendly performances are offered throughout the year with a relaxed ambiance and no judgement for all. Lights and sound will be lowered, kids are free to talk and walk around, gender-neutral bathrooms are available, as well as “Chill-Out Zones” and ready-and-able support teams, to name a few. Next performances are: June 9 “The Magic School Bus” at 10am, and June 26 “Beauty & The Beast” at 1:30pm. 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, NJ.

32. Two River Theatre
Housing a main theater and a Black Box stage, both assist those with special needs by offering assistive listening device and large print programs.  Scheduled audio description performances, open captioned performances, American Sign Language interpreted performances, and relaxed performances are also available. May 4, “Belle of Amherst” will be Open Caption, June 26 “Oo-Bla-Dee” will be Audio-Described, and on June 29 “Oo-Bla-Dee” will be Audio Described. Please check their website for further information. 21 Bridge Ave, Red Bank.

33. Launch Trampoline Park
Trampoline jumping has been said to have beneficial effects for children with Autism. Such jumping will help gross motor skills and coordination while offering good cardio-vascular exercise with a soft impact on joints. It will also improve posture, balance and control. Launch offers this opportunity in a sensory-friendly environment with limited strobe lighting and lowered audio with an exclusive VIP program focused on the Special Needs clientele. 1601 W Edgar Rd #7A, Linden, NJ.

34. Jump, Dance, and Move @ The Little Gym
With great music classes as well as gymnastics, karate, dance and basic sports, The Little Gyms offer great exercise and socialization for kids of all abilities. Check with your local Little Gym for their specific services. Multiple Locations throughout New Jersey

35. S.A.F.E. @ Rebounderz Fun Center
Brand new program entitled S.A.F.E (Sensory Altered Fun Environment), offered once a month from 9am to noon, with no music, limited costumed character appearances, and no flashing lights. Next dates are: April 21st, May 19th, June 16th, and July. 76 Carter Drive Edison. 

36. Sensory Friendly Films @ AMC Theaters
AMC has partnered with the Autism Society to offer special movie showings for those with Sensory Sensitivities. During these movies, the lights remain up, the audio volume will be down and children are free to talk and walk around freely. These are available every 2nd and 4th Saturday for Family-Friendly showings and Tuesday Evenings for Mature Audiences. Multiple Locations; check with your local AMC

37. My Way Matinees @ Regal Theaters
Regal Theaters offer “My Way Matinee” in selected locations (for now) allowing families with special needs children to enjoy movies with lights up, audio down and the freedom to talk and move around without judgement. These movies begin at 10:30am each 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month at a discounted rate. Manahawkin, NJ and multiple, nearby NY locations.

38. All Access Playground @ Central Park of Morris County
420-acre, multi-use, outdoor facility with all-access playground accessible for children in wheelchairs to play alongside other friends. It also has artificial turf fields, in-line hockey rinks, cross-country course, a dog park, softball field, disc golf course, picnic areas and trails for strolling and hiking to name a few. 91 Central Ave, Morris Plains, NJ.

39. Memorial Park in Westfield
Wheelchair-accessible playground includes a sidewalk from the parking lot to a ramped playground structure with rubber surfacing, two infant, two regular and four special needs swings. 713 Cumberland St, Westfield, NJ.

40. Play @ Jake’s Place
All-abilities playground allowing children and adults to play together regardless of disability. This playground is Nationally Recognized as one of the best playgrounds in New Jersey. 101 Bortons Mill Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ.

41. Brookhollow Barnyard
Egg Hunts, Pumpkin Patches, a Christmas Tree Farm, and Summer Camps are great activities offered here along with tactile experiences riding the cow train and classic tractor, or feeding the goats or playing in the sandbox and playhouse.  301 Rockaway Valley Rd, Boonton, NJ.

42. Cape May County Zoo
Free park and zoo with animal encounters and guided tours, great educational programs, arts & crafts, camps, disc golf, fitness trails, fishing pond, park, playground and tree-to-tree obstacles. 707 North U.S. 9, Cape May Court House, NJ.

43. Turtle Back Zoo
Interactive zoo with behind-the-scenes tours, mini golf, zoo train, prehistoric playground, boating, pony rides, carousel rides, tree top adventure course, the animals, of course, and so much more. Offered are also family friendly programs, early childhood education and school break camps. 560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ

44. About Time Stables
Therapeutic lessons are available for those with special needs. These lessons are adaptive and instructed by a registered therapeutic riding instructor. Includes grooming, saddling/unsaddling and riding the horse. 278 Spring Valley Rd, Morganville, NJ.

45. Open arms family evenings @ Garden State Discovery Museum
This museum offers “Open Arms Family Evenings” where you are invited to explore the museum while socializing in a safe and relaxing environment with fellow families with children on the autism spectrum. Next Open Arms Evening is May 19, Aug 18, and Nov 10, 6-8pm. 2040 Springdale Rd. #100, Cherry Hill.

46. Riding with HEART
“Adaptive Therapeutic Riding”, “Equine Assisted Learning” and “Hippotherapy” are some of the programs available here catering to those with special needs. Games are used to enhance the learning experience while this repetitive “movement engages sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems” to achieve the students’ goals.  639 County Rd 513, Pittstown, NJ.

47. Sunnyside Recreation Area
Therapeutic Horseback Riding Lessons are available for students aged 4 and above to achieve developmental goals. Students begin on a lead-line with side-walker, gradually progressing according to the student’s ability and needs. 628 Middletown Lincroft Road, Lincroft, NJ.

48. Fragrance Garden @ Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
52-acre garden, located in Brooklyn, committed to making exhibits accessible to all abilities and disabilities. There are access paths for those with mobility challenges, a Fragrance Garden created specifically for those who are visually challenged, and educational programs for those with special needs. 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

49. Smell the Air @ Fragrance and Sensory Garden in Colonial Park
Designed for visitors who are visually or physically impaired, this garden boasts special appeal to all senses. It is a sunken garden and safe, interactive space where plants are within reach for touching and smelling and labels with Braille adorn each exhibit. 156 Mettlers Rd (Lot A), Somerset, NJ.

50. Nature and Art Walk @ Grounds for Sculpture
A different and interesting walk merging nature with art. It is 42-acres of beautiful parkland with over 270 sculptures by renowned and emerging artists. This is a great opportunity to enjoy art and nature without worrying about being quiet or calm. 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ. 

Enjoy your Family Time and remember, please always call the establishment before visiting in the event the below information has been updated or canceled since our date of publishing.