Day Trips Ideas with a Special Needs Child

New Jersey and the surrounding areas offer multisensory getaways for the entire family. Why not take a day trip and explore, get hands on, and experience something new. Here are a few of our favorites borrowed from our field trips directory online. NJ KIDS has hundreds more ideas so sign up for our weekend enewsletter. Please check with the specific place before visiting if you require any specific accommodations. Please note, not all places may be set up for all special needs group

Experience Marvel Super Heroes 4D at Madame Tussauds New York. Marvel’s super heroes, including the Hulk, Iron Man and Captain America are all brought to life in multi-sensory fun. Featuring interactive themed areas, wax figures and a Marvel Super Heroes 4D film adventure. NYC.

Explore the Interactive Exhibits @ Newark Museum: Dynamic Earth with hands on computer interactive animation; Planetarium Show about Saturn; emPOWERED interactive exhibit about renewable energy; Look/Touch/Learn: TIBET; Old Stone School House; and Fire Museum. Newark, NJ. 973.596.6550.

Have you been to Diggerland yet? Explore a unique construction theme park! Drive, ride and operate real, life-sized construction equipment. The park has 23 attractions including the world’s tallest ropes course! West Berlin, NJ. 856.809.4168.

Bubbles are calm and relaxing. Go see the Gazillion Bubble Show! Mind-blowing bubble magic, spectacular laser lightning effects and soapy masterpieces. Get inside the Bubble! NYC. 212.239.6200.

Ride a horse! Equine Tranquility Wellness Center offers Therapeutic Riding including social sills group lessons and sensory trail experience Andover, NJ. 201.970.3400.

Slides, tunnels, sensory lights, rock walls, ball pit, zip line and more @ Kids Blvd Sensory Gym. Warren, NJ. 732.560.5473

Love animals, lizards, reptiles, birds, fish and other creepy crawlies? Go see Rizzo’s Wildlife World, an indoor wildlife center where the adventure lives! Be entertained and educated! Flanders, NJ. 973.586.0444.

Therapeutic Recreation @ Monmouth County Park Systems! Providing specialized year round recreation programs for individuals with special needs and can recommend other appropriate Park System programs, community links, and support. Located in Dorbrook Recreation Area in Colts Neck. 732.842.4000.  

Special astronomy and music shows @ Raritan Valley Planetarium. These sensory-friendly shows, designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum, provide a comfortable and judgment-free space. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights will be left dim and the audio will be lowered at a consistent level. Branchburg, NJ. 908.231.8805.

Remember PAC MAN, Donkey Kong, Q-Bert and Pinball? Transport back into a fun and exciting game zone. Friends and families, who love gaming, high score recognition and the retro-gaming scene, will find Morristown Game Vault easy to break into! Step back in time for mind blowing game fun today! Morristown, NJ. 973.944.8500.

Find out why IPlay America is a premier NJ Amusement Park! From 2-story laser tag, boardwalk-style games, 4D theatre to arcade games and the iPA speedway - it’s fun for the whole family! Freehold, NJ. 732.577.8200.

Go on a fun interactive Farm Tour @ Fulper Family Farmstead! Navigate the farm including the milking parlor, newborn calf barn, maternity suites, composting program, and renewable solar energy system. Learn about raising calves and caring for dairy cows, see farmers at work, plus taste delicious dairy products. Lambertville, NJ 609.651.5991.

Push. Evolve. Fly @ Sky Zone Trampoline Park. The Foam Zone is all about big air and soft landings. Fly or flip into a pool of huge foam squares. Or freestyle jump! Let go of gravity and grab some air on sprawling wall-to-wall trampoline courts. Show off your inner acrobat.

Play with fluorescent rocks @ Franklin Mineral Museum. Discover local and fluorescent minerals and fossils while guided through a 2-story mine replica. Go rock collecting, view them under special lamps to see which rocks glow. Franklin, NJ 973.827.3481.

Mosey on up to the Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY and enjoy a weekend of horse adventures, snow adventures, indoor water park fun and more! Highland, NY 800.647.2624.

Celebrate the return of dinosaurs to the Natural - History Hall at the NJ State Museum! Explore the exhibition, stop at the Paleo Lab and scan the latest fossil finds; dino-themed photo booth; dino-themed craft. Plus soar into space in NJ’s largest Hi-Def Planetarium with more than 6000 stars! Trenton, NJ 609.292.1382

Go on a Sustainability Scavenger Hunt @ Duke Farms. Discover all the various sustainable initiative in place with this fun scavenger hunt. On the hunt, you will learn about sustainable concepts such as geothermal wells and rain gardens and how they work to make our campus more sustainable. Hillsborough, NJ. 908.722.3700

Pick from Mini Golf, Roller & Ice Skating, Batting Cages, basketball, rock climbing, and more at  Woodbridge Community Center, an entertainment complex open to all. Woodbridge, NJ 732.596.4108

Steady your sea legs on a cruise around Manhattan enjoying Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and other sites of the city on a 75 minute, 2 or 3 hour Circle Line tour. NYC Pier 83.

Plant your feet and putt-putt your best Jack Nicklaus for a hole in one at Monster Mini Golf. Fairfield & Paramus, NJ 973.244.0026;