Special Needs Events for Chicagoland Families

Enjoy some sensory-friendly fun in the city and surrounding areas.

Looking for a sensory-friendly event that’s tailored to your child’s needs? Then, look no further.

We’ve rounded up a list of events created especially for families with special needs to take advantage of all the great things Chicagoland offers. Read some of our picks below and find more future events on our calendar.

Sensory-Friendly Friday at The Insect Asylum

March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2024

Every Friday afternoon, The Insect Asylum will provide a calm and peaceful atmosphere with no music or bright flashing lights.

Chuck E. Cheese Sensory Sensitive Sunday

March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1, 2024

  • Address: Various locations
  • Cost: Free 

On the first Sunday of every month, the play area will open two hours early for children with autism or sensory sensitivities. It will have reduced lighting and noise.

Low-Sensory Mornings at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

March 3 and May 5, 2024

Families can explore the museum on select days in a more sensory-friendly environment before it opens to the general public.

Sensory Seeker Sunday at The Insect Asylum

March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2024

Every Sunday, The Insect Asylum offers a sensory activity for children. Each week will introduce something new and children can enjoy free play and explore the museum afterwards. Get tickets ahead of time.

Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

March 9, 2024

This 75-minute adaptation of Romeo and Juliet will be told in Shakespeare’s own words and speaks to today’s youth about their own lives. The ASL and Open Caption performance will take place on March 9.

Adaptive Play Time at DuPage Children’s Museum

March 10, April 14, May 19 and June 23, 2024

This monthly event provides a modified environment for play and learning for children and their caregivers. It is intended for families with disabilities, on the autism spectrum and/or with sensory processing disorders. Pre-registration is required

Calm Waters at Shedd Aquarium

April 14, 2024

Calm Waters is an exclusive event for guests with disabilities and Veterans to explore Shedd Aquarium’s exhibits and experiences in a comfortable and accepting environment. Modifications for this event will include limited capacity and streamlined entry with advance registration. Family members and companions are welcome.

Everyone at Play at Kohl Children’s Museum

May 19 and June 30, 2024

Families with children with special needs are invited to the museum to explore the exhibits while it is closed to the general public. It also has a quiet room for stimulation breaks. Pre-registration is required.

This post is updated regularly.


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