Sensory-Friendly Activities for Kids in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Looking for something to do with your child with special needs? Check out our local list of sensory-friendly ideas.

As a parent of a child with special needs, you want to give your child opportunities to have fun and make friends. Unfortunately, many kid-focused attractions can be totally sensory overload, especially for kids who are sensitive to loud noises and bright lights.

If you’re looking to find family fun and a community of people you and your child can connect with, these sensory-friendly events might be a good place to start.

Looking for more family fun? Find even more events around town in our event roundup for families with special needs

Movie Night Out

  • Address: Participating Emagine Theatres throughout metro Detroit
  • Cost: Movie ticket prices vary

Sensory friendly movie nights mean brighter house lights and lower volume. Guests are allowed to bring their own snacks, though you’re more than welcome to enjoy classic movie theater concessions, too! Audience interaction — including talking, moving and using electronic devices — is allowed. Check with your local theater to see their upcoming sensory friendly films.

Sensory Story Time

The story time happens one Tuesday every month. Children ages 2-5 with special needs can enjoy interactive stories, sensory play and a tour of the shelter. Pre-registration is required.

Sensory Story Time for Adults and Teens

On the second Monday of each month, adult and teens with intellectual or developmental disabilities (along with their caregivers) can join the library for songs, interactive stories, art projects and sensory crafts.

Sensory Sundays

Addresses: Chuck E. Cheese, various locations in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Cost: Free admission

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.

Scarlet’s Playground

Address: Dodge Park 5, off South Commerce Road, Commerce

Cost: Free

Kids of all ages and abilities can enjoy a barrier-free, all-inclusive playground named after a little girl named Scarlet who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

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