Sensory-friendly and Inclusive Experiences

More and more places around southwest Ohio are realizing the importance of making everyone feel welcome, and that includes people with autism and special needs. Here are just some of the many institutions and attractions in the area that have embraced special needs with sensory friendly activities.

We Rock the Spectrum Cincinnati


The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati
Sensory-friendly Performances
4015 Red Bank Rd, Cincinnati

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is proud to present TCT’s Sensory-Friendly performances, intended for individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as people with other special needs who may benefit and their families. 

Contemporary Arts Center
Sensory-friendly mornings
44 E 6th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

During this event, the Museum will be made extra welcoming to our more sensitive guests. Families will be able to choose from a variety of activities and do them at whatever time they feel most comfortable.

Cincinnati Art Museum
Accessible Tours and Programs
953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Art Museum offers a wide variety of tours and programs to make the museum accessible to everyone, including Autism Family Exploration for families with children with autism; Tours with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Touch Tours for visitors who are blind or partially sighted.

Cincinnati Ballet
Sensory-friendly Performances
1801 Gilbert Ave, Cincinnati

The Cincinnati Ballet presents a sensory-friendly version of certain ballets throughout the season. These performances accommodate children, families and adults with sensory sensitivities and other specific needs.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Sensory-friendly Performances
962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati

The Playhouse offers many accommodations for special needs. Check out the Student Matinees page for sensory-friendly performances.

Dayton Live
Sensory-friendly Performances
Multiple venues in Dayton

These sensory-friendly productions are great for all families, especially for children with an autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivity, and other special needs. You can expect a reduction of loud or jarring sounds, the absence of flashing or strobe lighting on stage, modification of house lights during the performance, and a judgment-free environment where all patrons are free to vocalize or move around the theatre. No one will be asked to leave the performance due to vocal reactions, movement or behaviors related to cognitive/developmental abilities.

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
Sensory-friendly Performances
One West Second St., Dayton

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance offers sensory-friendly performances designed especially for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities or other special needs.


Mayerson JCC
8485 Ridge Ave, Cincinnati

The JCC offers regular inclusion events, fitness classes and camps for people with special needs.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
1105 Elm St, Cincinnati

The YMCA offers adaptive swim lessons for people with special needs.

YMCA of Greater Dayton
Various locations around Dayton

Offering adaptive martial arts, adaptive zumba and much more.


AMC Theatres
Sensory Friendly Film Program
Various locations around southwest Ohio

AMC offers unique movie showings where the lights are turned up, the sound is turned down, and visitors are invited to get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! The Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Check the website for local theatre listings and specific showtimes.

Cobb Luxury 15 Theatres
Sensory-friendly Movie Showings
7514 Bales St., Liberty Township

The Cobb Luxury 15 Theatres offers an all-ages movie-going experience, with periodic sensory-friendly movie showings. The auditorium uses brighter lighting and lowered sound level, with no commercials or previews. Guests are encouraged to be themselves and interact with film.

Regal Theatres
My Way Matinee
Regal Deerfield Town Center & RPX, 5500 Deerfield Blvd, Mason

Regal’s My Way Matinee invites everyone to experience a movie with the lights turned up and the volume turned down. This is a safe space where guests are free to express themselves by singing, crying, dancing, walking around, talking or shouting while enjoying the latest films. All screenings for sensory-friendly movies begin at 10:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of the month for a special discounted ticket price.


Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Sensory Sundays
2600 DeWeese Pkwy., Dayton

The Sensory Sunday program offers extended hours for local families with a member who has a sensory disorder, such as being on the autism spectrum. During these special hours, the Museum will adjust lighting and sound, have trained volunteers and additional staff, and offer programs that appeal to families who could benefit from a less stimulating atmosphere.

Chuck E. Cheese
Sensory Sensitive Sundays
Various locations around southwest Ohio

Every Sunday morning, Chuck E. Cheese opens its doors two hours early to offer a sensory-friendly experience at participating locations. Guests will find fewer crowds and a quieter restaurant environment, dimmed lighting, music turned down or off completely, limited character appearances, as well as full access to all the games and a full food menu.

Cincinnati Museum Center
1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati

Guests of the Cincinnati Museum Center will find designated quiet zones, accommodations for the visually and hearing impaired, and sensory-friendly exhibits so everyone can enjoy a day at the Museum Center. 

Clippard Park
3500 Bevis Lane, Colerain Township

This Colerain Township playground is inclusive for everyone, boasting ADA wide ramps, a variety of play equipment, swings with zero-G seats, tot seats and open seats, many climbing features, a music play area, a sandlot with backhoes (one accessible), sand and water tables and other fun features, plus swinging benches and covered tables. 

Kings Island
6300 Kings Island Dr, Mason

Kings Island has a Boarding Pass Program which allows guests with mobility restrictions or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to access rides at specified times via the exit ramp in order to avoid crowds and waiting in the regular lines. Guests with a Boarding Pass will obtain a boarding or “ride” time on the pass that is equal to the anticipated wait time for a particular ride from the ride associate at the Alternate Access Entrance (usually a ride’s exit). Guests can then choose to rest comfortably away from the queue area until their boarding time.

Scene75 Entertainment Center
Special Needs Day
Various locations around southwest Ohio

The first Thursday of every month, Scene75 offers a Special Needs Day for local families. The program has been developed to help improve social and motor skills, hand and eye coordination, reaction time, and recognition… all in a safe, controlled and FUN environment.

We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym
4060 E. Galbraith Rd., Unit 17, Cincinnati

We Rock the Spectrum offers a safe, nurturing and fun environment to foster learning, exploration and safe sensory experiences. Kids with disabilities will find a space to play freely here.

West Fork Park Playground
4764 West Fork Rd., Cincinnati

This playground features a maze for toddlers, a climbing and sliding hill, a musical playground, a zip line, slides and swings. However what will set this playground apart is that elements of it will appeal to children with sensory challenges, specifically children with autism, such as a maze with various visual and tactile elements.

For more inclusive playgrounds around Southwest Ohio, check here!


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