Sensory Friendly Activities Destin

Sensory Friendly Activities Destin #

Sensory Friendly Activities Near Destin

A Sensory-Friendly Guide to Destin area Attractions

Families going on vacation with children have a lot to do. Parents are responsible for ensuring everyone is ready for a safe and memorable time. Planning can be challenging for families with children with special needs. Luckily, there are plenty of options in the Pensacola area to make visiting enjoyable for everyone. Area attractions offer sensory-friendly activities that may benefit children with autism spectrum disorder. Most places are very accommodating and offer activities for kids who want to play outside and those who prefer an indoor environment.

Here are a few ideas to help families plan an inclusive itinerary:

National Naval Aviation Museum

The National Naval Aviation Museum is famous for all ages. It’s home to more than 150 U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. The museum offers free admission and the opportunity to touch and even climb aboard planes. The museum also has a Giant Screen theater and interactive flight motion simulators. However, if these offerings are unsuitable for your child, they can be easily bypassed. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron practices high in the skies above the museum on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at mid-day, March through November. If airplane noise is bothersome, bringing protective headphones or visiting at another time may be preferable.

Pensacola Museum of Art

The Pensacola Museum of Art has been certified as autism-friendly by the Centers for Autism & Related Disabilities. The exhibits change throughout the year, but there is an interactive area on the first floor with sensory toys and books to explore and a quiet library space. The PMA hosts free Art Academy for Autism programs for different age groups every other week on Fridays and Saturdays. Students need to register in advance for the spring or fall semester. The programs are taught by a professional instructor trained to help those with sensory issues. Additionally, every October, the PMA offers a low-sensory Halloween-themed event for all ages.

SkyZone Trampoline Park

For kids who need to burn off energy, SkyZone is an indoor trampoline park that offers 90-minute sessions or all-day passes for freestyle jumping. They also have a designated toddler zone, foam zone, sky ladder, sky joust, and ultimate dodgeball. Special socks are required and can be purchased on-site. They may offer sensory hours for a quieter, toned-down jumping experience.

Pensacola Children’s Museum

The Pensacola Children’s Museum encourages children to touch the exhibits and play freely, creating an interactive atmosphere emphasizing play as an integral part of the learning process. Tailored toward children ages ten and younger, the museum features a miniature ship for maritime discovery, a grocery store, and a health clinic for make-believe shopping and wellness activities.

AMC Destin Movie Theater

AMC Destin movie theater has a Friendly Film program on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. The program includes leaving the overhead lighting on, lowering the volume, and allowing moviegoers to move around as needed.

Captains for Kids

Captains for Kids coordinates free charter boat trips and dolphin cruises for families of children with special needs. The Pensacola Yacht Club Satori Foundation has introduced sailing to adults and children with autism through a partnership with the Florida State University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities.

Outdoor Activities and Parks

Children can explore the area’s natural wonders at their own pace at Big Lagoon State Park, Tarklin Bayou Preserve State Park, and Perdido Key State Park. In 2023, a musical sensory garden and playground for all abilities opened at Pensacola’s Kiwanis Park. Gulf Breeze Zoo offers a petting zoo and animal encounters. Tinkergarten is an outdoor activity and play-based learning program designed for young children.

Visit Autism Pensacola for additional resources or to learn about special events that may interest families of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

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