Our guide to sensory-friendly attractions and activities.
Posted on Apr 2, 2019 By Debora Manusama
Dallas Children's Theater
Dallas Children's Theater (DCT) offers sensory-friendly plays adapted from ongoing general productions, with lights brightened up and sounds reduced. DCT also accommodates children who need a break by providing a "Quiet Room" at each sensory-friendly performance. Schedules and additional activities vary each month; click here for more information.
Each quarter, the Dallas Zoo welcomes those with sensory-friendly needs and their families for a "Sensory-Friendly Day". Sound adjustments, sensory activities, and quiet zones are provided throughout the zoo. The next Sensory-Friendly Day is taking place on April 14, 2019 – click here to register.
Local Movie Theaters
Major theater chains across Dallas are now offering special screening times for audiences with sensory-friendly needs and their families. AMC offers special screenings on the second and fourth Saturday of the month, while Studio Movie Griill provides free tickets for children with special needs monthly. Alamo Drafthouse also holds special screenings for young families and those with sensory-friendly needs on Tuesdays before 2 p.m. and on weekends (schedules vary by location).
Dallas Arts District
A trip to the Dallas Arts District can be fulfilling without overstimulation, and there's plenty of sensory-friendly options to explore. Both the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and the Nasher Sculpture Center provide Sensory Days. At the DMA, the museum is opened early on select days for families to enjoy the galleries, art and activities in a calmer environment. This free online guide tailored specifically for visitors with sensory-friendly needs is also available.
At the Nasher Sculpture Center, a "Quiet Room" is available on the basement level for children who need a break. The center also hosts intimate early evening events geared for children with sensory processing challenges throughout the year. To find out more about Sensory Day events at both museums, click here.
State Fair of Texas
The State Fair of Texas is still months away, but as you plan fall travel, keep the State Fair's Sensory-Friendly Mornings in mind. Modifications around the fair grounds include sound and light adjustments, as well as a guided itinerary for family to use as they explore. Check BigTex.com later this year for a list of 2019 dates.
Bonus: Frank Kent's Dream Park
While not in Dallas, this one was too good to not include. Built on over 57,000 square feet of green and play space, the Frank Kent's Dream Park is opening in Fort Worth this month. With therapeutic swings, sensory boards, musical and educational components, this park is designed for children of all abilities. This outing is great for families interested in a day trip during a Dallas getaway.
Header photo credit: Linda Blase