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If you're a family with special needs, there are several local events designed just for you and your kids.
From special hours at the children's museum to paint nights, movies and more — these events are designed to give special needs families the chance to get out of the house, do something fun and to socialize with others in similar situations.
These events are ongoing, so this is also a great way to start building a supportive community of friends for yourself and your children.
Both of the Children's Museum's locations — Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave., and Oro Valley, 11015 N. Oracle Road, suite 101 — offer an inclusion program that celebrates families and kids with special needs.
Participants receive reduced admission of $3 per person and special hours at the museums.
My Time Tucson happens at 9 a.m. the first and third Saturday of each month. That's one hour before the museum opens to the public. Families can stay as long as they want to.
My Time Oro Valley is held after hours, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the last Friday of each month. Staff will be on hand with optional sensory activities.
Pre-registration is recommended, but walk-ins are also welcome.
Click here for details.
A Special Time Just for You
Get Air Tucson, 330 S. Toole Ave., opens the park from 8-10 a.m. on Saturdays to those with special needs. Music is played at a lower volume and the atmosphere is calm. One parent or guardian can join jumpers on trampolines for free. The cost is $12; $7 for kids under 46 inches tall. Click here for info and to fill out a waiver.
Sensory Friendly Films
AMC Theatres and the Autism Society have teamed up to give families affected by autism and other disabilities an opportunity to go to the movies in an environment that allows talking, walking around and singing. The movie auditorium will have the lights up and the sound down. Families are allowed to bring their own snacks from home.
Special Needs Paint Night
Children and adults with special needs as well as their families and caregivers can paint ceramics at Color Me Mine at Park Place, 5870 E. Broadway.
The studio will only be open to participants during this time. Staff will be on hand to help as much or as little as needed. There will be no studio fee for this event. You only pay for the pottery pieces you select.
Paint nights take place at 6 p.m. the first Sunday of each month.
Go here for more info.
Sensory Jump Time
Pump It Up, 3248 N. Freeway Industrial Loop, suite 108, holds Sensory Jump night from 5-6:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of every month. During this event the play arenas are reserved for children with spectrum disorders and their siblings. The environment is quiet with lowered lighting and activities. The cost is $6 per child. Adults play for free. Click here to register and for info.
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