With an increase in awareness in the broader community, there are so many more choices for recreational activities for kids with sensory challenges in the Metro Vancouver area. The Lower Mainland is home to many companies who offer special opportunities for families with specific needs to still be able to enjoy fun things to do and know their needs will be accomodated. The Canucks Autism Network has handy seasonal leisure guides available on their website, but here are some picks of fun things to do that we wanted to share with you specifically:
Sensory Friendly Activities
in Metro Vancouver:
Let’s go to the movies!
Thanks to sensory friendly screenings at Cineplex going to movies is easier than ever for families with sensory challenges. Screenings are done in a sensory friendly environment with lights up and sound down. They take place every 4-6 weeks on Saturday mornings at participating locations.
Here’s a reason to jump for joy! Every 2, 3, 4 and 5th Mondays of the month, Skyzone patrons with sensory challenges can enjoy a night of playing on trampolines without whistles or music. Staff have been trained by the Canucks Autism Network to be able to provide assistance as needed.
Take in a show!
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival is proud to offer “Relaxed Performances” - audience movement and noise is totally okay and they’ve adjusted their lights and sounds to be more sensory friendly. Accessible entertainment is so fun!
It’s game time!
The BC Lions have partnered with the Pacific Autism Family Network to provide a positive experience for sports fans with specific sensory needs. Their GameChangers program provides noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, sensory toys, a visual schedule and seating in more optimal locations. Cheering on our local CFL team has never been easier!
Make a splash!
Explore the Vancouver Aquarium with ease thanks to a photographic preview option on their website so kids with sensory challenges can check things out ahead and know what to expect from their day. They also have noise-reducing ear muffs available for lend on a first come first serve basis. Should your child go missing, they offer comprehensive search services to efficiently reunite families.
Get your STEM on!
To help families enjoy TELUS World of Science, they are pleased to offer a storybook to help families prepare their children for the experience so they know what to expect. They have quiet locations for breaks and staff can help make adjustments wherever possible for a more optimal time spent exploring the magic of science. Resources have been developed in partnership with the Canucks Autism Network
We hope these ideas help you plan more family fun. There are so many great sensory-friendly activities for families in Metro Vancouver. Which will you try?
Heather is a Toronto born mama of two whose parenting journey has taken her family coast to coast across Canada. When she’s not whipping up recipes for the Healthy Family Living website or sharing the latest fun Vancouver events on HFL’s Facebook page, she’s a freelance writer that has recently been published in an anthology entitled BIG, as well as in the Huffington Post, as she and her hubby of 13 years attempt to keep up with their two spirited girls and 3 fur babies!