The average Saturday at Children's Museum Denver means flocks of excited kids, blinking lights, music, and a slew of stimulating activities. For many kids, this is the recipe for a perfect afternoon. For others, it's the combination for an unbearably stressful situation. For kids who can't enjoy themselves with so many distractions, the Children's Museum welcomes them for a low-sensory morning of exploring.
On Saturdays, about four times a year, children with sensitivities to crowds, lights, noises, or that have disabilities, can tour the museum with a capped number of people (usually from 100 to 150, which can be about half the size of a normal crowd) with dimmed lights and limited sound. "It can be a great introduction to the museum," museum educator Traci McGrath says. "Some families have tried to come before and their child is overwhelmed. Others are too nervous to come in the first place."
Besides the tamer museum environment, families are encouraged to take advantage of tools to prepare for the visit. Start with the museum guide—which was developed with help from the Spectra Autism Center—and a customizable schedule board to organize the morning. Plot your family's plan and take note of the "noise meters" for each exhibit so that you can expect the amount of commotion. Then, grab a map and make your way to the exhibits.
Low sensory mornings are no cost to kids with sensitivities or disabilities and their families. But you must RSVP to ensure the crowd is manageable. Sign up now for the next event on May 3 from 8 to 10 a.m. For more information on accessibility, click here.
Children's Museum Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Dr., 303-433-7444, mychildsmuseum.org
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Follow editorial assistant Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.