Northeast Wisconsin Activities for Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Autism Spectrum

With a child on the autism spectrum, planning a visit to places families often go, such as the movie theater, museums, parks, and restaurants can be a lot more complicated. As a mother of a child with autism, MaryBeth speaks from personal experience when sharing some of the many opportunities for activities and events for kids on the autism spectrum:

“My son, Michael, is 10 and was diagnosed with high-functioning autism a few years ago. But even before the diagnosis, going anywhere with him was an adventure. I never knew what to expect – would he enjoy it or would he be overwhelmed and overstimulated and just want to go home? (We also have an 8-year-old daughter and didn’t want her to miss out on activities and we did want Michael to expand his horizons.) After Michael’s diagnosis, a whole new world was opened to us. We were exposed to more resources and activities designed for children on the spectrum. It was wonderful to be able to do things as a family and not worry too much about Michael becoming overstimulated, and if he did, that we would incur funny stares if he had a meltdown.”

Here’s a quick sampling of the offerings available for kids on the autism spectrum in the Fox Cities. Please note that many of these activities are also open to all children having special needs:

Reel Movies for Real Needs

Marcus Theaters has a special program once a month featuring a regular movie, but with the lights turned up and the volume turned down. The movies are shown on a Saturday morning and regular matinee prices apply. It’s a great opportunity for parents who want to take their child to a movie, but sure how they’ll react. More Information.

Northeast Wisconsin Children’s Museums

The Building for Kids Children’s Museum has a lower sensory experience and special programming created especially for children on the autism spectrum. Free admission for children on the spectrum and their families from 8:30 am-10 am on the third Saturday of the month. More information.

Green Bay Children’s Museum offers a day designed especially for children with special needs and their families once per quarter. The museum will be closed to the general public to avoid large crowds while providing altered lighting, sound modification, sensory activities, and more! Admission rates are reduced to $5 per person and children under 15 months, museum members, therapists, and nurses are all free. More information.

Fond Du Lac Children’s Museum offers Play for All nights throughout the year. This is a free program for children and families with autism, providing families an age-appropriate, quiet place to come play in a welcoming environment where children can try new things while developing their communication, social and motor skills, and self-confidence. Exhibits adapted to make the museum more comfortable and enjoyable. Specialists, trained staff, and play partners are on hand. There are Social Storybooks, Resources Kits (noise-blocking earphones, blankets, information, etc), and Picture Exchange Communication System are available during Play for All and at all times at the front desk. More information. 

Sports Activities

There are a couple of programs in place that allow children on the spectrum to engage in sporting activities that they might otherwise miss out on. Sometimes as kids get older the competition is more intense it is helpful to find more tailored sports experiences.

Miracle League of the Fox Cities offers children with all kinds of disabilities play baseball with the help of a buddy.

TOPS, while a soccer program in Kimberly, allows kids on the spectrum a chance to get their kicks.

Xavier High School also teams up every year with the Autism Society of the Fox Valley for a football camp that lets the kids score touchdowns, punt the ball, tackle and more. The event happens every September.

Fox Cities YMCA also offers fitness, swimming, yoga, and other classes and events geared toward kids on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. More information.

Bounce Time

Monkey Joe’s opens its doors to children with autism and their families on the first Saturday of each month from 9 to 10 a.m during the fall, winter, and spring months. Admission is free for members of Autism Society of The Fox Valley, $5 for non-members. The children can enjoy the surroundings while parents can talk to each other and share information.

Sky Zone will turn off the music and dial down the distractions for the comfort of their jumpers every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 9:30-11:30am. The event is held outside of general public hours when children & adults with special needs and their siblings, family & friends are all welcome to come jump! They will make every effort to accommodate all jumpers with any kind of special needs (they even have a wheelchair lift). The price to jump anytime during the two-hour session is $10 per jumper (+$2 for reusable Sky Socks if you don’t already have a pair). More information. 

If you know of other activities designed for children on the spectrum, we would love to hear about them.

Check out: Navigating the World of Autism: Northeast Wisconsin Autism Resources

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm Autism String Art Workshop, Amaze & Grace, LLC, Appleton WI

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Monday, April 23, 2018

Time Event
10:00 am - 10:30 am Book Birdies (ages 3-5), Neenah Public Library, Neenah WI

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Time Event
12:00 am - 2:00 pm Holistic Moms Network Fox Valley Relaunch, Festival Foods, Neenah WI

Monday, April 30, 2018

Time Event
10:00 am - 10:30 am Book Birdies (ages 3-5), Neenah Public Library, Neenah WI

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Time Event
10:30 am - 8:00 pm Six Flags Great America Autism Awareness Day, Six Flags Great America, Gurnee IL

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Time Event
All Day Sensory Sensitive Sundays, Chuck E. Cheese, Green Bay WI

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Time Event
8:30 am - 10:00 am Spectrum Saturday, The Building for Kids Children’s Museum, Appleton Wi

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Time Event
9:30 am - 11:30 am SkyZone Sensory Hour, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Appleton WI

 

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Amanda Chavez
As the owner and publisher of Go Valley Kids I am passionate about connecting families with resources and businesses in our community. Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Amanda Chavez has a love for her community. As a busy mom of 2 little girls, she and her husband are always on the lookout for fun things to do and share with others. Go Valley Kids combines all of her passions –motherhood, design and community. Some of her other interests also peak through on GVK including baking, photography and sewing!

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