At Lexington Services, we love our community and so do our members. Community-based learning and events help young people and adults with special needs to solidify their understanding of their community and the place that they hold in that group. Everyone deserves the opportunity to discover the great places in their community and enjoy entertainment regardless of their abilities. There are an abundance of autism-friendly attractions and destinations mindful of people people with special needs across the state of Arizona and all over the nation to experience. Here are a few of our local favorites and some national treasures that are worth the visit:
Arizona is very sensitive to community members with autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities and many community businesses are autism-friendly attractions or have provisions for people with special needs. One of the organizations that our community is lucky to have advocating for loved ones with ASD is Partners to Assist in Learning (PAL), which helps businesses to implement programs meant specifically for people with special needs such as special sensory days, special seating arrangements and to provide information for parents and caregivers so they can know if the event will be right for their loved ones. Some great PAL destinations are:
- The OdySea Aquarium – A sensory friendly journey through the depths of the sea with lots of touching and play involved. Click here for their accessibility page.
- The Children’s Museum Of Phoenix – One of our members’ recent favorites! A maze of different play activities complete with a giant “climber” for hours of fun. Look out for our video about our time there! Here is their accessibility page.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks – For kids that love sports, it’s great to get out in the spring and take in a ball game! The Diamondbacks are a PAL destination and you can find more info on their PAL page.
We have also been lucky to partner with other businesses and autism-friendly attractions in the community that are very accommodating to member needs.
- The Phoenix Zoo – Lexington members love visiting the Zoo and getting up close and personal with exotic furry friends. The Zoo has programs and trips specifically meant for learning minds with special needs.
- Dave & Busters – Dave & Busters has been known in the past to hold special sensory friendly days. Going to the massive arcade is a member favorite!
Across The Nation
Now is the time to start planning for a spring break trip or early summer vacation with the whole family. Here are some of the best autism-friendly attractions and destinations we found that you can take the whole family:
- Morgan’s Wonderland – The first and only all accessible family fun park, Morgan’s Wonderland is the first theme park designed with people with special needs in mind. It’s the perfect place for families to let loose and every bit of the park is designed with them in mind.
- Disney Parks – Disney Parks are very mindful of visitors with disabilities, which makes them one of the most comprehensive Autism-friendly attractions. You can find an abundance of information and possible programs to take advantage of on your visit by checking their website. You can even get a Disney Disability Access Service (DAS) Pass which will reduce time spent in line and give you access to quiet and calm areas away from big crowds.
- Seaworld – All of Seaworld’s three locations are now autism-friendly attractions with special tours, quiet rooms and other accommodations for families traveling with people with autism.
- Skiing – For the families that love snow, there are many ski resorts across the nation that have accessibility programs and cater to all levels of skill.
- National Parks – Many of the great national parks are great destinations for kiddos with autism. Some popular autism-friendly attractions are the towering dunes of the Great Sand Dunes Park in Colorado or the glorious geyser, Old Faithful, at Yellowstone National Park, which has autism-friendly accomodations in the park! Click here to read a list of other great national parks to check out.
- Legoland – Legoland tops many of the lists as an autism-friendly attraction and kids love it!
- Royal Caribbean Cruises – Taking a cruise is a big adventure and Royal Caribbean has autism-friendly ships and highly trained crews to make the experience magical.
Though there is much progress still to be made, we are living in one of the most friendly and accessible time periods for people with special needs and that’s inspiring. This list only captures a fraction of the national destinations that are perfect autism-friendly attractions and great family getaways.
Companies That Care
Closer to home, if you are looking for every day places that are mindful of young people and adults with autism, there are many businesses that are leaping forward in strides to cater to the autism community. For example, Chuck E. Cheese is the newest in a growing group of businesses to offer sensory friendly sundays for kids with autism to enjoy the fun. Movie theaters like Harkins Theaters put on sensory friendly screenings for families to get the opportunity to enjoy movies on the big screen. Other businesses also join in like Jumpstreet, the indoor trampoline park, which opens its doors early the first Saturday of every month for young people with special needs and their families. As this trend continues to grow, more and more community staples are beginning to offer sensory friendly days.
Lexington In Your Community
Have you seen Lexington Services out in the community? Check out our youtube page to see members interacting with friends, neighbors, businesses and autism-friendly attractions and destinations around Arizona. Do you have questions about Lexington Services or would you like to sign up for a campus tour? Give us a call at 480-900-1009 or contact us using the online form for more information.
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