Having a child on the spectrum can make it challenging going to public play places, especially when you have multiple children and want to go as a family. Thankfully, there are many places within Michigan that offer sensor friendly days or events that allow your child to enjoy along with their siblings. Here are a few of my favorite places to visit with my sons.


The Play-Place // Sterling Heights
The Play-Place is an amazing center for Autistic Children and has something for every age.  There is a computer café, art studio, theater, Lego, a sensory room, swing central a barber shop and a carousel!!!  It’s a safe sensory environment with awesome staff perfect for a weekend afternoon!


Emagine Theaters – Sensory Friendly Films // multiple locations
These movie events are sponsored by Centria Healthcare every month at multiple Emigine theaters and is an awesome way for a family to watch a movie without worrying about their ASD child’s sensory challenges.  The movie is featured with lower volume and brighter lighting as well as parents can bring in snacks for their child who may have allergies and cannot enjoy the snacks offered at the theater.


Chuck E Cheese // Rochester Hills
This is an excellent opportunity for autistic children to play with reduced lighting and sound along with trained staff.  This particular location opens two hours early on every first Sunday of the month to allow for an environment where children with special needs or sensory challenges can play.


Sea Life Aquarium // Auburn Hills
Sea Life has multiple sensory friendly after hour events where they will open an hour before they open to the general public with no music, and reduced lighting to allow children of all ages to enjoy the wonders of the sea without distractions.


Urban Air // Oxford
This is a great place to go on the weekend. The staff is nice and they have Autism Friendly Sundays the first Sunday every month that allows kids to have fun without all the extra sensory input.


These are a few of places I like to go with my family but there are plenty more around metro Detroit. Send us an email and share your favorite places to explore.


About Natasha Barber

Natasha Barber is a mother of two boys, a full-time purchasing buyer, children’s book author and non-profit founder. Her books, Tommy’s Lessons series and The Waiting Song are whimsical, fun and available on Amazon.  Natasha’s younger son is autistic and inspired her to start a non-profit called Autism Moms Know Safety.  The nonprofit provides free-toolkits for families to educate, raise awareness and share simple tools for Autism safety that can help prevent wandering and/or assist others if your child is missing to help get them home safely.  You can submit a request for an autism safety & resource kit at www.autismmomsknowsafety.com.