Once a month Fleet Science Center opens an hour early so families with special needs can enjoy science exhibits, a sensory-friendly film screening (quieter setting) and have access to a special cool-off space. Offers closed-captioning for all films in the Giant Dome Theater. Fleet Science Center
Provides free access for families who benefit from a sensory-friendly experience and quieter setting (downtown location only) the second Saturday of each month, an hour before opening to the public (stay all day, if desired).
Offers weekend tennis clinics for children with Autism between the ages of 5–18. Clinics are one hour, with sessions running for 6–8 weeks at a time.
Barnes Tennis Center San Diego, CA 92107
Omni La Costa Resort Carlsbad, CA 92009
Certified Recreational Therapist and professional snowsports instructors experienced with special needs use a one-on-one approach to teach people of all abilities how to ski or snowboard (or improve skills) on a safe, carpeted slope. Includes people with ASD, physical disabilities, visual impairment and more.
U.S. residents with documented disabilities are eligible for a free pass to all national parks, historic sites and recreation areas that charge entrance fees.
Services for kids with accessibility needs, including two private study rooms and computers equipped with assistive software, digital talking books for individuals enrolled with the Braille Institute’s Library Services, a homebound services program, library-by-mail program, and drive-up book return.
San Diego Central Library
Provides family-friendly beach days and a one-week camp that enables ATPF clients and families to practice paddle boarding, kayaking and surfing. Participants are paired with Junior Lifeguards for 1:1 mentoring June-August.
Teaches girls self-esteem through two programs: AMPLIFY is an educational program that teaches self-advocacy skills to girls (ages 5 & up) and women with disabilities in a fun environment; ADVOCATE is a leadership development program that empowers girls and women with disabilities to drive important changes locally and nationally.
Animal retreat and farm for over 140 domesticated livestock from around the world helps children learn appreciation for animals, nature, sustainable farming and the ecosystem. Reservations for groups with special needs.
Opens two hours early on the first Sunday of the month, specifically for children with Autism and other special needs. Offers reduced lighting and noise, trained staff and full menu.
Two San Diego locations:
3414 College Ave., SD 92115
9840 Hibert St., SD 92131
Free dance, fitness and musical theater programs for ages 18+ through the city of Chula Vista. Carmel Wilson, Recreation Supervisor III firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly classes where a board-certified behavioral analyst helps students ages 15–22 with Autism and other social delays explore emotions, listening skills, social skills and pragmatic language through games and funny, improvised scenarios.
Personalized instruction and adaptive equipment for winter and summer sports, including skiing, snowboarding, biking, and flatwater paddling. Plus, family camps, weekly sports meet-ups and skills development programs in a variety of Paralympic sports.
Accessible camping for persons with physical disabilities.
Escondido, CA 92027
Free dance class for children with special needs (including dancewear, shoes and fees) covered by generous donations of community members and families of typical students.
Santee, CA 92071
Dance and musical theater program for kids 5–17 customized to fit a child’s needs. Inclusive and reverse mainstream classes are led by faculty trained by Dr. Erin Zwahlen, BCBA and Executive Director of the ABA Education Foundation. Students are assessed to discern the level of support needed to participate in class. Scholarships available.
Group swim instruction (3:1) for infants through adults designed to stimulate brain development while improving social and gross motor skills. Instructors with special needs training teach in a salt-purified pool.
For individuals with intellectual disabilities. Develops stage presence, comedy improvisation, reading and memorizing scripts, costuming, and working as a team. North Park Vaudeville & Candy Shoppe
Dedicated monthly session for jumpers with special needs; music is played at a lower volume and the park’s atmosphere is calmer. One parent/guardian can support jumpers on the trampoline for free. Siblings welcome.
Fully ADA accessible, 1,100 linear foot loop in the Black Mountain Regional Park offers amazing views and park space for people with mobility issues. Features interpretative signage and shade structures with space
for wheelchairs. Miner’s Ridge Loop Parking Area
Award-winning, inclusive theater program guided and inspired by theater professionals for kids 4–18, regardless of gender, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation or economic status. Offers a variety of classes, performance, scholarship and outreach opportunities.
Provides grants for individuals with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury to purchase adaptive sports equipment. Partners with organizations to provide recreational opportunities and trains disabled athletes on ski racing safety.
Division of Little League for children ages 4-18 with physical or mental disabilities. Use the league finder tool to find the Challenger division nearest you.
Provides an adaptive climbing team for ages 16+ with physical disability, a small group youth Autism program, deaf and hard-of-hearing program, and a program for climbers with Hemophilia.
Inclusive baseball league for ages 5+ played on an accessible field. Players are paired with typical buddies (based on need) so families can enjoy the experience of watching their kids play with real color commentary.
Students with special needs (ages 13 & up) explore themes through acting in a six-week online class. Stand-up, scene work, show hosting and movement are used to learn acting techniques, culminating in a comedy sketch show.
New Village Arts Theatre
Adaptive lessons are 1:1 under the PSIA trained supervision of the Mountain High Winter Sports School. Students (ages 4+) must be able to hold head upright and maintain breathing on their own. Advanced 72-hour reservation required. Includes equipment.
In partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation a prom night experience for kids 14 and up with special needs. Trinity Church
Poway, CA 92064
Classes designed to help children 15 mos. & up, including those with high-functioning disabilities, experience gymnastics in a fun and positive environment. Class ratio is no more than 5:1.
Film and media production studio provides individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities creative, educational, social and economic opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency and community inclusion. Training in digital media, filmmaking and photography as well as pathways to employment via mentorships, paid internships and shadowing professionals.
Flag football (with modifications) and cheer for ages 5–18 who are enrolled in school and have physical or mental disabilities. Level of play based on size, age and skill level is recommended where numbers allow.
Challenged athletes program for youths with intellectual disabilities. All games played in Meadowbrook Middle School’s gym.
Veteran-led, men’s competitive wheelchair basketball team promotes ability awareness through school assemblies and demonstrations; players coach a nonprofit youth recreation league. Accepts donations of used sports wheelchairs for players with financial need.
Offers adaptive swimming lessons designed for children with special needs, with emphasis on children with Autism. Private lessons include four 30-minute sessions.
Offers Sensory Friendly Mornings in a welcoming and comfortable environment through hands-on STREAM activities and exhibits. Also offers seasonal camps, interactive caregiver/toddler classes and birthday parties.
Low-priced, amateur ice hockey league for boys and girls ages 7–12 with disabilities who are physically able to play but unable to participate in a typical organized league. Equipment, coaching and mentoring provided. UTC Ice Rink
Inclusive camps, sports leagues, social groups and recreational activities for individuals 3 and up with special needs and their families. Park de la Cruz Community Center
Diverse and inclusive playground at San Dieguito County Park. All abilities engage in sensory, nature and fitness-based play. Specialty equipment with standard features, ramps and easy pavement-to-playground transitions.
Del Mar, CA 92014
AMC Theater bi-monthly films with lowered sound and more light for kids with sensory needs.
Bi-monthly films with lowered sound and more light for kids with sensory needs.
Includes gentle fitness conditioning classes and adaptive golf clinic.
La Mesa, CA 91941
Offers 1:1 piano and group keyboard lessons for ages 3–adult. Music helps physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. Try Harmony Road group instruction (18 mos–11 yrs), a comprehensive early childhood music program.
Year-round, warm water adaptive swim lessons for ages 6 mos.–adult with special needs. Taught by certified instructors who provide a low student to teacher ratio. Adaptive swim team available for swimmers who want to compete.
Experienced swim instructors provide 1:1 lessons to children with special needs through the use of unique visual aids. Safety awareness and specialized instruction in your home or community pool.
Year-round individual and group surf lessons and camps in Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas for all ages and most abilities by an Encinitas firefighter with swift water rescue certification and his trained staff. Surfboards and wetsuits provided.
Dance for people of any ability welcomes all. Instructors have experience working with the disabled community and provide dance opportunities free of charge. Adaptive dance classes for partner organizations are inclusive and open to the general public.