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.
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). Interactive art installations include sensory activities and designated break zones that provide safe, comfortable and enjoyable experiences. See website for dates/times.
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.
Once a month, the San Diego Natural History Museum opens an hour early to provide a less crowded environment for visitors with ASD and similar diagnoses to explore at their own pace and watch a movie in the giant screen theater with lower volume and more light. Quiet room open from 9 a.m. to noon if visitors need to decompress. RSVP online.
Special library playtime where children with ASD are not expected to act according to typical library rules.
Inclusive, interactive story hour designed for young children on the spectrum and their families; sometimes includes music and sensory play. Civic Center Library Children’s Reading Corner
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.
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
Six-week program where a board-certified behavioral analyst helps students 13–17 on the Autism spectrum explore emotions, listening skills, social skills and pragmatic language through games and funny, improvised scenarios.
In partnership with St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, Malashock Dance facilitates a program where young adults are integrated into a professional environment at Dorothea Laub Dance Place. Weekly dance classes incorporate motor skills, spatial awareness and self-expression.
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
Kids with special needs ages 5–17 participate in soccer-oriented activities in a 1:1 player-to-coach setting.
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 for those in need.
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 time just 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. Sibling jumpers welcome.
Dance class for ages 5 and up who thrive in an inclusive setting. Curriculum developed by Heather Shershun, who is certified to teach movement to people with disabilities. Seaside Arts Center
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.
Baseball program for ages 5–23 with developmental or physical disabilities. Champions players are paired with a peer buddy selected to match his or her needs. Games are shorter, with just two innings and guaranteed at-bats. Games played in Carlsbad.
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 are paired with neurotypical peers to explore student-chosen teen themes through acting, stand-up, scene work, show hosting, and movement culminating in a unique 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.
Flag football rules with modifications 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. simonne.Call@usw.salvationarmy.org
Offers sensory-friendly mornings in an inclusive learning and gardening play space with story times and STEAM activities. Also offers camps, Growing Together interactive parent/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
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 exercise classes, quad rugby, adaptive aquatics program, adaptive yoga, weight training and adaptive golf clinic.
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.
Inclusive semi- and private swim lessons, aquatic strengthening, and ocean safety for 6 mos.–adults at The Plunge in Belmont Park; instructor has 25 years experience working with people with disabilities. FB @SpecialFishies
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. Pre-registration necessary.
Hosts free clinics for adaptive paddle boarding and adaptive surfing, enhances public policy on beach access for the disabled, and furthers advancements in adaptive water sports equipment. Hands-on disability and safety training available for volunteers.