Summer Fun for All Senses: Explore Maryland’s Sensory-Friendly Options

Summer is here, and with it comes the promise of sunshine, swimming, and outdoor adventures. But for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the hustle and bustle of summer activities can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, there are plenty of local sensory-friendly activities to keep your little ones engaged and entertained throughout the season. Here are 3 ideas to get you started.

Six Flags America

Location: 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD

Six Flags America and Hurricane Harbor offer features to help guests with autism and sensory sensitivities enjoy the park comfortably. Sensory guides can prepare guests by explaining how each ride or attraction might impact the five senses. Dedicated quiet areas are also available to provide a calming space to take a break. Plus, special Sensory Sensitive Days feature reduced sound and music.

Robinson Nature Center

Location: 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD

Every month, Robinson Nature Center opens early for Sensory Friendly Sundays, welcoming families with children, teens, and adults who have sensory processing differences, autism spectrum disorder, or developmental disabilities. Enjoy specially planned activities led by park rangers and educators. Explore nature exhibits with adjusted lighting and sounds, the Discovery Room, nature trails, the outdoor NaturePlace, and a themed sensory pathway. Take a break in a quiet area or grab a sensory backpack for additional support.  The planetarium is also open between 11 am and noon. It’s a sensory-friendly adventure for everyone!

The Walters Art Museum

Location: 600N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD

The Walters Art Museum is a KultureCity Certified Sensory inclusive venue with a mission to bring art and people together for enjoyment, discovery, and learning. All staff members are trained in sensory systems and sensory bags are always available for guests to borrow at the museum entrance. Signage identify loud and quiet areas are in place to assist with navigation.

For more information on sensory friendly ideas all year-round, visit Autism Society Maryland and and make summer memories that will last a lifetime.