Fort Wayne, Indiana takes great steps in including individuals with special abilities in all activities. From the events Turnstone helps host to Indiana's first boundless playground, there is something for everyone to take part in and enjoy. Many of Fort Wayne's great attractions also host sensory-friendly events or activities, perfect for those who need a manageable degree of sensory stimuli. 

Sensory-Friendly Activities in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Girls exploring Science Central

Science Central

Science Central continues its partnership with AWS to provide Disability Days throughout the year that are free to attend. The massive interactive museum changes its programming on these days to lower ambient sound levels, increase light in darker exhibits, have more staff on hand, access to a sensory room, provide additional demonstrations with extra tactile stimulation, and more. 

Taylor's Dream

Taylor’s Dream in Kreager Park, off North River Road, is Indiana’s first Boundless Playground. The playground incorporates three levels of play, making sure kids of all ages and abilities enjoy their visit. The Beta Pod, designed for kids aged 2-12, includes multi-sensory fun in a T-Rex skeleton and an outdoor digital play system. The Alpha Pod, designed for kids aged 2-5, provides opportunities for parallel play, group, and solitary play. It also encourages role playing, socialization and creative, imaginative play. The Gamma Pod, designed for older kids aged 5-12, offers broader opportunities for parallel play, group, and solitary play. Motion is an important aspect of play in this area.

Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA

The Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA off of St. Joe Center Road was built with a unique sensory room. The room is meant to be visually, audibly and tactically soothing, with several customizable features. Visitors have described it as a “miracle room,” having the ability to immediately calm anyone who steps through its door, especially those overwhelmed by a sensory overload. The room is a therapeutic space with specialized equipment that is purposefully designed and utilized for soothing sensory stimulation.


Regal Cinemas Coldwater Crossing

At least once a month in multiple movie theaters, you will find an auditorium with dimmed lights, lowered sound, and members of the audience talking and walking around. Regal Cinemas at Coldwater Crossing partnered with AWS to create “My Way Matinee,” monthly sensory-friendly movie screenings. 

Jefferson Pointe - Spring

Jefferson Pointe AMC

AMC and the Autism Society partnered in 2007 to bring families sensory-friendly screenings in theaters around the nation. The Jefferson Pointe AMC offers sensory-friendly screenings once a week to once every two weeks.

Civic Theatre Taste of the Arts - Fort Wayne, IN

Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre has partnered with the AWS Foundation to create Project Lights Up!, a program that offers no cost, sensory-friendly performances, that have lower sounds levels, lighting that remains on at 30% in the theatre, and a reduction of the use of strobes and other dramatic lighting effects. 

Plus, the AWS Foundation has gifted the community with "sensory-friendly" kits to a few event venues in Fort Wayne including the Memorial Coliseum, Embassy Theatre, Arts United, Grand Wayne Convention Center, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The kits include items like noise-canceling headphones, a weighted neck wrap, fidget toys, and picture cards, showing cartoon faces expressing emotions and needs.

If you have any other suggestions on sensory-friendly activities in our area, please share them in the comments below!

This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.