Autism Friendly Museums on the East Coast

Looking for educational outings for the whole family? Several museums on the East Coast offer autism-friendly programs and accommodations to create an inclusive and sensory-friendly environment for visitors with autism. Here is a list of notable autism-friendly museums:

  1. Boston Children’s Museum (Boston, MA)

Programs: The museum offers “Morningstar Access” events, allowing autistic children and their families to enjoy the museum with fewer crowds and reduced stimuli.

Features: Sensory-friendly exhibits, quiet spaces, and trained staff.

  1. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan (New York, NY)

Programs: “Access Mornings” provide exclusive early access to the museum for families of autistic children.

Features: Special sensory maps, quiet rooms, and adaptive tools.

  1. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (New York, NY)

Programs: “Sensory Friendly Evening” events provide a calm environment with less visual and auditory stimuli.

Features: Noise-canceling headphones, sensory bags, and quiet rooms.

  1. Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia, PA)

Programs: “Play Without Boundaries” events offer a sensory-friendly environment with modified exhibits and activities.

Features: Quiet areas, sensory toys, and trained staff.

  1. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.)

Programs: “Morning at the Museum” events designed for autistic children to experience the museum in a less crowded and quieter setting.

Features: Sensory guides, sensory spaces, and support staff.

  1. The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, PA)

Programs: “Sensory-Friendly Sundays” where the museum opens early for families with autistic children. Features: Quiet spaces, sensory backpacks, and modified exhibits.

  1. Port Discovery Children’s Museum (Baltimore, MD)

Programs: “Sensory-Friendly Days” with adjusted lighting and sound, and reduced crowds.

Features: Quiet areas, sensory activities, and trained staff.

  1. Discovery Museum (Bridgeport, CT)

Programs: Sensory-friendly events and special programs designed for autistic children and their families.

Features: Quiet areas, sensory activities, and accommodations.

  1. Museum of Science (Boston, MA)

Programs: “Morningstar Access” program to ensure a quieter and less crowded environment.

Features: Sensory-friendly maps, quiet rooms, and trained staff.

  1. The New Children’s Museum (West Hartford, CT)

Programs: Special sensory-friendly events and early openings for families with autistic children.

Features: Quiet areas, sensory kits, and trained staff.

These museums have tailored their programs and environments to be more inclusive and supportive of autistic visitors, ensuring a positive and enriching experience for all families.


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