Sensory-Friendly Activities in Nashville

Sensory-sensitive activities in the Nashville area!

As a parent of a child with sensory processing disorder or autism spectrum disorder, it can be tough to find activities in the community that won’t overstimulate. Going to the movies, indoor recreation centers, and live performances can be quite the challenge. Thankfully, more businesses are opening their doors at special times for their special needs friends! We’ve put together a list of just a few places in the greater Nashville area that offer sensory-friendly activities (in addition to our fun occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions).

1. Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck E Cheese’s

Chuck E Cheese’s hosts “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” across the nation on the first Sunday of the month from 9:00 am to 11:00 am! They hope to create a fun environment for children with autism and special needs. The experience includes dimmed lighting, fewer people, the show and music turned off or down, and fewer appearances by Chuck E! Click here to find participating locations!

2. AMC Theater Sensory Friendly Films

AMC movie theaters offer sensory friendly movie showings on the second and fourth Saturday of every month! They turn the lights up and the sound down and welcome guests to “get up, dance, walk, shout or sing!” This laid-back setting gives children with special needs the opportunity to see a movie in theaters without the pressure of perfect behavior. Find a location near you!

3. Nashville Children’s Theater Sensory-Friendly Performances

Enjoy a live performance by attending a Nashville Children’s Theater sensory-friendly show! They release social stories two weeks before the performance to help children prepare for the story. The theater also provides a “sensory guide” to signal when something startling or abrupt is about to happen! Mockingbird and Dragons Love Tacos are still showing within the next few months. Follow this link to purchase tickets!

4. Special Needs Jump Time at Sky High Sports

Every Tuesday afternoon Sky High hosts a special needs jump time! They accommodate their special needs friends by turning off the music, dimming the lights and reducing distraction. Jumping can help children develop social skills, motor skills, balance and more. Find out more here!

5. Nashville Symphony Sensory Friendly Concerts

The Nashville Symphony Center offers sensory friendly concerts for individuals with autism and other special needs. The Schermerhorn Symphony Center features raised lighting, flexible seating, closed captioning, social stories, and more! Get tickets and learn more here.

BONUS: Sensory Friendly Broadway Shows 

Broadway is in its seventh season of offering autism-friendly shows, thanks to the Autism Theater Initiative! While not in the greater Nashville area, these shows are a great and sensory-friendly opportunity. This seasons shows included Cats, The Lion King, Wicked, and Aladdin! The theaters are made more welcoming by leaving house lights on, removing jarring sounds and strobe lights from the production, and providing quiet areas staffed by autism specialists in the lobby. Click here for more information.

What sensory-friendly activities do your kids love? Let us know by commenting below!