Families with special needs don’t need to miss out on local family fun! We’ve rounded up this month’s events for families and children with special needs. Unless otherwise stated, all events require preregistration. See the event listings for more information and to register.
October Special Needs Calendar
Friday Night Dance Party
Every Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Denise Sabala Dance Studios, 560 W. Main St., Lake Zurich
This 45-minute class is catered to special needs students. Explore your body’s space around you through rhythm, music, socialization, and dancing.
Every Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
GiGi’s Playhouse, 5404 W. Elm St., McHenry
Families and their friends are invited to the playhouse for playtime. Open play helps promote positive beginnings for new families with a child with Down syndrome, creates awareness opportunities for peers and friends, and provides support and networking for families. Come ready for fun and a crazy good time! Open to families with children of all ages and their friends.
Single Day Events
Special Night for Special Needs
3 October 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Jump America, 880 Lakeside Drive, Gurnee
The first Monday of every month features jumping with low noise and little distraction. Cost is $8 per jumper, one parent jumps free.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays
7 October 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Chunk E. Cheese, 700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
Enjoy games and food with reduced lighting and noise. Staff will be trained and caring about autism and other special needs.
Sensory Storytime: Bug Blast
13 October 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Warren Newport Public Library, 224 O’Plaine Rd., Gurnee
This buggy storytime engages all of the senses through music, movement, stories, and play. This program is designed for children who have autism, difficulties with sensory processing, or simply sitting still.
Down Syndrome Developmental Council (DDC) Monthly Playgroup
16 October, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
15 Commerce Drive, Suite 116, Grayslake
All family members are invited for an interactive group-play therapy session. The session is led by a developmental therapist and hosted by various DDC parents and includes dinner. A Spanish language interpreter is available with advance notice. FREE of charge. RSVP to Kris Murray at (847) 630-4991; Spanish speaking families should contact Maria at (847) 219-9200.
“Intelligent Lives” Screening
17 October, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Marcus Gurnee Cinema, 6144 Grand Ave., Gurnee
INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Tickets are $12, contact reserve tickets here, event subject to ticket sales.
Quiet Hour – Cook Library’s Touch the Trucks
20 October, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Cook Park, 413 North Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
There will be no sirens, horns, bells, whistles, or buzzers from the trucks. Those who are scared or bothered by loud noises can enjoy this annual event in peace.
Everyone at play
21 October, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview
This special morning event offers free admission for families with children with special needs to explore the Museum exhibits in a controlled, quieter environment. *Registration required*
Trunk or Treat with Autism Family Cares
21 October 6:00 – 2:00 p.m.
SEDOL Foundation, 18160 W Gages Lake Rd, Gages Lake
Our trunk or treat is for families who have children and young adults on the autism spectrum. Dress up and join us in the front SEDOL parking lot to trick or treat from parked cars. We will also have other fun activities to enjoy.
Trunk or Treat
25 October 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Mobile Therapy Centers of America, 1870 W. Winchester Road Libertyville,
Special Halloween event with games and candy designed for the needs of children with ASD. This event will be held in the parking lot in front of Mobile Therapy Centers.
Do you know of a program or event we missed? Share it in the comments so we can add it!