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.
April Events for Children with Special Needs
Sensory Sensitive Sundays
2 April, 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
Chuck E Cheese Vernon Hills , 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.
Special Night for Special Needs
5 April 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Jump America, 880 Lakeside Drive, Gurnee
Special Needs Night is held on the first Wednesday of every month; enjoy jumping with low noise and little distraction!
Parent/Tot Time Out
5, 12, 19 & 26 April 11:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lippert Community Center Gym, 2200 Grass Lake Rd., Lindenhurst
This program is for you if you need to get out of the house, want to meet other parents, and let your children burn off some energy. Equipment such as balls, mats, tunnels, and toys will be available for your child to play with while you chat with other parents or join in on the fun. This is a drop-in program; no instruction provided. Parents must supervise their children at all times. Age: 0-5 years with parent/caregiver.
First Fridays at Hippo Campus
7 April 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hippo Campus, 401 E. Route 60, Volo
First Fridays are celebrated with special extended hours and activities the first Friday of the month. Themes and activities change monthly.
Show ME Playgroup
7 & 21 April 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Pediatric Interactions, 15 Commerce Drive, Suite 116, Grayslake
Pediatric Interactions is starting a drop-in playgroup, led by a developmental therapist, for children 1-5 years of age. Come and learn more about what your child should be doing and what you can do at home to help your child. Cost is $5 per family.
7, 14, 21 & 28 April 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.
Sensory Story Time
Every Tuesday, 10:00 a.m.
Hippo Campus, 401 E. Route 60, Volo
Storytime and activity are included in the daily admission fee of $10. Adults enjoy a free cup of coffee during the storytime.
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!
4th Annual Beeping Egg Hunt
8 April, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
The Chicago Lighthouse, 222 Waukegan Rd, Glenview
Children with visual impairments and their families are invited to join in on the fun at our 4th Annual Beeping Egg Hunt on April 8 in Glenview. This is an excellent opportunity for children with visual impairments to utilize multiple senses and make new friends. There will be treats for all and an ice cream social following the egg hunt. RSVP by April 1st.
8 April, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
Hawthorn Mall is partnering with the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) and Autism Family Cares to host “Soothing Bunny,” and opportunity for children with autism and other special needs (and their siblings) to visit the Easter Bunny in a more soothing and sensory-friendly environment. Pictures are available for purchase from Cherry Hill. The first 100 children will receive a Hawthorn Mall Easter Bunny stuffed animal and be able to participate in our Easter craft. Maggiano’s will also provide a quiet area in their restaurant for some light refreshments after you get your picture taken.
Sensory Movie Matinee: Pete’s Dragon (Rated PG)
9 April 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Warren Newport Public Library, Meeting Room A & B, 224 O’Plaine Rd., Gurnee
Sensory-friendly screenings are designed for children with special needs. The films have quieter volume and turned-up lights. The environment is welcoming towards kids who need to move around, talk and sing during the screening. Animal crackers and water will be provided. You are also welcome to bring your own snacks.
14 April 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. & 15 April 9:30 a.m. -1 0:30 a.m.
Round Lake Area Park District, Teen/Youth Center, 814 Hart Rd., Round Lake
Join SRSNLC at the Teen/Youth Center for some playtime with your tot. We will have age-appropriate activities set up for you and your tot to work on socialization, gross and fine motor skills, as well as sensory play.
Down Syndrome Developmental Council (DDC) Monthly Playgroup
18 April, call for time
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. PLEASE RSVP to Kris Murray at (847) 630-4991; Spanish speaking families should contact Maria at (847) 219-9200.
21 April 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Leisure Center, 2400 Dowie Memorial Dr., Zion
Stop by for Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County (SRSNLC) Open Gym. This is an opportunity to come in and shoot some hoops, play a fun game of volleyball and duck from a dodge ball. Activities are loosely organized and individuals are able to pick the activity they would enjoy.
Clearbrook’s Take-a-Break Program
22 April Call for Times
Douglas House, 732 N. Genesee Street, Waukegan
Take a break with Clearbrook! This afternoon respite program is for families with children age infant to four years old with disabilities. Parents can use this program to relax, run errands, or go to appointments while their child is looked after by caring and trained staff. Your child can learn to socialize and reduce separation anxiety from their caregivers in a safe environment. Please call Tina Yurik at (847) 291-6971 ext. 227 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot for your family. Rgistration in advance is required. Program is first-come, first-served.
29 April 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Deerfield Public Library, Youth Program Room, 920 Waukegan Rd., Deerfield
Join us for an inclusive and interactive storytime filled with stories, songs, sensory play, and socialization! Children of all abilities with their siblings and caregivers are welcome. Please register the child(ren) only.