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
Weekly Events for Children with Special Needs
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!
Single Day Events for Children with Special Needs
Zoo Goes Blue for Autism
April 6 (Saturday)
Brookfield Zoo is collaborating with Autism Speaks to take part in the annual Zoos Goes Blue campaign. To commemorate the day, the zoo’s iconic lion statues will be clothed in blue scarves and blue flags will decorate the park’s grounds. Throughout the day, special Zoo Goes Blue activities will be taking place for families with children on the autism spectrum, including a quiet hour on the Carousel, a sensory-friendly Dolphins in Action presentation, and special animal Zoo Chats. For more information, call (708) 688-8000.
7 April 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Hawthorn Mall will be hosting an 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. Visits are always free! The first 30 children will receive a Hawthorn Mall Easter Bunny Bag. No reservations needed.
7 April 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Caring Bunny provides an exclusive, subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families. Caring Bunny will be located in Macy’s South Wing, near Dining Pavilion. Photos will be taken and available for purchase at this event. Registration is required.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays
7 April 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Chuck E. Cheese Vernon Hills
Enjoy games and food with reduced lighting and noise. Staff will be trained and caring about autism and other special needs.
Sensory Story Time *registration required*
9 April 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Barrington Area Library
Children enjoy books, music, and movement activities designed to engage the senses and build language and literacy skills.
AMC Sensory Friendly Films
13 April & 27 April 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
AMC Theatres in Northbrook Court and South Barrington
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where the theaters turn the lights up and turn the sound down, so you can get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!
SibShop *registration required*
13 April 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Sibshops are for siblings aged 5 to teens. Sibshops are a time for our siblings of special needs students to have fun and get to know other sibs. The Sibshops are on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. It includes lunch and the fee is $7 per Sibshop. Sibs can come to one or all of the Sibshops, they are not committed to coming each time. They come without their special needs siblings. To register for Sibshop, email Sheila Geier, Sibshop Coordinator, and Social Worker at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sensory Storytime *registration required*
13 April 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This garden-themed storytime engages all of the senses through music, movement, stories, and play. Our non-traditional storytime format is designed for children who have autism, difficulties with sensory processing, or simply sitting still. Attendee must be between the ages of 4 Years and 8 Years old.
14 April 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Bernard Weinger JCC, Northbrook
Family swim time for children with sensory needs. This will be a quieter time for anyone that may need it. We will have a lifeguard on duty, however, a parent needs to be in the water with their child.
24 April 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Deerfield Public Library
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.
Do you know of a program or event we missed? Share it in the comments so we can add it!