Autism-Friendly Events in Texas
In September we’re shining a spotlight on Texas in the NeuroDivergent News, and I thought we should share some October events here, since it is early spooky season.
Did you know the Houston Museum of Natural Science is a certified autism center? They have sensory plans and sensory backpacks available for visitors year-round. The sensory plan rates each exhibit green, yellow, or red for lights and sounds. The backpacks include ear and eye protection and fidgets to help overstimulated visitors.
This October 28th, just in time for Halloween, they premiere the King Tut’s Tomb Discovery Experience. Whether Egyptology is you or your child’s special interest or just a passing fancy, this looks like it’ll be worth checking out.
If you’re looking for an adults only event, Spirits and Skeletons is a 21+ mixer October 29th, 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM, for those who want booze with their boos.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030.
Sensory Friendly Day
Looking for more fun? Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center has a few events I’d recommend. They’re hosting a Sensory Friendly Day on October 3rd, one of several they have each year. If your kid is more sensory seeking, check out Slime Time on October 29th! The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center is located at 198 Kempner Street, Sugar Land, TX, 77498
If you’re near Waco, Texas, get ready for one awesome weekend! On October 22nd, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM you can go to the Hotan Halloween Spookfest at Hope & Believe Pediatric Therapy Center, 4900 Sanger Avenue, Waco, TX 76710. Then on October 23rd starting at 2:00 PM there’s a sensory friendly Trunk or Treat at Elite Therapy Center, 601 West Loop 340, also in Waco. Both of these events welcome trick or treaters with various disabilities and neurodivergencies.
Is the San Antonio area convenient for your family? There’s plenty of events coming up for you this fall. The Zoo Boo has already begun, and will run through Halloween. This is a fun event for those who love animals, but be aware of sensory issues as you cannot tell wild animals not to roar without warning, and nature has certain odors. The San Antonio Zoo is located at 3903 North St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78212.
October 1st, from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM get ready for Accessability Fest, helping people with various disabilities get connected to services and organizations that can help them. This event is at Hemisfair, 434 South Alamo Street, San Antonio, TX 78205.
Art for Autism
Art for Autism is having a fundraising event October 8th, 11am-8pm at The Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Parkway Suite 6698, San Antonio, TX 78256. It looks like a great way to support your local autistic artists while doing some shopping (the holidays will be here before you know it!)
If you prefer plants over people, you may be interested in Bootanica at the San Antonio Botanical Garden on October 15th, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. You can learn about local poisonous plants and there’s a sensory pumpkin station for those who want to really get in touch with nature. Oh, and dogs are allowed! The Botanical Garden is located at 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, TX, 78209.
There are many family events at the Doseum, some of which are for members only, but the one we want to spotlight is the Beyond Limits Spooktacular, which this year is October 26th, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. This event is welcoming for all abilities. The Doseum is at 2800 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209.
Don’t be ashamed to live out the stereotype of an autistic train lover. The Texas Transportation Museum is holding a Spook-Track-Ula and trick or treat scavenger hunt! Need I say more? Yeah, you’ll need the dates and location, sorry. You’ll have three chances to catch this train- or, event. October 22nd, 23rd, and 29th from 4:00 – 9:00 PM at 11731 Wetmore Road, San Antonio, TX 78247.
Remember when sensory slime wasn’t so mainstream? Now it seems like every kid is obsessed with the oobleck. If that sounds like your family’s jam, you’ll want to check out the Ghostly Goo Workshop at Kidcreate Studio. Get your goop on October 29th, 11:00 AM – 12:00 noon, for ages 4-9. I’d recommend bringing hand wipes for after, and dressing the whole family in clothes you don’t mind staining, just in case. Find Kidcreate Studio at 21803 West Interstate 10, San Antonio, TX 78257.
I hope we’ve found at least one event you’ll want to check out this October. If you’re not in Texas, Google similar topics, museums, zoos and children’s activity centers in your own state and I’m sure you’ll discover a lot right in your own back yard.
Stay safe this spooky season and have fun out there!
Written by Siobhan Marsh, award-winning author and disability advocate.