Indianapolis has a large list of fun things and events for children with special needs. These events and places are geared toward kids with different abilities or sensory sensitivities. Whether your family likes sports, movies, art or climbing, there is something for everyone to enjoy and will meet the needs of everyone in your family.

    Senses Gym

     (573.8 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Designed for kids with Autism, ADHD, Aspergers Syndrome, Down's syndrome and other sensory processing disorders, Senses Gym offers a great place for your child to play and increase their social skills. The giant indoor gym has places to climb and fine motor skill activities along the wall. Parents are expected to help guide their children around the gym.

    Age: 1-6 years

    Cost: Free

    Agape Unbridled Hope

     (578.6 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Horseback riding has been studied as therapeutic for people with disabilities. By riding horseback, your kiddo will benefit from the cognitive, physical and social skills they will learn. Your kiddo will gain strength, balance, coordination and more while enjoying time with a horse.

    Cost: Contact the center nearest you.

    Indianapolis Children's Choir - Jubilate, A Choir for Children with Special Needs

     (587.5 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  This is a non-audition based choir for your child to stretch their vocal skills in a fun and inclusive environment. With one practice a week, your child will be introduced to music, learn proper breath control & posture of a singer and have fun. The one hour practice will spend the first half working on the fundamentals of a singer while the second half focuses on singing. Your child will get to have fun and learn a new skill.

    Age: 1-3 grade

    Cost: $380/ year with $60 non refundable registration fee

    Indy Parks Adaptive Programs

     (592.4 mi)

    t/fom:  Indy Parks has many adaptive programs that they offer at various Indy Parks locations. They have karaoke nights, water aerobic exercises, and host dances every second Saturday of the month where those with physical and/or intellectual disabilities can socialize and dance to music. Also Rhodius Park is equipped with a state-of-the-art sensory room that can be rented out for parties or used as a place where kids ages 4-18 can unwind in the afternoon for just $3! Click Here to look at the programs they have to offer. Search keyword Adaptive.

    Ages: Varies with programs

    Cost: Varies with programs

    Adapted Gymnastics – Deveaus

     (593.4 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Through the 10-week, 60-minute gymnastics class, your child will improve flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. Your kiddo will get to work on the trampoline, balance beams, vault and bars. Along with physical improvement, your kiddo will have fun and increase their social skills.

    Cost: $211, plus $50 annual enrollment fee

    Stony Creek Swim Center- Aqua Abilities

     (593.6 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  This specialized class is focused on working with kids of all different abilities. The Aqua Abilities class allows your child to be evaluated by a trained swim instructor and placed into a small group class. If your kiddo needs more help, you can sign them up for private lessons. The small group lessons are offered weekly at a ratio of 4 to 1 class size.

    Cost: $83/month

    TOPSoccer - IndyPremier

     (594.6 mi)

    Sundays: 6:30 pm- 7:30 pm

    Dawn Denning:  This community based soccer game is for kiddos with intellectual and physical disabilities. Each player will get to experience and learn to play soccer with a buddy for the soccer season. The buddy will help your child play, learn and have fun while learning the fundamentals of soccer.

    Cost: Free

    Conner Prairie - Sensory Friendly Mornings

     (594.8 mi)

    9 am - 10 am

    $4 for non-members

    Kristy Pepping:  Come to Conner Prairie for one of their sensory friendly mornings. They will open one hour early to kids with sensory differences. The lights will be turned down lower and noises will be kept to a minimum so that the environment will be sensory-friendly to the kids. If you are not familiar with Conner Prairie, it is an outdoor museum focused on the fields of science, history, art, and nature.

    Special Olympics of Indiana

     (595.4 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  This not for profit offers sports training and athletic training year round for adults and children with special needs. The goal of the program is to offer improved physical fitness, encourage social interactions and demonstrate courage.

    Young Athletes is an introductory program for children under 8 with intellectual disabilities. The kids are encouraged to learn new things, play and have fun with other people. Kiddos aged 2-7 will do activities to improve hand-eye coordination and develop motor skills. The new skills can help your kiddo gain confidence to make new friends.

    Cost: Free

    Sensory Friendly Films- AMC Theatres

     (596.8 mi)

    Every Second & Fourth Saturday of the Month

    Dawn Denning:  AMC has partnered with the Autism Society to make the movie experience more enjoyable for families with autism or sensory sensitivities. Twice a month, movies are shown with the lights up and the sound down. Your child will be allowed to stand up, dance and make noise while enjoy a current show!

    Cost: Regular movie admission

    Power Soccer Group

     (599.8 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  This recreational soccer league is open to anyone in a power wheelchair. The participants include people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, head trauma, strokes and others. The game is played similar to regular soccer, but uses a gymnasium with two teams of four players to spin, kick a 13-inch soccer ball and defend it from a goal. It is a fun and competitive way to play a popular sport.

    Age: 5+

    Cost: Email Power Soccer Group for Information.


     (602.2 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Serving over 6,000 people of all abilities, the mission of ArtMix is to create opportunities for learning, self expression and socialization for kids with special needs. Breaking down barriers and providing unique opportunities for expression creates a positive & respectful environment for kids to learn and grow through art. The programs are run by professional artists trained to work with people of different abilities. The training allows the teachers to alter their teaching plans to work with your kiddos specific needs.

    Cost: Free

    Carmel-Clay Parks & Recreation- Adaptive Programs

     (602.2 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Whether your child would like to dance, play sports or try karaoke, Carmel Clay Parks has something for everyone with special abilities to try out. The catalog of options is constantly changing with specialized opportunities for different age groups.

    Cost: Varies by activity.

    Carter's Play Place

     (603.3 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Carter's is a great place to spend a few hours with your kiddo! Carter's Play Place offers a play area that is inclusive of kiddos with all abilities. There is an area to climb, a trampoline for jumping and things to push and pull around the padded play area. They also offer summer camps, birthday parties, special events and therapy.

    Cost: $10/day; $50/month

    IUPUI Motor Activity Clinic

     (603.5 mi)

    Saturdays: 9 am - 11 am

    Dawn Denning:  The Motor Activity Clinic offers instruction on motor, fundamentals and aquatics for children with disabilities. Through 2-1 instructor to student ratios, your kiddo will receive personalized attention for their unique needs. The instructors focus on fine motor skills, gross motor skills and physical activity through play and swim.

    Age: 3-14

    Cost: $45

    Studio Movie Grill - Special Needs Screenings

     (607.7 mi)

    Beth Wood:  Studio Movie Grill is a movie theatre that allows you to enjoy a movie while dining from their lunch or dinner menu. They offer sensory-friendly screenings of family-friendly films for children with special needs and their families. During showtimes, lights are on, volume is lowered and children are able to move around and talk freely. Click Here for movies and showtimes

    Cost: FREE to children and their siblings, parents must purchase $6 matinee tickets

    Indy Stars Gymnastics

     (609.0 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Indy Stars has an adaptive gymnastics program for kids of all abilities. The class allows kids of all abilities the opportunity to jump, tumble and leap! Your kiddo will gain confidence and make new friends while having lots of fun!

    Cost: $65/month

    Joseph Maley Fitness

     (610.0 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Different programs are available to help meet your family's interest and special needs. Choose from seasonal sports like basketball, cheerleading, yoga, t-ball and more. The programs pair your kiddo up with a mentor to teach techniques, skills and rules one on one to encourage physical, emotional and social interaction.

    Cost: For more information, email the Fitness Manager or choose your sport from their website for more information & cost.

    Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding

     (612.7 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Hippotherapy focuses on helping kids physical strength, posture, endurance and their concentration and ability to follow directions. Through horse therapy, kids can develop their confidence, social skills and sensory processing.

    Cost: Email Morning Dove for Information.

    STAR Soccer - Hendricks County Soccer

     (615.8 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Success Through Adaptive Rec Soccer (Star) Soccer goal is for specials needs and abilities kids to play soccer and have fun! Players are placed onto teams based on their level of skill, not their age. The skills' practices are geared toward skill levels with the goal of having fun, not keeping score. Leagues are twice a year with practices weekly and games on Saturdays.

    Cost: Contact Dave Romie for information.

    TopSoccer- Zionsville Youth Soccer Associate

     (615.9 mi)

    Sundays: 6 pm - 7 pm

    Dawn Denning:  This community based soccer game is for kiddos with intellectual and physical disabilities. Each player will get to experience and learn to play soccer with a buddy for the soccer season. The buddy will help your child play, learn and have fun while learning the fundamentals of soccer.

    Age: 8+

    Cost: Free

    Strides to Success

     (617.6 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Working to help kids with mental health needs, Strides to Success focuses on giving purpose and creating calm through equestrian therapies. Two mental health professionals work full time to help develop life skills and provide interventions.

    Cost: Free

    Optimist Miracle Movers - Plainfield Club

     (619.7 mi)

    Dawn Denning:  Choose from basketball, swimming, softball or soccer depending on the season for your kiddo to try and play. Paired as a single or couple, your kiddo will get special attention from an assistant (buddy) to practice or play in the game. As a parent, you can volunteer as a buddy or sit on the sidelines enjoying the game.

    Cost: $35

Primary photo:   Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

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