Fun Programs for Kids with Special Needs

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Kids with special needs love to have fun. These local spots provide opportunities just for them!

Davidson County

Metro Parks’ disABILITIES Day Programs
Centennial Sportsplex
222 25th Ave. N., Nashville
615-862-8489 • nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Centennial-Sportsplex/Disabilities-Program.aspx
Recreational programs for ages 16 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Nashville Children’s Theatre
25 Middleton St., Nashville
615-252-4675 • nashvillechildrenstheatre.org
Sensory-friendly peformances and ASL sign-interpreted performances are available regularly.

Nashville Special Needs Playgroup
615-297-5531
nashvilleSNKplaygroup@hotmail.com
An inclusive group for kids up to 13 years with all developmental disabilities. The majority of kids in the group are on the autism spectrum. Field trips, mom’s night out events and more. Membership is $20 per year per family.

Nathaniel’s Hope Buddy Break!
St. Stephen Catholic Community
14544 Lebanon Road, Old Hickory
630-917-3917
— and —
Grace Place
4316 Central Pike, Hermitage
615-481-2819
nathanielshope.org/events-programs/buddy-break/
A free, monthly respite program where children ages 5 and older can play together while Mom and Dad take a break.

Preschool Power Storytime
Donelson Branch Library
2315 Lebanon Pike, Nashville
615-862-5859 • library.nashville.org/social-stories
Every Wednesday (except the third Wednesday) from 1 – 2 p.m. Children ages 3 – 6 with autism can participate in fun and interactive stories, songs and art.

Regal Opry Mills
570 Opry Mills Drive, Nashville
615-232-5014 • regmovies.com/mywaymatinee
Sensory-friendly screenings take place on select Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $6.50.

Sky High Sports
5270 Harding Place, Nashville
615-366-4252 • nas.skyhighsports.com
First Tuesday of the month is for special needs kids from 3 – 6 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.

YMCA Full Circle Program
Bellevue
8101 Hwy. 100, Nashville
615-646-9622
Donelson-Hermitage
3001 Lebanon Pike, Nashville
615-889-2632
ymcamidtn.org
Ages 3 and older with special needs participate in recreational programs including health and fitness, arts and more. Programs vary by location. Registration is required.

Sensory-Friendly Kids Matinee
Richland Park Branch Library
4711 Charlotte Ave., Nashville
615-862-5870 • library.nashville.org/locations/richland-park-branch
On Saturday, Dec. 9, children on the autism spectrum and their families can enjoy Cars 2 from 1 – 2 p.m. with the lights dimmed and the volume lower. Kids can move around, talk and enjoy the movie as they see fit. Snacks and bottled water provided, but you may bring your own snacks, too.

Rutherford County

Ables Recreation Association
211 Hager Drive, Smyrna
615-495-4631 • ablesinc.org
A non-profit organization that provides recreational opportunities to children and adults with disabilities including T-ball, social outings, bowling, field trips and more.

Camp Ability
North Boulevard Church of Christ
1112 N. Rutherford Blvd., Murfreesboro
615-809-2632 • specialkidstn.com/camp-ability
A seven-week, Christian, summer day camp through Special Kids Therapy and Nursing Center in Murfreesboro. It’s for ages 6 and older with special needs and is held in June and July each year. It allows participants to get involved in an interactive, social and fun environment with counselors who focus on the children’s abilities rather than disabilities. Registration opens in February online and is first come first serve (it fills up quickly!).

Discovery Center
502 S.E. Broad St., Murfreesboro
615-890-2300 • explorethedc.org
Offers an All Access Night on the second Friday of each month from 5:30 – 8 p.m. where special needs families can enjoy the Discovery Center’s exhibits and programs for free, but reservation is required. This month, it takes place Friday, Nov. 10.

JumpStreet
1952 Old Fort Pkwy., Ste. 6, Murfreesboro
615-900-3060 • gotjump.com
There’s a Special Needs Jump the first Saturday of the month for children with special needs. They get to enjoy a private hour (9 – 10 a.m.) of jumping on trampolines and playing on the equipment. Siblings are welcome. Cost is $8 ages 4 and older, $4 ages 3 and younger. It opens to the public at 10 a.m., but you can jump until 11 a.m.

Sumner County

Caring Santa at RiverGate Mall
1000 Rivergate Pkwy., Goodlettsville
615-859-3458 • rivergate-mall.com
This outing on Sunday, Nov. 19 from 8 – 10:30 a.m. features a meet and greet with Santa in a quiet environment with no bright lights. St. Nick will walk around to greet children who want to visit with him, and a professional photographer will snap a free digital pic. Admission is free, but you must register in advance.

Hendersonville Parks
615-264-5313 • hendersonvilleparks.org
Athletic programs throughout the year for ages 5 and older with special needs include kickball, bowling, basketball and baseball.

JumpStreet
1000 Rivergate Pkwy., Ste. 2030, Goodlettsville
615-756-4098 • gotjump.com
There’s a Special Needs Jump the first Saturday of the month. Kids get to enjoy a private hour (9 – 10 a.m.) of jumping on trampolines and playing on the equipment. Siblings are welcome. Cost is $8 ages 4 and older, $4 ages 3 and younger.

NCG Cinema
1035 Greensboro Drive, Gallatin
615-451-9500 • ncgmovies.com
Sensory-friendly movies take place on select Saturdays at 10 a.m. Tickets are $6.

Nathaniel’s Hope Buddy Break!
First Baptist Church
106 Bluegrass Commons, Hendersonville
615-447-1323
— and —
Living Free Fellowship
233 Riggs Ave., Portland
615-325-2149
nathanielshope.org/events-programs/buddy-break
A free, monthly respite program where children ages 5 and older can play together while Mom and Dad take a break.

Williamson County

1 Team1Goal
615-584-5549 • 1team1goal.org
1Team1Goal is designed for special needs children and adults to learn from their peers. 1Team1Goal was founded to provide children and adults with special needs or the financially disadvantaged the opportunity to be a part of a team — whether it be playing sports, dancing, creating art, or needing an appropriate education. There is no age limit. Typical athletes and art students are matched with special needs athletes and artists to help them play, cheer and dance, or create masterpieces.

JumpStreet
1735 Galleria Blvd., Ste. 2, Franklin
615-778-1304 • gotjump.com
There’s a Special Needs Jump the first Saturday of the month for children with special needs. They get to enjoy a private hour (9 – 10 a.m.) of jumping on trampolines and playing on the equipment. Siblings are welcome. Cost is $8 ages 4 and older, $4 ages 3 and younger. It opens to the public at 10 a.m., but you can jump until 11 a.m.

Saddle Up!
1549 Hillsboro Road, Franklin
615-794-1150 • saddleupnashville.org
Saddle Up! is the oldest and largest equine therapy program of its kind in our region for kids with special needs. Saddle Up! provides programs to more than 176 participants.

SEE ALSO: Therapeutic Horseback Experiences

Sky High Sports
5270 Harding Place, Nashville
615-366-4252 • nas.skyhighsports.com
First Tuesday of the month is for special needs kids from 3 – 6 p.m. Cost is $5 per person.

YMCA Full Circle Program
8207 Concord Road, Brentwood
615-373-9622 • ymcamidtn.org
Children ages 3 and older with special needs can participate in social and recreational programs including health and fitness, music, dance, soccer, swimming, yoga and more. Programs vary by location. Registration is required and programs are available four days a week.

Williamson County Parks and Rec
615-790-5179 • wcparksandrec.com
Williamson County has a division just for special needs kids, teens and adults (administered by People At Leisure with Support (PALS). Activities include bingo nights, seasonal parties, fitness fun and “Super Saturday Respite.” In addition, a Parents’ Night Out is offered monthly for ages 6 – 17. The cost is $20 per child. Call Krista Hollis at 615-786-0200, ext. 2421.

 

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