The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
This amazing place has so much to offer children with special needs. The soothing atmosphere calms over-stimulated brains as nature puts on its best show. The tram makes for easy travel throughout the gardens and wheelchairs are also available at the front gate. We especially love Helen’s Garden for the Senses in The Home Gardening Center as it invites its visitors to smell and touch the plants with signs printed in Braille text. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458 http://www.nybg.org
The Rubin Museum Of Art
150 West 17th St.
New York, NY 10011
The Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan is a hidden gem for all kinds of families. Maybe it’s the Himalayan art on display, but a visit here feels like a mountaintop experience! We love the wide variety of Family Programs they offer in controlled and sensitive settings. Using movement, sound and visual art, children and their parents can explore Himalayan art in small classes of no more than 12 participants with 2 instructors. The RMA regularly offers special tours of the museum for the visually impaired as well as sign language tours for the hearing impaired.
The New York Aquarium
602 Surf Avenue and West 8th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11224
The New York Aquarium has been in Coney Island since 1957 and in their decades of experience there they have perfected the art of making a visit there fun and accessible for all! We especially love the Touch Pool where kids can get hands-on with creatures like starfish and horseshoe crabs. Many of the indoor exhibits are housed in soothing, low light and the entire aquarium is wheelchair accessible. While you are there take in the boardwalk and the beach at Coney Island!
For those times that you need to get away for a bit without your children, Care.com (www.care.com) is an excellent resource. This site allows you to search for childcare providers in your area who have experience working with children with special needs. You can actually search for the special need your child has in order to find the best match. They post background information, bios, pictures and rates for each provider. As a mom of a child with special needs, I will definitely be taking advantage of this!
Renee Smith is a blogger with Mom in the City.