guides

Special Needs Guide 2020

Sponsored by Mercer Bulldogs Special Hockey

By Angela Earley, Publisher March 2, 2020

Mercer Special Hockey


With their first practice on November 14, 2010,  Mercer Special Hockey had 13 Players, 7 Coaches and 4 Junior Coaches. Since that first season, the program has grown to over 40 Players, 10 Coaches and more than 30 Junior Coaches. Founded by a group of parents and volunteers, the Mercer Special Hockey program works to provide opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to participate in the sport of ice hockey in a specially-adapted learning environment. Mercer Special Hockey is comprised of over 40 developmentally disabled players (ages 5 and up) across a wide range of abilities, from advanced to learn-to-skate, who participate in a brand of the sport known as "Special Hockey."

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As a mom of a special needs child, I know all too well the challenges we face on a daily basis. Walking into to a public place I think, is my son going to have a epic meltdown, will he be too afraid to play with other kids, will he feel lonely when other kids say they don't want to play with him, will it be too loud, too bright, too crowded, and the list goes on and on. It's all so heartbreaking but mama and daddy, I see you. You are NOT alone. 

Since this is a topic so near and dear to my heart, I wanted to do a little something special for all the parents out there wondering where it is a "safe" place for your child. Between school struggles, therapies, and the challenges of "play dates," it can be hard to imagine your child with special needs taking part in after-school activities. The reality, though, is that the right after-school programs may provide terrific opportunities for your child to show their strengths, build confidence, make friends, and discover new interests. After speaking with parents of special needs children in our community, I realized that the programs they wanted and needed were not easy to find. I then set out on a mission to gather information on events and activities in and around our area for special needs children and their families. Here is what I have found thus far. The following is a list of local places, close and short distances to take our kids places that have sensory friendly days and timings.

Do you own or operate a special needs friendly facility and would like to be listed in this guide? Email me at AngelaEarley@macaronikid.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Local Places


AMC

325 Sloan Avenue

Hamilton, NJ 08619

(609)890-4900

Click here for tickets.

Click here for more information on their Sensory Friendly showings.

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Chuck E Cheese

520 Nassau Park Blvd 

Princeton, NJ 08540

(609)514-0908

The first Sunday of every month they open two hours early (9am-11am)

Click here for more information about their Sensory Friendly play time.

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Diggerland

100 Pinedge Drive 

West Berlin, NJ 08091

(856) 768-1110

There are a lot benches to take a break located near all of the attractions.  If the fun becomes overwhelming, arrangements can be made to return on another day, depending how long you were there. 

Click here for tickets and more information

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Funzilla 

500 Lincoln Hwy 

Fairless Hills, PA 19030

(215)488-7352

Saturday mornings 9:00 am to 10:00 am and it is closed to public

Click here or their website

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Garden State Discovery Museum

2040 Springdale Rd #100 

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

(856) 424-1233

Click here for more information.

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Little Rompers

825 Monmouth Rd 

Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

(609) 901-6307

They have a safe sensory friendly space with dimmed lighting and sensory lights. They also have equipment for gross motor and fine motor skills.

Click here to view their website

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Mercer Bulldogs Special Hockey

Click here for more information.

Mercer Bulldogs are having a Skate-A-Thon. Please come out and help support this wonderful organization. Click here for more information on the Fundraiser.



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Please Touch Museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic 

Philadelphia, PA 19131

215-581-3181

Once a month Please Touch Museum closes to the general public. They lower lightning and noise volume and more. Check out the link for upcoming dates.

Click here for more information

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Six Flags Great Adventure

1 Six Flags Blvd 

Jackson Township, NJ 08527

Six Flags has recently announced that they are now designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC) from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. They will update their site in the Spring with more information with what they will be offering.

Click here for updated information.

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Skyzone

17 Quakerbridge Plaza Unit B 

Hamilton Township, NJ 08619

(609) 587-5867 

Click here for more information

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Story Book Land

6415 E Black Horse Pike

Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234

(609) 646-0103

Click here for more information.

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We Rock The Spectrum

3111 Route 38, Suite 14
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
(856)242-9354

Click here to be directed to their website.

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Resource Links

Autism Speaks 

A Day In Our Shoes

Autism Spectrum Connection

CAR Autism RoadMap

ASCEND Asperger's & Autism Alliance

Perform Care for NJ

Application for Perform Care 

Asperger's Syndrome

POAC (Autism Services)



*If you know someone who has a child with special needs or teaches and cares for a child with special needs in our area, be sure to let them know about this resource. Also, if you know of any additional special needs or sensory-friendly events or activities we should add to our event calendar feel free to email me at AngelaEarley@macaronikid.com

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Macaroni Kid Princeton-Hamilton is a free weekly newsletter and website focused on fun family events and things to do with kids in the Mercer County NJ area. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more.   Sign up for our newsletter and never miss another awesome event again! Subscribe here for FREE at https://princeton.macaronikid.com/subscribe