Sensory friendly things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane is an exciting city and with so much going on, sometimes it can feel like a sensory overload to the system. Finding ways to escape is not always an easy task, especially for those who live with autism, sensory processing or sensory integration disorders. From films to museums, from nature walks to swimming, check out this ever-growing list of sensory-friendly activities.

Catch a movie

Event Cinema holds a monthly Sunday sensory friendly screening with modified dimmed lighting and low volume sound for sensitive ears. Children are free to get up, move around and express themselves in these screenings. For $6 it is an inexpensive and fun way for families to enjoy their favourite films.

Visit the Workshops Rail Museum

Kids at The Workshops Rail Museum

Want an engine-eous day out? The Workshops Rail Museum offers a sensory friendly hands-on experience for the whole family. Choo-choo-choose from a number of sound down activities that include a train driving simulator, adventure playground, railway workshops and more. If things become overwhelming, there are designated chill out zones and child-sized ear muffs to help make visitors more comfortable.

Sensory Story Time and Sensory Exploration at Marsden Library

This is an experiential environment for families and children of all abilities and ages with different sensory disorders. Marsden Library offers two programs called Sensory Story Time and Sensory Exploration which are led by the library staff. Otherwise, the space is open for immersive play and discovery from Monday to Saturday. Don't miss the super relaxing bubble tube and wall projections.

Horsing around at EquusTerra

Come and meet the gentle giants at EquusTerra. With each lesson, participants interact with horses while participating in a range of activities like grooming, feeding and riding. Working through these tasks together encourages a strong bond between student and animal, while creating an environment of trust and support. This style of therapeutic horse riding is suitable for those with sensory disorders and can often provide an alternative way for families and children to socialise.

Get back to nature

Escape the bustle of city life and head to the leafy  parks and environmental centres of Brisbane. Brisbane City Council provides a comprehensive list of parks and environmental centres where you can devise your own park or walking experience with family and friends. We recommend Downfall Creek Bushland Centre as it offers a Mountains to Mangroves' Senses Trail. This walk has wheelchair access, continuous handrail and interpretive signs - including braille and raised text. Make the most of the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, walk through the dappled light and and meet the local wildlife.

Cool off in the pool with Treasures Swimming Program

Splash into action and get wet in this warm Brisbane weather. This program is a collaborative effort between Hampton Swim School and Gateway Therapies, providing swimming lessons to children with autism and other sensory processing difficulties. An occupational therapist will assist with an initial consultation and to help determine the right program and goals for your child.

Sensory Souls

This community organisation offers an amazing array of sensory activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, tenpin bowling, Lazerzone, farm days and more. Check out their upcoming events page to take part in the next family fun day. At Christmas time, Sensory Souls also offers a Sensory Santa Experience where families can have their children's photos taken in a safe environment. Say cheese!

Did we miss any? Let us know so we can keep expanding our list of sensory friendly activities [email protected]

A special thank you to Autism Queensland for their support in the community and for helping source some of the included activities.

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