Plan your sensory-friendly Oklahoma vacation with this list of attractions, dining destinations and lodging properties that offer predictable routines, quiet spaces, sensory bags and more that will help you make memories to last a lifetime.
Continue reading below
Whether for an adult or a child, whenever you’re searching for a sensory-friendly vacation it can be found in Oklahoma. Those on the autism spectrum, with ADD/ADHD or neurodivergence will appreciate this list of attractions, restaurants and lodging that offer additional services for those with special needs, like sensory bags, quiet spaces, dimmed lighting, predictable routines and special programming.
Visit this museum to view an internationally-renowned collection of Western art and artifacts that will engage and inspire all ages. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is also Oklahoma’s first museum to earn the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, as museum staff completed autism-specific training to create a more welcoming space for autistic and sensory-sensitive guests. In addition, the museum also offers sensory kits that include noise-canceling headphones, communication cards, activity books, sunglasses and fidget/sensory toys. There is also a quiet space for any guest who feels overstimulated. Learn More
Enjoy art at your own pace within the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, located downtown. Four social narratives detailing museum procedures are available to give visitors an idea of what to expect during the visit. Upon arrival, guests can check out noise-canceling headphones, wiggle seats and fidgets, which are available in OKCMOA’s Sensory Booster Packs. A quiet space is also available for those who need a break. Learn More
Experience eight acres of hands-on science experiments at Science Museum Oklahoma. A sensory story and sensory-focused map detailing quiet areas are available online to view in advance of your visit to the museum. Visit Guest Relations to request a sensory kit, which contains earmuffs, a timer, gloves, sunglasses, fidget toys and printed copies of the museum’s sensory-focused materials. Learn More
View animals from around the world at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Zoo guests can also borrow a KultureCity sensory bag containing headphones, marble fidget, noodle fidget and tangle fidget. Learn More
Those visiting Oklahoma City’s Civic Center Music Hall for a performance can view a social story to preview what to expect when enjoying a show. In addition, there are signs for quiet areas around the facility. Learn More
Learn about inspirational Oklahomans who have shaped the history of our state with a trip to this museum. Visit on the second Saturday of the month to enjoy free admission during “See You Saturdays.” As an added bonus, the first hour of the program is specifically for individuals with sensory sensitivities. Lights will be lowered, and the music will be turned down. There is also a sensory wall and calming room. Learn More
During Oklahoma City Thunder games and other arena events, KultureCity sensory kits are available at the VIP and southwest entrance areas. There is also a sensory inclusion room at Section 112 for those who need a calm, quiet atmosphere. Learn More
Dive into summertime fun at Six Flas Hurricane Harbor, where wave pools, water slides and more await. Six Flags has been designated as a Certified Autism Center, and a sensory room is available for guests across from Hurricane Bay. Learn More
Giddy up to Oklahoma's only Western-themed theme park at Frontier City, which has been designated as a Certified Autism Center, and a sensory room is available for guests in Timbertown by Frankie’s Mine Train. Learn More
AMC Theatres has partnered with the Autism Society for the Sensory Friendly Film program, which is available on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month (family-friendly) and Wednesday evenings (mature audiences) at two Oklahoma City AMC Theatres. During the film, the lights are turned up and the sound is turned down. Learn More
Looking for an indoor skydiving adventure? Those with physical or cognitive challenges can contact iFly to take part in their All-Abilities Night where proper accommodations and additional assistance and attention is offered during the orientation. During the indoor skydiving portion, an instructor will personally guide guests through the experience. Learn More
All Star Bowling for the Differently-Abled is a casual bowling league that welcomes all ages, abilities and accessibilities on Saturdays at 11am. The league includes family members and friends, and it’s not necessary to come every week. Learn More
We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym is Oklahoma’s first inclusive sensory gym for children of all abilities. The open play area offers suspended equipment with swings, crash mats, a cop line, trampoline, indoor play structure, sensory-based toys and an arts and crafts area. They also offer special services for respite and break time care and one-to-one attendant care, as well as a parent’s night out. Learn More
Visit the largest indoor ocean in the four-state region at Oklahoma Aquarium. The first Tuesday of each month from 6-9pm is a Sensory Awareness Evening complete with low lights, quiet music and a playlist that you can preview on Spotify. Learn More
Explore 84 acres of animal attractions at the Tulsa Zoo. Located near the entrance to the Rainforest area, the Ascension St. John Family Den is a 900 sq. ft. facility that features a quiet room for families, a family restroom and a restroom with an adult changing table. Learn More
Engage in hands-on activities while having fun at the Discovery Lab, which opens early from 9:30-11:30am on the second Sunday of each month for families with children on the spectrum and other sensory needs. Learn More
Take your next outing to new heights with high-jumping fun at this infoor trampoline park. Visit the third Thursday of every month for a private event in partnership with the Tulsa Autism Birthday Club. During the event, the laser lights, music and noises will be turned off, and the doors will be closed to provide a safe, uncrowded and fun environment. Learn More
See special collections spotlighting the cultural and natural history of the Great Plains of North America at this unique museum, which offers interactive exhibits including a re-creation of the Red River Trading Post. The Museum of the Great Plains also offers quarterly neurodiversity events, which are low stimulus events for guests with special needs. The museum also offers sensory bags for visitors. Learn More
When it comes to staying overnight in a new location, those with special needs will appreciate the options provided by these Oklahoma lodging properties. From self-check-in cabins and off-the-grid getaways that will leave you miles from the nearest neighbor to major hotel chains that offer simple predictability and a resort with on-site dining options, there are many options for your next Oklahoma getaway.
Special considerations for fragrance-free rooms have been undertaken by both the Residence Inn Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown and the DoubleTree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown. Both hotels offer certified Pure Rooms providing purified air, a hypoallergenic environment and allergy-friendly bedding.
When it comes to sensory-friendly dining, Oklahoma serves up a variety of choices. Low-volume music, dimmed lighting and private dining rooms are just a few of the options available.
This upscale eatery in Oklahoma City’s trendy Paseo Arts District offers low lighting and privacy curtains located around many of the tables. A private dining room is also available.
Two dining areas are available at this fine dining destination: The Cellar, on the first level, and The Primrose on the second level, which offers secluded seating for guests 13 and over.
In addition to delicious, authentic Italian dishes, Villa Ravenna Fine Dining in Tulsa’s popular Farm Shopping Center also features sound-dampening carpet and subdued décor.
If you’re looking for a fun experience that doesn’t even involve ordering from a menu, Sushi Train is a unique option. There are lights and sounds, but minimal personal interaction as the entrée options are sent directly to you on a covered plate by a mini-train.
A staple at Tulsa’s Utica Square, Polo Grill offers five private dining rooms, as well as cozy booths in the Polo Lounge, lowered lighting and a calm ambiance.
The original Pete’s Place was opened inside his home in the small coal-mining community of Krebs in southeast Oklahoma. Although the location has since changed, the homey atmosphere remains at Pete’s Place where guests are seated within individual dining rooms and served family-style meals.
This secluded restaurant is surrounded by a wooded parking lot. Inside, visitors are led to private tables in the quiet dining room.