Special Needs

  • Making Access Possible (MAP)

    Pretend City Children’s Museum strives to make access possible for every child and give every family an equal opportunity to learn and play in an immersive educational environment.

    It is a place where a child’s unique abilities are embraced and encouraged to flourish and play at their own pace. Pretend City offers the benefits of a role playing experience to support a child’s social emotional development.

    We are committed to providing a fun and safe learning environment for every child through classes, workshops and specialized events geared towards the entire family.

    We have formed partnerships with various community organizations which serve on our Pretend City Education Committee, Autism Sub-Committee and Diversity Advisory Sub-Committee ensuring that we address the special needs of children and families.

    Pretend City offers a monthly Family Autism Event for free. Click here to learn more about it.

    Why Visit Pretend City?

    Practicing “pretend play” is a highly valued learning experience for all children.  Pretend City serves as a microcosm for the real world, giving children a chance to “practice life” in settings they are most likely to encounter throughout their lives, such as the grocery store, gas station, beach and restaurant.

    Pretend City also features an observation room that can be available to specialists and therapists who wish to observe the child without interrupting the natural course of their play.

    What Does Pretend City Have To Offer Differently-Abled Children?

    Onsite Support

    Pretend City staff has been trained to facilitate whole family social emotional play and are always available to enrich your family play experience with their welcoming smiles and practical support.


    Children’s safety and well-being is our top priority. We have staff working in many of the exhibits throughout the museum to help monitor and supervise the play in their exhibit space. In addition, the front desk has name badges available for non-verbal children so that parents may write down identifying information on the badges.

    Adding a therapist

    When your family purchases a membership you will be able to add not only an adult alternate, but your therapist or their agency’s name as well, at no additional cost. If your agency does have several therapists that work with your child then we will list only the agency’s name on the membership card. The therapist that is coming that day with your child will need to show their agency card with their name on it, in addition to their personal identification.

    Discounts on memberships

    Families purchasing a membership during our Autism Events listed will receive an additional 10% discount on that day when they purchase an Individual or Family membership.

    Supplies To Support Your Pretend City Experience

    Pretend City understands that children with sensory integration challenges can affect how they feel and interact with the world around them.  We have a variety of well chosen play items available and upon request such as weighted toys, texture boards and sensory stimulation toys.

    The following are specific items to support sensory needs:

    Calming Items

    Upon request the following calming items are available: sunglasses, hats, and headphones, weighted animal shaped shoulder pads, weighted vests, sorting and patterning activities.

    Fine Motor Manipulatives

    Throughout the museum there are opportunities for your children to practice their fine motor skills such as the dressing items in the Our Home exhibit, wall activities in various exhibits, lacing and beading activities as well as puzzles (upon request).

    Movement Materials

    Movement items can be found throughout the museum. However, bowling and golf sets, activity mats, and the parachutes are available upon request.

    Sensory Items

    There are a variety of sensory items within each exhibit space available for use. Items that require specific request include gluten free play dough, puffer and morph balls, and texture cards.