Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Morgan's Wonderland: A Special Place for Kids With Special Needs

You may or may not have heard about Morgan's Wonderland--The World's First Ultra Accessible Family Fun Park. It's a new theme park in San Antonio, Texas, created especially for kids with special needs, taking their needs and wants for fun into account. Of course kids without special needs would enjoy it as well.

There are TONS of things to do--even for little ones! The Butterfly Playground was designed especially for people with cognitive and physical disabilities. The ramps are even wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other (it's a big deal that's there's even a ramp at all!). Swing sets include both traditional and adaptive swings (including wheelchair swings). Sensory Village is made up of themed spaces within a "town." Here kids can shop for groceries, visit an auto/fix-it shop or stable, and more. The goal of this town is to provide imaginative play along with sensory stimulation, which is often key for those with special needs. To further encourage sensory development, there's also a Music Garden with various instruments to play. And don't forget the adaptive racetrack, train, carousel and sand area, complete with diggers for kids who can't get down into the sand themselves. And it doesn't end there; you'll also find a gymnasium, amphitheater, food courts and more. Check out the site for full details.

Here's what you need to know before you go:
  • Admission: Visitors with special needs and kids 0-3: FREE; persons accompanying someone with special needs: $5; general admission: $15
  • All guests must pre-register (to make the entry process easier)
  • When you arrive, you'll receive special wristbands IDing your group's members (the park is big on safety and security!)
  • For the vision and hearing impaired: Braille signage, 3-D scale models and rest areas for service animals
  • Most areas are shaded and water misters are located throughout the park
Morgan's Wonderland officially opens on April 10, 2010.
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