The Long Island Children’s Museum Sensory Friendly Performances Give Opportunity to All

LICM Sensory Friendly Performances Give Opportunity to All
Cast of Frederick, which opened the sensory friendly performance series; based on the book by Leo Lionni. Photo courtesy of LICM

The Long Island Children’s Museum Sensory Friendly Performances Give Opportunity to All

Most parents with sensory sensitive children know that not all theatre is going to be for their child. Sensory-sensitive people and children, for example, can be susceptible to loud noises, bright lights, and even food smells and textures. While seeing these sort of  performances are fun for non-sensory people, these forms of entertainment can be a lot for others, especially kids. 

The Long Island Children’s Museum has been committed to ensuring access to the performing arts for all families for the last decade. LICM4all, the museum’s accessibility and inclusion initiative created in 2014, is a key part of this mission of increasing engagement with visitors with disabilities. 

For LICM4all’s 10th anniversary, the LICM Theatre is hosting a sensory-friendly performance series. This season at the LICM Theatre will bring popular storybook characters to life on stage for all. 

Families can see sensory friendly performances of Journey to Oz, inspired by the works of L. Frank Baum, on March 15 and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems and Mr. Warburton, on April 26. Tickets to these shows are free, but advanced registration is required

During these performances, the kids are immersed in the story and performance; they become cast members, singing, dancing and acting alongside the actors.

During sensory friendly performances, the Long Island Children’s Museum will take extra measures in creating a sensory-considerate environment. These steps include:

  • Lower sound levels, especially for startling or loud sounds
  • Guests are free to talk, leave their seats and move freely during the performance.
  • House lights in the theater are left on low throughout the performance.
  • Trained staff and volunteers
  • Judgment-free environment, welcoming to all.

Additionally, social scripts and fidget toys will also be provided for families attending the performances. 

LIMC4all has a range of other resources aimed towards increasing accessibility and inclusivity for all museum visitors, including Friendly Hours, a sensory room, and the LIMC4all app. 

During Friendly Hours the entire museum’s lighting and sounds are altered for children who have a range of sensory, learning and communication differences in order to make them more comfortable. They are free and occur monthly. 

The sensory room is a dedicated room in the museum for children who are feeling anxious and/or overwhelmed during their visit. This room includes visual, auditory, and tactile resources for the children.

The LIMC4app is a free resource provided by the organization that includes a social guide, sensory map, custom scheduler, tips and updates on museum exhibits and games. It was created to assist families in the preparation of their museum experience before they come to the museum. 

For the past 10 years, LICM has been dedicated to making sure everyone can have an enjoyable experience at the museum. 

Erika Floreska, LICM President, says that initiatives like the LICM4all performance series “are one of the many ways that Long Island Children’s Museum removes barriers, both physical and financial, to welcome all families to enjoy the range of dynamic experiences that [they] offer.”

Psst… Check out these St. Patrick’s Day Events for Families on Long Island!

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