In response to a reader request from our tot swim article, we’ve found two local waterparks that offer Sensory Friendly or Autism Friendly swim times. Like tot times, these swimming times are geared toward a quieter experience with fewer distractions.
Unfortunately, most of the waterparks in the Twin Cities do not list sensory-friendly swim times. If you know of another pool that offers something like this or tot times that allow older kids, please leave us a message. We would love to offer wider options for families to swim together.
SENSORY-FRIENDLY SWIM TIMES AT TWIN CITIES INDOOR POOLS
16700 Valley View Rd, Eden Prairie, MN 55346
Dates: Sundays, Sept. 10, 24; Oct. 8, 22; Nov. 5, 19; Dec. 3, 17, 2023
- Infants (under 18 months): Free
- Tots (18 months–4 years): $5.75
- Youth (5–18): $7.50
- Adults (19+): $8
- Family (up to five individuals) $25.50.
Details: During this open swim EPCC will reduce environmental stimulation, including turning off music and water features, eliminating lifeguard whistles (except in emergencies). Drop In.
SENSORY-FRIENDLY SWIM TIMES AT TWIN CITIES OUTDOOR POOLS
2401 Upper Afton Rd E, Maplewood, MN 55119
Dates: Sundays during the outdoor season.
Admission: $7.00/pp – adults, children and spectators. Babies under age 1 are free.
Details: Designed for people on the autism spectrum or with other sensory needs, Battle Creek offers a printable social narrative to walk first-time participants through what to expect.
8055 Barbara Ave, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
Dates/Times: See the Open Swim Calendar for dates and times
Admission: Ages 1-11: $6; Ages 12-59: $9; Ages 60+: $6; Under Age 1: FREE
Details: This time is designed for both toddlers and families seeking a sensory-friendly swim time. Many of the waterpark features are turned off or closed at this time – including the dumping bucket, water features and slides.
If you don’t see your favorite pool listed, it never hurts to ask. Call ahead and ask if you can attend the tot time swim – even if your child is older and while you are on the phone, ask them to consider adding a sensory-friendly swim.
We hope you find a pool or aquatics park that works for your family.