Sensory-Friendly Saturdays

Note: Sensory Saturdays is on hiatus until we open our new location in 2018.

This monthly series is provides an accepting atmosphere for families with children who have sensory sensitivities. Experience our dioramas, Touch & See Room, and a mini planetarium show—all with lowered lighting, quieter sounds, and fewer visitors. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Siblings without sensory sensitivities are also welcome.

What's unique about Sensory-Friendly Saturdays?

We welcome all children to participate in our programs and to visit us at any time (and to come back again and again). Some resources like the Quiet Space in the Touch & See Room and the availability of visual timers, weighted lap pads, and hearing protection are always available for check out.

But there are a few things we do on Sensory-Friendly Saturdays we cannot do during regular operating hours:


The lighting in the museum is turned down for Sensory Saturdays in four places:

  • 30% of the lights in Touch and See Room are turned off
  • 30% of the West Gallery lighting is turned off
  • Floor lamps are added in place of the overhead fluorescents in front of the raccoon and eagle dioramas. The diorama halls are never brightly lit, but these lights are turned off to reduce fluorescent flickering.


Sounds are turned off or reduced in select locations: 

  • Video in the West Gallery exhibits are turned off
  • A video on the first floor of Dioramas (mammals) is turned off
  • Audio level on the sound board by the Bear diorama is turned down
  • Bird/outdoor sounds in the fig atrium area (outside Touch & See and the West Gallery) is turned off

ExploraDome Shows

We offer a free mini-ExploraDome show as a way for to try out a show without having to pay for a ticket.

Puzzle icons by Julien Deveaux from The Noun Project

Register & Contact

Contact us for more information at 612-626-9660 or

More about accessibility & other ASD-friendly resources