As the parents of children with Autism Sensory Disorder (ASD) know, finding a local fun day out that will be sensitive to these children’s needs is not always an easy task.
Children with ASD and different abilities deserve the same opportunities as any children to explore and experience play, fun, and learning activities. The following parks and venues are the best inclusive activities that children with ASD can participate in.
Accessible and ASD Friendly Parks in Toronto
Parks are a place where the whole family can get together to enjoy the great outdoors. For children with ASD and their families, accessible, and ASD-friendly environments can mean that everyone can share the experience and fun without anyone feeling excluded from the activities.
Oriole Park – Neshama Playground
Oriole Park is located in the centre of the city by Davisville Station and can be accessed via several nearby walking and cycling trails.
The playground has been designed as an inclusive environment with flat surfaces for wheelchair access, and accessible play equipment. The playhouse features a quiet nook for children with ASD to take a break from the noise. The park was updated in recent years to include a fun spray park for water play too.
This park is suitable for children of all ages and abilities and a great spot for a picnic.
Located in the Beaches neighborhood, Kew Garden is a large urban park that stretches from Queen Street East to Kew Beach at Lake Ontario. The park features beautiful flower beds, plenty of trees for shade in the summer, and great spots to lay a blanket.
The children’s play park is castle themed and built from a textural wood that will be pleasing from a sensory perspective. The equipment is fenced in for safety and has quieter nooks to take a break from the action. There are also wading pools for warm weather, and a medieval village to explore.
With areas for tennis, baseball, and a skating rink, Kew garden is a great day out with something for everyone to enjoy.
The Corktown Commons have transformed former industrial lands into a community park featuring lawns, a beautiful marsh, areas for picnics and barbecues, and a fun playpark for children.
Swing sets can be discovered in the park, but the most popular play area is a waterpark with sand, slides, wading pools, and fountains to enjoy when the weather is hot. Families can spend the day playing, picnicking, and enjoy the firepit into the evening.
There are also a diverse range of birds, amphibians, and insects to spot, encouraged by the diverse natural habitats that have been developed.
Dufferin Grove Park
Dufferin Grove Park is a beautiful wooded area surrounded by mature trees. The park is known for its popular skating rink for colder months and community clubhouse, however the park also features a range of activities for sports and family fun.
The park features several playgrounds built from different materials, large sandboxes, and a wading pool for warmer weather. There is something to entice every child and their needs and interests.
The area is ideal for picnics and the local farmers market is also situated in the park.
Jamie Bell Adventure Park
This Castle themed playground was designed for kids, with the help of local children. It is located by the duck pond within one of the largest parks in Toronto, High Park.
The playpark features castle buildings and turrets providing quieter nooks for taking a break from the fun. There are also ropes, swings, ladders, and slides to explore, and the artwork of local children to discover.
High park also contains sports facilities and a tennis club, an admission free zoo, a pool, ice rink, and plenty of picnic facilities. Plenty of activities for a family day out.
During the winter months Lithuania Park is famous for its tobogganing hill, but there is plenty of fun to be had year round.
Along with a baseball diamond and multipurpose sports field, there is a brightly coloured playground with slides and climbing structures to scramble on, and a smaller version for younger children to enjoy too. For hot weather, the splash pad is a chance to cool off from the heat.
There is plenty of open space in this park for a picnic and shade under the trees to take a break from play.