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 and enjoy in the Mississauga.
Accessible and ASD Friendly Parks in Mississauga
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.
Here is our list of some great parks in Mississauga to bring your child with Autism.
Zonta Meadows Park
Sponsored by Zonta Club Of Mississauga, the Zonta Meadows Park is a groundbreaking park designed as the first fully inclusive, barrier-free playground for children of all ages and abilities.
The playground features a large multiplatform area with accessible equipment including ramps for wheelchairs and specially designed slides and swings. Children can enjoy the sandpit, stage area, musical equipment, and water play on hot summer days. The equipment includes many sensory features such as braille panels, a mosaic wall, and specially scented areas for learning and exploration.
The park has something for everyone, including quieter areas where families can discover sculptures and beautiful gardens.
Paul Coffey Park
Paul Coffey Park is the largest park in the Malton area. Along with featuring an exciting decommissioned Canada CF-100 Canuck Aircraft to celebrate the area’s rich aviation history, the park boasts an award-winning adventure playground.
With a whimsical fairytale theme, the adventure playground is designed to spark any little one’s imagination. The castle and dragon are crafted from natural materials that have pleasing sensory textures and provide a good grip for climbing. The gentle slopes and texture of the terrain allow equipment accessibility for children of all ages and abilities while allowing parents to assist and join in the fun. The towers of the castle also feature quieter, enclosed nooks for when kids need a breather from social play.
Set within an ideal space for picnics, the park provides an environment for the whole family to enjoy time together outdoors, and the park hosts many events throughout the year.
Port Credit Memorial Park
Situated in the vast Port Credit Memorial Park, and accessible via the beautiful Harbor trail, this children’s playground is described as one of the best in the city. The playground is designed to mimic Port Credit Village with miniature storefronts and boats and the marina.
The play equipment is bright and colourful with swirling shapes to touch and discover. There are features for children of all ages and abilities such as supportive swings and quieter nooks for a time out from more social play.
The larger park area has events throughout the year such as Busker Festivals, Farmers’ Markets, Rowing Regattas and various music events to make for a fun day out for all the family.
Hancock Woodlands Park
Developed by the local Hancock family in 1931, then sold to the city of Mississauga in 2010, the Hancock woodlands park is much more than a playground. The park is a beautiful wooded sanctuary for exploring nature, and landscaped garden and nursery for a range of plants and wildlife to thrive.
The park features a nature-inspired play area with wooden mushroom platforms and log tunnels to explore. The equipment naturally provides a sensory experience for children with ASD and is set within a calming woodland setting.
The park offers several events throughout the year where visitors can learn about the woodland and plants that are grown there, making the environment a great day out for the whole family.
Located on the grounds of the Cooksville Brick & Tile Company, one of the largest Brick companies in the area, Brickyard Park is a green open space with a lake, baseball fields, a soccer field, and play areas for children.
The park features a fun play area with climbing equipment and swings, but the best part of the play area is the colourful splash pad to play and cool off in the hot weather. Water can be an exciting sensory experience for children with ASD, and the surrounding trees and playground nooks can serve as a quiet area to cool off or enjoy some space from the fun and noise when needed.
The park has plenty of space for picnics and family fun, so great for a day out in the warmer months. There is a beautiful trail set around the park for walking, with views of the Toronto skyline.
Lakeside Park is a wonderful location for a family day out and picnic. Lakeside is an award-winning waterfront park that was designed to have a low impact on the surrounding environment. There is plenty of green space, a unique cobblestone beach and viewing mounds, a splash pad, and play area for children.
The playground has a rustic colour scheme and features climbing equipment and slides. There are some quieter cubbies offset from the main climbing zone where children with ASD can take a calmer break from play. The splash pad provides a chance to cool off in the summer and a sensory experience.
The park is dog friendly, so the furry members of the family can visit the leash free zone for a run too.
Lakefront Promenade is a large 104 acre space and public waterfront. The park is made up of a group of smaller parks in the waterfront area -AE Cookes, RK McMillan, and Douglas Kennedy. Along with the marina and Port Credit Yacht Club where prestigious races are hosted each year, the beautiful lakefront environment features many fun activities for a family day out.
There are several playgrounds within the park -so something to suit children of all ages and abilities. There is also a sandy beach to explore, a beach volleyball court, and plenty of areas for picnics. But the most popular attraction is the large splash pad that also serves as a wading pool for children to enjoy watery fun in the warm weather.
The lake is a beautiful day out where the family can enjoy a range of activities of their choice, and spend quality time together.
Built in collaboration with, and named for Mississauga’s sister city in Japan, Kariya Park is a beautiful escape from the urban area of the city where families can enjoy a slice of Japan within the peace and quiet of this amazing environment.
Kariya Park is known for its cherry blossoms throughout spring, there are ponds with wildlife to spot such as ducks and turtles, and traditional Japanese structures to learn about. Children with ASD can enjoy the sound of the small waterfall designed to create a relaxing spot to unwind.
This park is an opportunity to have a picnic, spot some wildlife, enjoy the lovely gardens, and experience a different culture close to home.
This green area in the centre of Mississauga is an activity hub for the communities and a venue for events throughout the year that make for a great day out.
Although there is not a traditional playground, the water feature situated by the Civic building acts as a wading pool to play in during hot weather, and doubles as an ice rink during the winter months. There is also a green space for a game of tag or catch.
ASD Friendly Entertainment in Mississauga
Cineplex have recognised that the movie going experience can be difficult for people with sensory sensitivities, so introduced sensory friendly screenings in 2015 so that all of their customers have the opportunity to enjoy the movie theatre experience.
Sensory friendly screenings reduce difficulties for children with ASD through 2D projection, increased auditorium lighting, lower volume and smaller crowds – at select theatres across Canada.
These screening times and Covid-19 guidelines can be discovered via the local Cineplex websites.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Sky Zone is an indoor play park for lovers of trampolines, where kids, and adults can get physically active. The park has activities suitable for people of all ages, and is great for birthday parties, or just a day of family fun where everyone can be silly together.
Sky Zone offers sensory friendly timeslots with smaller crowds and a calmer trampoline experience for people with sensory sensitivities, so children with ASD can discover the fun to be had with bouncy surfaces.
Sky Zone is currently closed due to the pandemic, but will be open again as soon as possible.