Carnegie Museum of Natural History celebrates National Autism Awareness Month this April by announcing the launch of its new Sensory Friendly Saturday program. The museum will open its galleries at 8:30 a.m. on four Saturdays with anticipated high visitor demand, 90 minutes before the museum opens to the general public. Families with members on the autism spectrum or who otherwise easily experience sensory overload are welcome to visit the museum for a quieter experience in a more controlled environment.
The first Sensory Friendly Saturday will be held on April 27, 2019. Additional 2019 dates for Sensory Friendly Saturdays:
Museum experts will give tours of the exhibitions and be on hand to answer questions throughout the morning. Designated quiet zones will allow visitors to decompress and experience the museum at their own pace.
“We wanted to get our sensory-friendly offerings right,” said Dr. Eric Dorfman, Daniel G. and Carole L. Kamin Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “To that end, our Director of Visitor Services conducted focus groups and a sensory-friendly trial run throughout 2018. Feedback from the families was overwhelmingly positive but also constructive. One important goal that emerged was making sure we offered our programming on peak visitation days when our museum is most in demand.”
Sensory Friendly Saturday hours are 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Tickets cost $9.95 for adults, $7.50 for adults 65 and over, and $5.95 for students and children 3 to 18. Children under 2 and Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh members are free. To provide the most sensory-friendly environment possible, advance registration is required for Sensory Friendly Saturday. Tickets are available at carnegiemnh.org.