It’s almost Easter, and families are dyeing eggs, eating lots of chocolate and noticing more bunnies (and we have the scoop on exactly where to find the Easter Bunny). Sometimes Easter events can be too loud and overwhelming for kids with special needs. We put together a list of activities that are extra gentle for children with disabilities.
Breakfast with the Bunny
Firewheel Town Center and TGI Fridays will host a breakfast with the Easter Bunny himself. Meals will include scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh mixed fruit and toast with the choice of coffee, juice, milk or soda. Along with the purchase of a ticket, parents and kiddos will get a swag bag, an event-exclusive photo coupon, retailer offers and a special present from the Bunny, who will visit each table during breakfast. Tickets will not be sold at the door and must be purchased in advance.
Pro tip: Arrive no earlier than 8:45am and no later than 9:25am
When: April 6, 9:30–11am
Where: TGI Fridays at Firewheel Town Center, 220 Coneflower Dr., Garland; firewheeltowncenter.com
The Shops at Willow Bend have scheduled a private photo session just for kids with special needs. The Easter Bunny will be patient with your little, and this time is quiet to assist with sensory, physical or other developmental needs. Make sure to register for a preferred time slot as space is limited.
Price: Free admission; photo packages vary
When: April 7, 10am–noon
Where: The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano; 972/202-4900; shopwillowbend.com
North East Mall, with Autism Speaks, is also providing a photo session with a sensory-friendly Easter Bunny for children with special needs. The mall will take steps to be more inclusive by turning off the music, stopping escalators by the photo set, dimming the lights and shutting down fountains. The session will also use a number system for families, so they only need to be around when their number is called. Autism Speaks will be accepting donations during this time.
Price: Free admission, photos available for purchase
When: April 7, 10am–noon
Where: North East Mall, 1101 Melbourne Road, Hurst; simon.com/mall/north-east-mall
Keller’s Annual Egg Scramble
Put on by the City of Keller Parks and Recreation, the sensory egg scramble is specially for kiddos with disabilities. Make sure to arrive by 9am as this is the private time put aside for families with special needs. There will also be egg hunts broken up by age groups (but not made for children with special needs). The Easter Bunny will make an appearance, so bring a camera to snap some pictures. Other Easter themed games and activities will be around the park along with food trucks and vendors.
When: April 13, 9:30-11:30am; sensory egg scramble begins at 9am
Where: Bear Creek Park, 400 Bear Creek Parkway, Keller; 817/743-4050
Breakfast with Bunny at The Hills
Singing Hills Recreation Center will have a breakfast with the Easter Bunny as well as family activities. Breakfast will go until around 12:30pm, when the free egg hunt begins outside. There will also be some relay races and bounce houses outside for kids, and the Easter Bunny will be around for pictures. This event is not special-needs specific, but with the addition of the inside breakfast, there are places to avoid loud noises and chaos. This event is especially good for families with both neurotypical kids and littles with disabilities. Tickets can be purchased at the door (families can register online beforehand as well), and the breakfast will take place inside the center.
Price: $5 for breakfast plates
When: April 13, 10am–2pm
Where: Singing Hills Recreation Center, 1909 Crouch Road, Dallas; 214/670-7550
Especially Needed Easter Egg Hunt
For kiddos with special needs and their family members, Especially Needed is hosting an egg hunt and resource fair. Businesses such as behavioral and speech therapy centers will be at the event to provide information to families. Some businesses will have games for littles to engage in, and there will also be bounce houses. The Easter Bunny will make an appearance as well and will be available for photo ops. When the egg hunting begins, the event will be monitored for safety, especially for kids with disabilities. There also will be an area for children in wheelchairs to score some eggs. Make sure to register before the event.
When: April 20, 1–4pm
Where: McKinney National Airport, 1500 Industrial Blvd., #100, McKinney; 214/499-3439
Photo courtesy of ©iSTOCK