Category: Metro Detroit

Family Holiday Events Near Novi


Holidays in Detroit.

The holiday season is a time to spend time with loved ones and have fun with the whole family. At Blossom Children’s Center, we encourage parents and children to take dedicated time to spend with one another, and the holidays are a perfect time. We have a list of holiday events near Novi that you’ll want to add to your family event calendar.

  • Farmington’s Riley Ice Rink
  • Chanukah Wonderland
  • Wayne County Lightfest
  • Virtual Tree Lighting

With these fun holiday events, one visit could turn into an annual trip and be part of your family’s holiday tradition. If you live near or in the metro Detroit area, consider a visit to one of these holiday events. If you’d rather stay inside or are further away from the city of Novi, we’ve also included a virtual event that anyone can attend.


Farmington’s Riley Ice Rink

Ice skating is a traditional winter activity that allows the whole family to lace up their skates and hit the ice. Downtown Farmington Hills will be hosting a holiday skate rink on December 28, from 6–9 p.m. If you’re looking to beat the holiday rush, you can visit the Riley Ice Rink any day during its open hours found here.

Girl ice skating

Chanukah Wonderland

Celebrate the Festival of Lights at Chanukah Wonderland in West Bloomfield. This event is hosted at Champps Americana and includes various children’s activities, including dreidel canvas art projects, a fry-a-latke station, and a Menorah Parade. With only a $5 admission fee, the Wonderland event is a fun, inexpensive way for the whole family to celebrate Hanukkah festivities.


Wayne County Lightfest

Pack up the kids in the car and go for a magical car ride at the Wayne County Lightfest. This experience offers five miles of light display that begins in Westland and ends in Dearborn Heights. Starting on Thanksgiving, this display is available until December 23, with only a $5.00 admission fee per vehicle. The Wayne County Lightfest is the perfect activity for families to enjoy in the evening while staying warm.


Virtual Tree Lighting

Participation for some holiday events this year may look different, but the spirit is the same. Without the presence of large crowds, you can still enjoy Novi’s tree lighting ceremony for a virtual viewing through social media. The virtual viewing will occur on December 4 at 5:15 p.m. Novi Mayor Bob Gatt will host the tree lighting ceremony. This virtual ceremony allows the community to join in on a holiday tradition from their own homes’ comfort and safety.

Whether you’re in-person or at-home, there are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit. You can get the whole family in the spirit of the virtual holiday tree lighting by baking Christmas cookies, decorating ornaments, or dressing in holiday pajamas for the viewing.

Family getting a Christmas tree.

Taking Care at BBWC

Holiday events with family are just one way you can help to enrich your child’s life. At Blossom Children’s Center, we offer our specialized services for behavioral practices, including ABA therapy. Whether you live in Novi or another part of the state, take time to be with and care for the special little ones in your life this holiday season.

0 Comments/by
Children coloring together

Summer camp offers a positive experience for children with autism. It provides an enriching environment for your child to continue ABA therapy practices while expanding social, communication, and overall general life skills. However, finding the best fit for your child’s goals and needs can be overwhelming and will require some thorough research on your part. Allow us to help guide you through the basics of finding a summer camp to accommodate your family’s needs best.

Child eating a smore at summer camp


Summer Camp Benefits for Children with Autism

Children with autism tend to thrive with consistent routines, making summer camp a fantastic opportunity to continue their growth. Transitioning into a summer camp offers your child additional time to work on  ABA therapy services in a natural, enjoyable environment. Your child will learn to strengthen skills by focusing on speech therapy, social skills through art therapy, and additional group activities. Summer camp is a wonderful way to reinforce ABA therapy practices while allowing your child to explore, experience, and flourish.


Research suggests children with autism thrive in intensive, year-round ABA therapy.  Maintaining consistency helps prevent regression in the skills and progress your child has been making. Summer camps offer a setting for all children with autism to continue ABA therapy practices outside the clinic or classroom. Camps allow exposure to sports, creative activities, animals, and nature.


Summer camps offer an environment of peer models for your child to learn from. They provide children with high-functioning autism a chance to interact with typically developing children in all-inclusive camp settings. Their social interactions strengthen their communication skills through the ongoing use of speech therapy tactics during activities like art therapy, physical fitness activities, and other group activities.


Summer Camp for Social Skills

Children with autism typically prefer solitary activities rather than interacting with others. They often experience difficulty engaging with and cooperating in group settings. While reading social cues and communicating their wants and needs are challenging, summer camp helps strengthen these necessary life skills. By continuing ABA therapy practices in a summer camp setting, children continue to work towards creating life-long skills.


Integrating Art Therapy

When searching for a high-quality camp, inquire about their art therapy curriculum. Art therapy offers tremendous benefits, including increases in:

  • Executive functioning skills
  • Sensorimotor functions
  • Self-esteem and self-awareness
  • Cognitive skills
  • Insight
  • Social skills


Art therapy offers a safe environment for your child to experience sensory exploration and express themselves without the pressures of verbal communication. Art therapy opens a whole new avenue for your child to enhance their creativity while developing a better understanding of the world.


Integrating Speech Therapy into Summer Camp

By integrating speech therapy practices in conjunction with art therapy, your child learns to read cues, express wants and needs, and develop or strengthen overall communication skills. Speech therapy best practices during summer camp activities help promote various methods of communicating with staff and peers. Activities may address speech therapy concerns, including humming, parroting, or yelling, while replacing these behaviors with more effective language skills.

Finding the Right  Summer Camp

To help you begin your research, the American Camp Association offers a list of accredited summer camps which will maintain focus on your child’s ABA therapy goals. Before researching your summer camp options, make a list of must-haves. Do you prefer a more relaxing setting for your child to focus on social interactions? Perhaps you prefer a camp offering extra speech therapy. You’ll be able to sort through hundreds of recommendations and specify these wants and needs when exploring the ACA site.


Summer camps are not a one-size-fits-all, and your selection should support your child’s ABA therapy goals to provide the most successful experience. Camp programs include:


  • Inclusive Summer Programs – An inclusive program that will integrate typically developing children and children with special needs. Children with various strengths and abilities are welcome, while staff, therapists, and activities offer challenges and support for everyone’s needs.
  • Specialized Summer Programs – Summer camps for children and teens with autism and other special needs offer a more direct ABA therapy These camps work towards the continuous development of your child’s goals, preventing the regression summer breaks may bring. Specialized summer camps use tools, including speech therapy methods, to enhance successful social interaction with peers and staff during activities.
  • Extended School Year Programs (ESY) – If your child is of school age, their school may recommend a summer camp program if they feel your child is at risk of regression over the summer. ESYs vary in each school and state, but their overall design is to help children with autism continue to work towards their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) using ABA therapy tools and practices.

Children playing a game at summer camp

Trustworthy Recommendations for Summer Camps

As with any program, reach out to your support group and other families for recommendations. Ask about their experiences, including success stories and struggles. Talking to other parents who have children with autism will give you great insight into your local programs. Your child’s therapists and special education teachers can also provide recommendations and guidance according to your child’s strengths and struggles. Finding a high-quality program from trustworthy sources is invaluable.

And don’t be afraid to ask the camp for parent references. Programs should be willing to accommodate your needs and answer all your questions to ensure a proper fit. Prepare a list of questions and inquire about their methods, priorities, and best practices. You may wish to include questions from our staff’s helpful list to ensure alignment with your child’s summer goals:


  • What licensure does your camp have? Does your staff have ABA therapy training?
  • Do you provide speech therapy or art therapy?
  • What credentials and qualifications do the rest of your staff have?
  • If an inclusive program – what is your camp’s philosophy regarding integrating children with special needs into the general population of campers?
  • What structures and activities are put in place to help integrate campers?
  • What does your camp’s daily schedule of activities include?
  • How does your staff communicate with each family to provide progress, updates, tips for home, and respond to questions?
  • What are your medical and emergency protocols?
  • If the camp is specialized – what is your philosophy on encouraging socialization and skill-building? How do your activities and staff support these goals?
  • Do you offer scholarships, grants, or other financial assistance?


Financial Considerations

While finances are indeed a significant factor with summer camp, there may be help. Keep in mind, all programs and states vary. Some summer camps offer grants and scholarships to ease the burden for your family. Your child’s ABA therapy clinic may also provide grants or have resources to offer you in your search. Don’t forget to enlist the help of:

  • Your child’s school district
  • Local community clubs, including Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lions
  • The Autism Support Network – you’ll find an interactive list of various organizations that offer local grants to families.


Summer camp provides an incredible experience for your child while strengthening the skills and behaviors they learn in their therapy and school settings. From art therapy to speech therapy,  summer programs can offer your child continuous growth during the summer months. For additional resources, contact us today and allow our team to assist you with your child’s summer needs.

0 Comments/by
Child in a museum.

We believe that providing your child with plenty of interactive and multisensory opportunities as they begin to grow and develop their personalities is essential for their brains and emotions! What better way to provide these experiences than the amazing Michigan museums we’re fortunate to have within miles of Novi?

Here at Blossom Children’s Center in Novi, Michigan, we know that not all the necessary work for a child with autism gets done solely at the clinic. We firmly believe that partnering together with us and planning play dates and family-friendly field trips to our local Michigan museums can help a child tremendously with the social skills they need before they head to school.

So, whether you are in Novi like us or reside in a suburb of the Detroit Metro area, we’ve researched four of our favorite Michigan museums near you. Plus, we’ve provided you with some essential information about each one so you can choose the right one for your family—whether that choice is based on distance from Novi or family preference, you’ve got plenty of options!

Detroit, Michigan Skyline

Four Must-See Michigan Museums for the Whole Family:

  1. Cranbrook Institute of Science
  2. Detroit Historical Museum
  3. Michigan Science Center
  4. Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum


  1. Cranbrook Institute of Science


Where It Is:

39221 Woodward Avenue; Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303


Why We Love It:

The Cranbrook Institute of Science is one of our favorite Michigan museums for many reasons, one of which is the amount of family-friendly activities and exhibits it offers, perfect for kids of all ages.


Two of our favorite parts of the Cranbrook Institute of Science are:


  • The exploreLab

Not only is this one of the newest exhibits, but exploreLab also sets itself apart from the rest of this museum because of the hands-on approach guests of all ages can take throughout the exhibition. Exciting activities include the Deborah Cooper Dino Dig, where kids of all ages can dig through model fossil beds for dinosaur bones and the Paleo Portal, where a lab allows visitors who prefer a more in-depth look at fossils to pretend they’re a paleontologist for the day.


  • Acheson Planetarium

If you’ve got a stargazer in your home, the Acheson Planetarium will top their list of favorite Michigan museums! This unique exhibit features a daily schedule filled with different astrological programs that any fan of the sun, stars, and planets is sure to find exciting. They even have a Sesame Street-themed program starring Big Bird and Elmo. Additional tickets are required to enjoy these programs, but we think the experience is worth it!


  1. Detroit Historical Museum


Where It Is:

5401 Woodward Avenue; Detroit, Michigan 48202


Why We Love It:

One of the biggest reasons we love the Detroit Historical Museum is because of how it celebrates the rich musical history of Detroit. From greats like Aretha Franklin and Bob Seger to Alice Cooper and Kid Rock, the exhibits within one of the most famous Michigan museums are sure to delight any music lover in your family! From a touch screen trivia game to a mixing station where guests can craft their musical track, there’s a little something for everyone in the Kid Rock Music Lab.


Another crowd-pleaser? The Glancy Train exhibit! Did you know that the owner of these model trains, Alfred R. Glancy Jr., was also the former owner of the Empire State Building in New York City? After his death in 1973, the Glancy family donated an extraordinary model train collection that is still on display to this day. Children of all ages are encouraged to take a spin as a train engineer by pressing the various interactive buttons along the exhibit.


  1. Michigan Science Center


Where It Is:

520 John R. Street, Detroit, Michigan 48202


Why We Love It:

Another one of our favorite Michigan museums, the Michigan Science Center, is only about 25 minutes from Novi, and well worth the trip!


So, why do we think you and your kids will love the Michigan Science Center so much? Let’s take a look at a few of the family-friendly activities we love!


  • STEM Playground

Encourage your kids to tinker, build, play, and imagine at the STEM Playground inside the Michigan Science Center. From testing out paper airplanes, building with blocks, or interacting with the new marble wall, your children will be able to freely exercise their STEM skills alongside MiCi STEM staff and their peers. Not only a great activity for their brain development, but also for increasing their social skills.


  • Kids Town

One of the best parts of this Michigan museum is Kids Town. Specially designed with children ages 2-5 in mind, this dedicated area is a scaled-down town where kids are encouraged to develop valuable social and motor skills, like the ones we work on in ABA Therapy at our clinic in Novi!


  1. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum


Where It Is:

220 East Ann Street; Ann Arbor, Michigan


Why We Love It:

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is another excellent Michigan museum that’s only about 30 minutes away from our clinic in Novi. With more than 250 hands-on exhibits starring science, math, technology, engineering, and art, the Hands-On Museum truly lives up to its name. It is the perfect place to take your child to encourage creativity and allow them to get their wiggles out in a fun, educational environment.


One of our favorite parts about the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum or AAHOM is that it provides Sensory Friendly kits for guests with autism or other special needs. Each kit includes fidgets, headphones, and sunglasses so everyone can enjoy this Michigan museum equally. Kits can be checked out and returned at the front desk.


Another inclusive program we love, especially for children with autism? A program called My Turn. If a busy museum crowd doesn’t seem like something your child will enjoy, you can come to the next My Turn event at AAHOM, for children with autism and other sensory processing disorders. Not only are there fewer crowds and noise during these events, but there is also a designated quiet room outfitted with weighted lap pads, and tactile toys should the museum experience become overwhelming.


Proudly Serving Novi and the Entire Detroit Metro

We believe that hands-on play is essential to a child’s growth, especially if they are taking part in ABA therapy. If you spend time in our clinic in Novi, we encourage you to check these Michigan museums out—we think you’ll find your child’s new favorite place to play!


If you’re in the Novi area and want to stop by to check out the facility and team at Blossom Children’s Center, we encourage you to check out our website and contact us! We’d love to partner with you and your child to help develop and grow their social skills through the specialized services we offer.

0 Comments/by
Child riding a bike

Whether it’s sweltering outside in the summer or frigid in the winter, finding family-friendly locations to entertain your children can sometimes be quite tricky. Switching up your routine and trying something new and unfamiliar might even be a little uncomfortable for your child if they have autism or other special needs. However, we are fortunate that Oakland County has so many family-friendly places that can serve as great locations to try out ABA therapy skills and further enhance your child’s social skills in real-life situations.


We’ve narrowed down a list of four of our favorite family-friendly places you can take your children to in and around Novi, Michigan. Some you may have heard of, others might be new to you, but we think you’ll find at least one that both you and your child will love! Let’s take a look:

Detroit, Michigan Skyline

Family-Friendly Places in Michigan

  1. Peppa Pig World of Play: Auburn Hills, Michigan
  2. Inflatable Playspaces: Royal Oak, Michigan
  3. Novi Bowl: Novi, Michigan
  4. Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve: Rochester, Michigan


  1. Peppa Pig World of Play: Auburn Hills, MI

Your children will love jumping into the world of Peppa Pig and her friends for some imagination-sparking play in the 14 themed stations throughout the play area. From playing in the sensory garden with Suzy Sheep to helping Miss Rabbit at the supermarket, there is no end to the fun to be had by your children. Each ticket is good for up to two full hours of playtime, so you are sure to get your money’s worth with each visit. To save a little extra cash and to guarantee entry into the play space at the time you prefer, we recommend going to their website and purchasing tickets ahead of time.


  1. Inflatable Playspaces: Royal Oak, Michigan

A family-owned and operated business, Inflatable Playspaces came about because of a unique problem that many Michigan parents face each year. The desire to rent inflatable bounce houses but Michigan weather ruining the plans because of its ever-changing tendencies. Enter Inflatable Playspaces! Not only can you rent the inflatable equipment for use at your own home, but you can also book the indoor Inflatable Adventure Room for your child’s next birthday party. They even offer sleepovers and drive-in movie parties. What’s not to love about that?


  1. Novi Bowl: Novi, Michigan

Looking for something to do with your kids in Novi, Michigan? Why not check out Novi Bowl? Whether your child is interested in joining a bowling league, practicing during open bowl, or just wants to have their next party there, Novi Bowl has the space, activities, and food guaranteed to make anyone happy!


  1. Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve: Rochester, Michigan

More than 40 years ago, Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve was labeled an unusable piece of land near an Oakland county subdivision. Today, thanks to the generosity of supporters and city leaders and educators, Dinosaur Hill is a great spot to take your kids for a little bit of exercise on beautiful sunny days. Whether your kids want to take the time to discover insects in the creek or to dig and test the soil surrounding it, there are plenty of hands-on activities happening at Dinosaur Hill to keep everyone in Oakland County entertained.


Proudly Serving Novi, Michigan and All of Oakland County

Whether you live close to our clinic in Novi, Michigan, or live in Auburn Hills, Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, or Pontiac, we’re happy to have a convenient location allowing our team to serve the entire Oakland County community. From early intervention ABA Therapy to Speech and Language Pathology and so much more, we offer the services children with autism need to thrive in life outside the clinic. By partnering with us and working through social skill development, you can visit these family-friendly locations stress-free, knowing your child will feel comfortable, confident, and free to express themselves when you arrive. For more information or to schedule a consultation with us, visit our website today!

0 Comments/by
kids blowing confetti

Raising a child in Metro Detroit is an exciting thing, due in large part to all the various family events you can enjoy with your kids each week! Thankfully, there is no shortage of family events that can also double as a way to test out ABA therapy skills if any of your children have autism or ASD.


Sometimes, pinpointing the perfect activities for your kids can be hard, especially if you’re new to the area. If you have been here for years but just had children, you, too, might need some tips for the best family-friendly places in Metro Detroit.


You’re in luck because we’ve narrowed down the list, highlighting Novi specifically, so you can make plans to visit some of our favorite places and take part in all the family events going on at them this year. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at seven of our favorite family-friendly places in Novi!


Seven Family-Friendly Places in Novi

Whether it’s a rainy, wet Michigan day or if you’re looking for an outdoor venue where your kids can burn off their seemingly limitless energy in the summer, we’ve got a place for every occasion in Novi!

  1. Emagine Theatre
  2. Putting Edge
  3. Paradise Park
  4. Twelve Oaks Mall
  5. Novi Public Library
  6. Aqua-tots Family Swim School
  7. Novi Ice Arena


  1. Emagine Theatre

There are quite a few things that set Emagine Theatres apart from other movie theatres in the area. This luxury theatre is revolutionizing the way you enjoy your favorite movies. Combining a gourmet snack bar, luxurious recliner seating, in-seat service, and even valet parking, you might forget you’re at a movie theatre and not at a private screening once you sit down! But the best part of the Emagine Theatre experience in Novi is the inclusivity. If you have a child that needs a more sensory-friendly experience, they have a special showing just for them! Make your child’s next movie theatre experience more enjoyable thanks to brighter house lights, a lower movie volume, the ability to get up and move around during the show, and the freedom to bring an allergy-friendly snack if your children have food allergies or restrictions.

Adult and child at the movies

  1. Putting Edge

What kid doesn’t love mini-golf? Combine the fun of a regular mini-golf course with an interactive glow-in-the-dark course, and you have a winner every time! Kids can spend time enjoying some friendly competition, all while learning how to take turns, aim, and keep score! In this unique space with fun lights, colors, and sights, children (and kids at heart) can let their imaginations run wild while doing something far from ordinary! Plus, if playing arcade games is your child’s favorite hobby, there’s even a small arcade they can spend time in, too! Just make sure to secure your reservations in advance to avoid long wait times.


  1. Paradise Park

Looking for a fun location for an upcoming birthday? Paradise Park might be just the ticket. From go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, a trampoline center, climbing walls, and soccer cages, there truly is something for everyone! The perfect place to spend a rainy day, Paradise Park, offers a little something for everyone, making it ideal for hosting family events.


  1. Twelve Oaks Mall

More than just one of the largest malls in the Metro Detroit area, the Twelve Oaks Mall is an excellent destination for families, too! The Children’s Play Area on the Lower Level in the Sears Court is our favorite part! It’s a great way to let your kids get out some energy during your shopping trip, plus they can interact with other kids at the same time. From climbing structures, tunnels, and interactive elements—there’s something to keep every kid engaged and happy. To ensure a safe and healthy play atmosphere, the foam sculptures are made with antimicrobial materials, too.


  1. Novi Public Library

The Novi Public Library offers plenty of opportunities for family events throughout the week from Lego club to storytime to dramatic playgroup, there is something for every child no matter their age, interests, or abilities! There are even specific storytimes by age-range to better cater to the needs of each child and their caregiver!

Kids choosing a book at the library

  1. Aqua-Tots Family Swim School

With a variety of swim classes to fit the needs of any child, Aqua-Tots Family Swim School is an excellent idea for those cold winter days in Metro Detroit when you need to get some pent-up energy out, but it’s too cold to head to the park. Plus, your children will learn how to stay safe in the water and gear up for those hot summer months on the horizon! From infant and baby lessons to swim lessons for children with special needs, Aqua-Tots has something for everyone.


  1. Novi Ice Arena

Did you know that ice skating is not only a great cardio workout, but it can also strengthen leg muscles and increase endurance, as well? Planning your family events at the Novi Ice Arena can be an excellent idea, especially if your kids have dreams of being the next Olympic figure skater or the next famous hockey player! From free skates to learn-to-skate classes, your child can work each week to increase essential skills like balance, coordination, and endurance as they learn to ice skate like a professional. If they get comfortable enough on their skates and want to try their hand at hockey, private lessons and instructional programs are available for all skill levels, too.


Proudly Serving Novi, Michigan

Here at Blossom Children’s Center, our highly trained team has a dedication to provide families in the Metro Detroit area with early intervention therapies for children with ASD and other special needs. We believe that while a lot of the work happens during your child’s therapy at our clinic, practicing skills and desired behaviors outside of a therapy environment is vital to your child’s success, as well. That’s where sensory-friendly family events in and around Metro Detroit come into play. Contact us today so we can help you find the individualized support you, your child, and your family need!

0 Comments/by
Family at Valentine's Day

At Blossom Children’s Center, we are a unique multidisciplinary ABA clinic that places family at the center of a child’s therapy and well-being. Whether there is an ASD diagnosis in your family or not, strong family bonds play a critical role in a child’s development. There are many opportunities to build closer connections as a family every day, and holidays like Valentine’s Day can make them even more special. Lucky for you, Novi, MI is a great town with lots to do.


The Best Places for a Family Outing in Novi

Considering that Valentine’s Day is in February, it’s not very likely that you will be able to visit a park for a picnic to reunite with nature. However, this year we’ve had such a mild winter, decent weather is actually a possibility! If February 14th rolls around and that’s the case, seize the opportunity to check out Parmenter’s Cider Mill in Northville. Have some donuts and cider and let the kids climb on the play equipment. Be sure to check out the pond and see if any ducks are looking for a snack! If it’s a little too cold for the cider mill, give Emagine Theatres Novi a visit. Enjoy gourmet concession foods at this highly rated luxury theatre and watch that movie your child has been dying to see in 3D!


Create a Fun Valentine’s Craft as a Family

If a family day together at the house sounds more like it, take a note from your ABA clinic and play! Create these heart glitter jars using pink and red glitter, two types of heart confetti, light corn syrup, glitter glue, water, and a plastic jar. When you put it all together, you get a super cute craft that also doubles as a cool-down sensory toy. For something to sink your hands into a little more, try Valentine’s Day playdough! Use flour, salt, cream of tartar, glitter, oil, water, and red food coloring to make this taste-friendly sensory play dough. Cut out shapes, or just mash and smash with your hands.


Make Dinner and Dessert Together for Valentine’s Day

After your outing or day of crafts, gather up the ingredients to make a lovely homemade dinner together to enjoy as a family before turning in for the night. There’s nothing like creating a meal together to bring you closer as a family. If you feel like using your hands some more, try this homemade gnocchi. One adult and the kids can make the gnocchi while another adult works on some delicious cupcakes for dessert.  After you enjoy your delicious homemade meal and treat, make sure everyone helps to clean up the kitchen. There’s no better way to end your family day.


At Blossom Children’s Center, we think of ourselves as more than an ABA clinic. We strive to pull from multiple factors in a child’s world to effect positive changes and grow together. Life after an ASD diagnosis can have ups and downs. It’s important to take opportunities to grow together and to build stronger relationships as a family. After all, no one is more influential to a young child than their family.


0 Comments/by
Detroit skyline.

Did you know that Michigan has one of the highest rates of autism in the country? More than 16,000 students enrolled in Michigan’s schools are living with Autism Spectrum Disorders.


While it seems like there are always events happening throughout the metro Detroit area for kids, it can often be a process of elimination to find activities that are suitable for children with sensory processing disorders or autism. But it doesn’t have to be an impossible task! Every day, sensory-friendly events exist for the sole purpose of uniting children with special needs and allowing them to feel included in a less stressful setting.

Tulip field

Sensory-Friendly Events in Metro Detroit This Spring

From indoor sensory-friendly events that you and your children can enjoy any day of the week to specific outings for children with special needs, we’ve got you covered this spring with a list of family-friendly activities throughout the entire metro Detroit area! We’ve included ideas for little ones as well as older children, so no one is left out of the fun!


Toddler/Elementary-Aged Activities that are Sensory Friendly:


  • Chuck E Cheese: Rochester Hills

While on the surface, a visit to Chuck E Cheese doesn’t seem like a sensory-friendly activity, it can be! In addition to putting into practice some of the skills your child has been learning through ABA Therapy, some Chuck E Cheese locations like this one, actually open two hours early on the first Sunday of the month for children with special needs to play in a less stressful environment! Always make sure to call in advance to make sure hours haven’t changed, but this is a great way to experience Chuck E Cheese without all the crowds and noise!


  • Play-Place Autism & Special Needs Center: Sterling Heights

Play-Place is a fantastic resource for families with children on the spectrum and their siblings! The unique design allows siblings to play together in a safe space. Not only does Play-Place offer a safe sensory play environment, but it also features a computer café, LEGO room, and a haircut hut! It’s the perfect weekend activity for the whole family! Plus, the Play-Place believes in equipping the entire family with tools for success in navigating an Autism diagnosis and has periodic programming explicitly tailored to caretakers about things like IEPs, ABA Therapy, and more!


  • Adaptive Storytime: Sterling Heights Public Library

An open environment for children with autism or any other sensory processing disorders, this unique storytime at the Sterling Heights Public Library is an excellent way for you and your children to engage in a morning full of stories and movement! Perfect for children ages three to ten, registration is required!


  • Adaptive Youth Fitness: YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit

The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit strives to serve the community in any way it can, including offering adaptive fitness classes for children ages four and up. From yoga classes that encourage increased flexibility, cardio-strength workouts supervised by a special needs trainer, one-on-one fitness classes, and fun fitness group classes led by experienced staff, there is truly something for everyone! For weekly schedules and more information, check the YMCA website or contact your local club.


  • Count Me In! Special Needs Storytime: Canton Public Library

Funded through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, this special needs storytime will be filled with picture books, preschool songs, and simple sign language instruction for children and their families or caregivers. Each month will feature a different literary theme. To find out more, visit the Canton Public library website.


  • Sensory Hours at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Allow your child to enjoy the freedom that comes with jumping at the Sky Zone trampoline park, but with a calmer atmosphere. Sensory hours provide a quieter, toned-down experience that children with sensory processing disorders need. Check with your closest Sky Zone Trampoline Park for their sensory hours!


  • Sea Life Aquarium: Auburn Hills

Enjoy the full Sea Life Aquarium experience with your toddler from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on select Mondays and Thursdays at Toddler Time! Not only can you save on the price of admission, but it’s the perfect activity for your curious child who loves the underwater world! If you’re looking for sensory-friendly hours, check with the Aquarium, as they typically have sensory-friendly hours an hour before general admission with lights and sounds turned down so everyone can enjoy a walk through the amazing underwater world.


Pre-Teen and Teen Activities that are Sensory-Friendly:


  • Night to Shine: 2020

Teens and young adults are encouraged to attend this safe and supportive Prom night, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation at Life Bridge Church in Taylor. Teens 13 years old and over with special needs are welcome to attend this free event!


  • Adult and Teen Sensory Storytime: Bloomfield Township Public Library

Adults and teens can join in on the movement, music, and art at this adaptive storytime at the Bloomfield Township Public Library. Occurring the second Monday of every month at 11 a.m., this is a unique event that you’ll want to add to your monthly routine!


If books aren’t your child’s thing, why not try a sensory-friendly event featuring a new documentary each month? Specially designed for teens and adults with developmental or sensory-processing disorders, each movie is played with the sound down and the lights up, keeping the event inclusive of all! These movies are screened the last Friday of each month at 11 a.m.


  • Aspie Teen Social: Autism Support and Resource Center in Burton

Perfect for ASD teens from 11-18 (and their same-aged siblings!) that are independent enough to be dropped off for a social with other teens their age, this event features structured activities and self-selection activities that encourage socialization and fosters the making of friendships. Teens will enjoy a pizza dinner each month, too! The cost to attend is $5 per person. For more information, check out the Autism Support and Resource Center’s website!


Activities for Everyone:


  • AMC Sensory-Friendly Films: Metro Detroit Theatres

Did you know that AMC Theatres partner with the Autism Society to bring special movie showings in a sensory-friendly environment for families as well as mature audiences?  Lights are up, the sound is down, and aisles are clear for patrons to get up and dance, walk, or sing! Family-friendly movie showings happen on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, and the mature audience showings happen on Wednesday evenings. For more information, check with your local metro Detroit AMC theatre!


  • Emagine Theatres: Birch Run, Canton, Hartland, Macomb, Novi, Rochester Hills, and Saline

Voted the Best Movie Theatre for several years running by the Detroit Free Press, Emagine Theatres boasts a luxury movie-viewing experience with reclining seats and gourmet snacks. For families, teens, and children with sensory needs, Emagine Theatres has now started offering sensory-friendly screenings. What is a sensory-friendly screening? Put simply; it’s a movie-viewing experience that puts everyone at ease. House lights will be on during the showing, the volume will be low, audience interaction is allowed and encouraged, and those with food allergies will be permitted to bring in their snacks and beverages to make everyone feel at home. For specific dates, times, and what’s playing this month, check out the Emagine Theatres website.


  • SatARTdays: Anton Art Center

The first quarter’s schedule for 2020 is out, and SatARTdays promises to be exciting for everyone involved! Pencil in the second Saturday of each month for a free art event or performance around the metro Detroit area. Open to everyone in the community, these events are the perfect occasion to take your children to practice ABA Therapy techniques and have fun while doing it! For the schedule of events, check out Anton Art Center’s website today!


  • Art Explorers Special Needs Art Class: Plymouth

This inclusive art class for children of all abilities focuses on fine motor skills, patience, self-reflection, communication, and sensory processing, all wonderful things to practice in a group environment outside of ABA Therapy! Once a month, children will create a different piece of art and learn to interact with the world around them. Because the Makers ‘N Shakers wants everyone in Detroit to have the ability to interact with the healing world of art, these classes are “pay what you can,” so anyone can join! For more information, check out this website for specific dates and times.

Children doing art together.

Behavioral Therapy in Metro Detroit

If you live in the Detroit area and are interested in learning more about how ABA Therapy can help your child, reach out to us today! At Blossom Children’s Center, we strive to create an all-encompassing center for families, furthering our commitment to the families and children of the metro Detroit area.


How Can ABA Therapy Support Your Outings?

ABA Therapy, or Applied Behavioral Analysis, takes a look at your child’s environment and the impact it makes on their behavior. Highly personalized for each child, ABA Therapy is essential in understanding, influencing, and, ultimately, learning to change unwanted behaviors. However, the key to ABA Therapy is utilizing positive reinforcement, not negative. Rewards are often the easiest way to affect change in behavior, not just in children with ASD or autism, but in any child having issues coping with specific environments.


ABA Therapy has shown to be beneficial in multiple areas in a child’s life:

  • Self-care skills
  • Home
  • School
  • Social Skills


How Can ABA Therapy Help My Child?

Caregivers and parents are essential in reinforcing the work done in ABA Therapy, because you are the second line of defense, supporting your child in environments when these harmful or distracting behaviors come up, often outside of ABA Therapy.


Did you know that among other things, ABA Therapy helps your child develop essential social skills like:


  • Feeding themselves
  • Potty training
  • Coping Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Social skills with adults, peers, and in group settings


A number of these skills are necessary for your child to know relatively early on in life, which is why early intervention is so necessary. It can make the therapy process a much smoother transition for yourself and your child!


ABA Therapy at Home

One of the most common questions parents have for therapists is how they can continue to encourage the new, positive behaviors at home and play. Planning playdates and taking your child out into the metro Detroit area and applying the positive reinforcement techniques you and your child have learned through ABA Therapy are two excellent ways to continue the forward progress in a fun way! By picking the right events that cater to your child’s specific needs or challenges will set you up for success and ensure that everyone walks away with a smile on their face and lots of happy memories to look back on!


Tips for Success Outside of ABA Therapy

When you leave your therapist, it’s easy to feel like you may not be “doing it right.” Still, by following a few pieces of advice from trained therapy professionals, you can make sure you are doing what’s best for you and your child every time you take them to activities in Detroit. Keeping a record of results, like things that did and didn’t work, will prove helpful to you and your child’s therapist, and it will be essential to see how far you’ve come and how much progress you and your child have made from month to month. Here are a few tips you can think about as you start planning your outings this spring!


  1. Have fun

Above all, this should be your first goal. Make sure whatever you choose to do, it’s something your child enjoys. You don’t want every outing to feel stressful, or as work, it should be an opportunity for one-on-one bonding time with your child or a memorable family outing!


  1. Note what positive reinforcement techniques motivate your child most

Keep track of what does and doesn’t work so you can share with your child’s therapist during your next visit. This information is essential to learning more about your child, helping them succeed outside of therapy.


  1. Make a note of what activities your child prefers

This may seem obvious, but taking note of the kinds of activities that your child loves will help you plan events and outings that they’ll enjoy and will likely want to repeat. This desire to be at these events will likely spark the desired behaviors you’re working towards in therapy, which is a step in the right direction!


Let us know if the team at Blossom Children’s Center and our team of trained therapists and loving staff members can support you on your family’s journey!

0 Comments/by
Kid in the snow looking up at the sky.

If you’re here in the Detroit metro area, you know the true meaning of cold weather. You also know how many days our children are sometimes stuck indoors due to the chilly temperatures. Whether you’re here in the wintery mix of Detroit or trying to stay warm in other parts of the country, we have something for every family to benefit from. So, how do you keep things fresh and engaging when the kids are forced to stay all day indoors? Our team at Novi’s Blossom Children’s Center has put together some of our favorite indoor activities.

Tent set up inside for camping

Bring the Outside Indoors

When they can’t be outside, what’s the next best thing? Bring the outdoors in! Be sure to set the ground rules first. Limit activities and behaviors that could cause accidents and designate off-limits areas in the home that aren’t play-friendly. If misbehavior is a concern, don’t forget to review rules, use positive reinforcements, and utilize additional strategies he may be working on during ABA therapy sessions.

Trampoline Fun

Is your child a fan of trampolines? Consider investing in a small indoor trampoline to help beat the winter blues. Your child will get exercise, burn energy, and have tons of fun! It’s also an excellent way for children with autism to meet many of their sensory needs.

Soothing Swings

There are also options for indoor swings that are a perfect way to stay productive indoors. Many of our families here in Novi have had great success using indoor swings in the winter to help meet the various needs of children of all ages. While we understand it may not be cost-effective for everyone, it’s a fantastic option for children in need of vestibular movement. It may just outweigh the initial cost concerns for you. If you’re tool savvy, you may even consider installing your own DIY swing in your home. Just be sure to put your child’s safety first if this is the route you choose.

Indoor Camping

Even if your child hasn’t been camping, you can turn this “trip” into a learning adventure. Pull out books or photos of camping trips. Share stories of your experiences or what you think camping may be like. If your child is already participating in ABA therapy, use strategies he’s been working on to help enhance this experience. Strengthen communication and efforts to work together and follow directions. Build a fort, grab some sleeping bags, and turn it into an afternoon of learning and exploration.

Device-Free Time

Devices and tv might be a regular activity in your home, so we love encouraging you to think outside the box. Stock up on a few board games that are developmentally appropriate for your child. Board games help promote communication, social interactions, and fine motor skills. They offer an excellent chance for you to work with your child on several skills he’s strengthening throughout his ABA therapy sessions, and it’s a wonderful way to bond.

Our team here at the Novi center is full of indoor ideas that will help you continue the work you’re doing to help your child thrive. Being stuck indoors shouldn’t be a gloomy situation! Make the best of the cold weather and reinvent indoors with your child. When you’re ready to venture out, we’d love for you to stop by our center. If you’re not in our area, visit us online to find weekly tips and resources for your entire family!

0 Comments/by
Detroit skyline in the summer.

The holidays are quickly approaching, and so are opportunities for tons of family-friendly activities for kids of all ages. But being sensitive to your child’s specific needs, it can be sometimes be challenging to sort through all the activities that might be right for you. How can you find sensory-friendly events for your kids in Detroit? We’ve done the research for you and have highlighted five events that we think are wonderful choices for your next family outing this holiday season!

The Detroit area is full of festive and fun activities designed primarily to be inclusive of all children, including children and families with sensory-processing disorders and other concerns. Looking to implement or strengthen skills you and your child have learned through ABA Therapy? Check out our top five favorites below for some fantastic events this holiday season.

Two children walking near holiday lights

Five Family-Friendly Detroit-area Holiday Events:

  • Towers of Tomorrow Lego event
  • Sensory-friendly play at Detroit Kid City
  • Dinner with Santa at the Detroit Zoo
  • Movie night at the AMC Theatre
  • Sensory-friendly Santa at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi

Towers of Tomorrow Lego Event at the Henry Ford Museum

Children and children at heart are encouraged to come and see amazing, larger-than-life Lego skyscrapers at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn now through January 5, 2020. Kids are even encouraged to build their own Lego creations, as well! The best part? Sensory-friendly Saturday events are offered each week to cater to children and families with special needs.

Sensory-Friendly Play at Detroit Kid City

A great event for children 16 and under, this sensory-friendly event allows kids with sensory-processing disorders to enjoy cardio drumming and marble painting! With two dates to choose from, organizers have cultivated an event sure to provide a safe and fun family-friendly event for you and your kids!

Dinner with Santa at the Detroit Zoo

What are the holidays without a visit to Santa? If the thought of that can give you pause because of the stress and noise, we have just the event for you. Enjoy a buffet-style dinner in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, complete with arts and crafts opportunities, and a visit with Santa himself! This year organizers have created a dedicated night aimed at being sensory-friendly: dimmed lights, soft music, and a reduced capacity to create a more serene and enjoyable environment for everyone. Plus, admission to the Wild Lights exhibit is included in your zoo ticket price!

Movie Night at the AMC Theatre

The second and fourth Saturday, as well as every Tuesday night, are considered sensory-friendly programming days at most AMC theatres throughout Detroit. These sensory-friendly showings feature lower volumes and the house lights on to make children of all abilities feel comfortable and safe. Not to mention, they encourage dancing, singing, and exploring during these shows, too! Check out the programming to find the perfect event for your younger and older children, as there’s something for everyone at AMC!

Sensory Santa at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi

Looking for another opportunity to take your child to see Santa in a less stressful environment? There are plenty of opportunities in the Detroit-metro area! One of our favorites is this Santa experience in Novi. By registering in advance, you can have a dedicated time slot for your child to visit Santa and take pictures with him without the stress of other events. Set in a sensory-minimal environment, this event is sure to be a great addition to your holiday plans!

A Family-Focused Behavioral Wellness Center

At Blossom Children’s Center, we offer a holistic approach to ABA Therapy. We’re family-focused, meaning we aim to provide all the services you need under one roof. We bring together evidence-based ABA Therapy in additional to Speech, Occupational, along with counseling services, as well. Contact us today for services uniquely tailored to your family’s needs.

0 Comments/by

Finding family-friendly events that fit your needs in the metro Detroit area doesn’t have to be a challenge. With so many wonderful options in and around our city, you’re sure to fill your calendar with plenty of family fun outings you can all enjoy. While there are many events to choose from this fall, we’d like to help you focus on finding things to do that will be more sensitive to your child’s needs. This will also help you and your child work on implementing and strengthening skills learned during his or her ABA therapy sessions.

The Detroit area has such an array of choices your whole family can take advantage of. From art to fitness, you’ll love the chance to explore new areas around the city and try new experiences as a family in environments with your needs in mind.

Family playing in fall leaves

Detroit Events

SatARTdays at the Anton Art Center

The second Saturday of each month offers fun-filled art events for the family to enjoy! The events are always free and welcome the whole family to participate. This fall, the Anton Art Center is offering a jewelry making class in September and a dance class in October. The non-profit center also offers free gallery admission if your family would like to visit the many exhibits on display.

Storytime for All Ages

Visit the Canton Public Library on September 21 for storytime dedicated to meeting special needs in the Detroit area. Count Me In! is open to children and adults with special needs without restrictions to age or ability level. Your family will enjoy picture books, singing, and even learn a bit of sign language.

The library offers a variety of events worth looking into. Family Storytime sessions are offered six days a week, while ABC Activity Time gives parents and caregivers the perfect opportunity to engage in learning and play with their children. Promoting social skills and cooperative play, you’ll find many chances to work on ABA therapy skills with your child.

Dancing and Fitness Fun in the Detroit Area

Looking for fitness programs or dance opportunities that may fit your child’s needs and abilities? Kiwanis is hosting a fall event at the Downriver Family YMCA. Children and families are encouraged to join in while trying out various dance styles and working on building social skills; the perfect way to incorporate new ABA therapy skills. Find more information on registering for their fall classes, open to ages three and up from September 21 through November 9.

Sensory-Friendly Jump Event

Your family will love the Special Needs Sensory-Friendly Jump session coming up on October 6. Offered at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park near the Detroit area, you’ll find the park covered in trampolines for your child’s enjoyment. Sky Zone will be hosting a two-hour session dedicated to families with children with special needs, including sensory-processing disorders. The first hour will be music-free while the second hour will provide music.

Metro Detroit Family Fun Night

Kiwanis also sponsors a Special Needs Family Fun Night at the Downriver Family YMCA. Coming up in November, your family can enjoy the use of their rock climbing wall, learn to make rockets, or play a family-friendly game of “dodgebowl.” This event is open to all ages and abilities and offers a fantastic way to bond as a family as well as strengthen social skills and other ABA therapy practices your child is working on. You’ll find more information on registering for this event here.

Family Movie Outing at AMC

Various AMC movie theaters have built a partnership with the Autism Society to offer sensory-friendly movie experiences. AMC designates the second and fourth Saturday of each month, as well as each Tuesday evening, to their Sensory Friendly Film Program. AMC knows how to make families and children with autism and sensory sensitivities feel at home. Your family will find showings with the house lights on, the volume turned down, and the aisles open for your kids to move about! They encourage dancing, exploring, singing, and talking during their Saturday family nights, while Tuesday evenings offer showings geared towards a bit older audience with special needs.

While most family events with special needs accommodations are open to all ages, it can be nice to find some that may cater to your older children. This fall, you’ll find a few teen and adult activities that are definitely worth looking into!

Teen Storytime

If you’re looking for a storytime option for older children to adults with special needs, the Sensory Storytime at Bloomfield Township Public Library may be just what you’re looking for. This family time offers stories with songs, arts, and movement opportunities. You and your child, or even a caregiver, are encouraged to come, listen, and participate. This is another excellent chance to practice and strengthen skills you and your child are working on through ABA therapy sessions and social skills programs.

Teen Time Music and Dancing

In mid-September, the Troy Community Center will be hosting their Friday Frolic at the Troy Community Center. This is a low-cost evening event for teens and adults with special needs. Encourage your child to come and join a safe, welcoming environment full of music, dancing, and social interaction.

While there aren’t specific sessions designated for families with special needs, the center also offers a water slide and play area, beach parties, and fun dance and sports options for the entire family to try!

Helping you meet the needs of your child as well as your family is what we do best at Blossom Children’s Center. From parenting training and family counseling to individualized ABA therapy for your child, our team of caring professionals is here to accompany you through this journey. We believe in offering an all-encompassing approach, which includes multiple programs, school readiness, and even helping you find and plan family outings for all of you to enjoy together. For more information on how to choose events that may be best suited for your child with special needs or to inquire about our ABA therapy and related programs, contact us today!

0 Comments/by