IDD-Friendly Activities for Families

Summer is just around the corner, and there’s no better time to enjoy all that Minnesota has to offer than our beautiful summers. One might be tempted to panic when asked about summer plans, but there’s no need. Today, we’re going to shine a spotlight on some wonderful organizations, welcoming places and inclusive activities to try with your loved ones living with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD).

A Great Day Farm: Northfield

Featuring three acres of wide-open space to explore, play areas, outdoor activities, picnic tables and trail paths, as well as indoor and outdoor and passive and active activities, A Great Day Farm is a wonderful place open year-round to individuals with IDD with a supervisory adult or personal care assistant (PCA) in tow. Hours are listed on their Facebook page, along with updates about this no-fee, life-enriching recreational facility. Calling ahead of one’s visit is always recommended. Their website has a list of events and their contact info as well. A Great Day Farm is a welcoming space for all to let off some steam, kick back and relax, and freely express and enjoy themselves.

The Bell Museum: Saint Paul

The Bell Museum, formerly known as the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History, is Minnesota’s official natural history museum and planetarium. While exploring the museum’s many exhibits, one shouldn’t miss out on their Touch & See Lab. Bell Museum was the first natural history museum to allow visitors to touch exhibition pieces first-hand, something that had not been done prior to 1968!

The museum is a fantastic and educational place for all ages and has plenty to offer Minnesotans and out-of-state visitors. Social narratives are available on their site for families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to help prepare for a fun and informative visit. Pay a visit to the newly renovated Bell Museum and learn about astronomy, space, art, science and more. The Curiosity Membership program offers a $15 membership for those with a household member who qualifies for a number of government services, including (but not limited to) Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Free & Reduced Lunch, MinnesotaCare and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The membership includes unlimited FREE admission to galleries and exhibits, $2 planetarium tickets, summer camp and birthday party discounts, member-exclusive events and activities, a 15% Curiosity Shop discount, early ticket access, discounts on special events and discounts from local museum partners.

Reach for Resources: Minnetonka

For teens and adults living with IDD, Reach for Resources facilitates dozens of events in the Twin Cities Metro Area, from crafts and cooking, virtual workouts and adaptive fitness sessions, a bowling league, game and movie nights, teen social gatherings, karaoke, a singles night at Dave and Buster’s and so much more! There is tons of fun to be had while meeting new friends and seeing what the Twin Cities has to offer in an inclusive, fun-focused environment. You can call 952-393-5880 or reach out to the online rec desk to find an adaptive recreation program that tickles your fancy.

If you or anyone you know is looking for other disability services beyond recreation, check out Laura Baker’s Family Navigation Service and request a FREE consultation with Sam Gershman, our friendly Family Navigator!