The Discovery Museums Announce 2015 Schedule of Free Events for Children with Learning Differences

ACTON - The Discovery Museums have announced their 2015 Especially for Me schedule of free events for families with children with an autism spectrum disorder and/or with hearing or vision loss. The schedule includes 25 free events, with free evenings for families of children with a visual impairment a new addition to the program this year.

The popular free program series began in 2010 with just two events and grew to 23 events by 2014. Especially for Me events are designed to offer families an opportunity to play together when the museums are not open to the general public or for group events or parties, creating a quieter environment for children to explore and play. Because families can visit for free, they come and go based on their child’s needs without concern for cost. Parents also have the chance to meet other families in similar circumstances, thereby reducing feelings of isolation often described by families dealing with special needs.

The Museums provide special resources throughout the year such as a music therapist, noise-reducing headphones, hands-on sensory based staff-led programming, American Sign Language (ASL) language facilitators, and museum guides. Additionally, food including gluten-free options is generously provided for all evening events by Not Your Average Joes of Acton.

The Museums work with various local organizations to train Museum staff to serve these audiences; communicate to families about the programs; and provide on-site resources as needed. These include the Boston Children’s Hospital Deaf & Hard of Hearing program, Autism Alliance of MetroWest, Autism Speaks, Perkins School for the Blind, Music Therapy Program at Indian Hill Music, Massachusetts Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired, and the Decibels Foundation.

All Especially for Me events are free to attend, but preregistration is required. Dates and registration links can be found online at

2015 Schedule

Free ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Friendly Afternoons (during public hours, but no school groups or birthday parties will be scheduled at this time) are on the following Tuesdays, 1:30 – 4:30pm: Jan. 6, Feb. 3, March 3, April 3, May 5, June 2, Oct. 6, Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. 

Free Evenings for Families with Children on the Autism Spectrum (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm: Feb. 7, March 13, April 25, May 31, July 11, Aug. 9, Oct. 17 and Dec. 12.

Free Evenings for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm: Jan. 10, April 11, July 25 and Oct. 3. Mornings for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Infants and Toddlers (closed to the public) will take place at the Children’s Discovery Museum, 9:30am – 12:00pm, Monday, March 2 and Monday, Sept. 28. 

Free Evenings for Families with Children with a Visual Impairment (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:30pm: May 16th, November 7

Especially for Me is part of the Museums’ Open Door Connections program to provide opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers---financial, developmental, or cultural---to experience the Museums. Open Door Connections is funded through grants provided by the Yawkey Foundations and the English Family Fund of the Foundation for MetroWest with additional support from the 3M Corporation, Acton-Boxborough United Way Youth in Philanthropy, the Boston Bruins Foundation, the Cambridge Savings Charitable Foundation, the Deluxe Corporation Foundation, the Morgan Stanley Foundation and the Nypro Foundation.

About The Discovery Museums

The Discovery Museums are the children’s and science museums of Metrowest Boston. Two great museums—for one admission price—blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. The Museums serve families and schools from towns throughout the region, with a commitment to informal education that enhances classroom learning. The hands-on, playful exhibits, developed by professional educators, inspire curiosity, exploration, experimentation and imagination. The Discovery Museums combine manageable scale, convenient location and free parking to provide a fun and engaging experience where children and adults can discover their world together.  For more information please visit