Mill City Museum opens early to host sensory-friendly event

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A day at the museum can be a little overwhelming, especially for those living with any type of neurodiversity. That’s Minnesota Historical Society decided to host a Sensory Friendly day at Mill City Museum on Sunday. The museum opened an hour early to give children with autism the chance to come and explore the museum at their own pace.

“My son is autistic and sometimes loud sounds or really busy places can be a challenge for him,” mom Lana Dolan explained.

She said her 5-year-old son Max has been looking forward to the event all week.

On a typical Saturday or Sunday, the museum may have as many and 200 people visiting. But on Sunday morning, there were just a handful of families there checking out the exhibits. The galleries were closed to the the public and activities were modified with neurodiversity in mind. For example, the volumes on museum videos was turned down, there were more signs explaining exhibits and overall, it was a quieter, less crowded space.

“The Minnesota Historical Society has a responsibility to serve all Minnesotans. It’s in our mission statement and so as result we try to think of how we can be accessible in all kinds of ways,” Wini Froelich, Mill City Museum Program Specialist said.

Families like the Dolans said they appreciate the museums effort to include their son.

“It just gives a little more access to something he loves and we don’t have to worry as much,” Dolan said.

This is just one of many sensory events the Minnesota Historical Society is hosting, so if you didn’t get the chance to come out on Sunday, there will be many more events to look forward to.

Here is a link to the upcoming sensory friendly days.