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“Special Day for Special Needs”: Children's Museum of Virginia hosts event

It’s a day for children with behavioral health or developmental challenges to enjoy the museum with fewer distractions and visitors.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Santa Claus is making quite a few appearances around Hampton Roads before the big day on December 25th. This morning, he stopped by the Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth for a very special event.

“This morning, it’s our Special Day for Special Needs," Museum Manager Erin Colston said. 

The museum’s “Special Day for Special Needs” initiative is for families with special needs children.

It gives them a chance to explore the museum in a quieter space, with fewer visitors and more adaptive materials.

“Some of the loud sirens aren’t on, the blinking lights," Colston said. "And there are a lot more sensory activities in the museum today geared specifically towards them.”

The event still features all of the museum’s familiar displays, but since it’s the holidays there are a few extra activities, like an interactive indoor sock skating rink.

Families say events like this one mean a lot to children. Glenn Hickman was enjoying the exhibit with his grandkids.

“It builds hand-eye coordination, gives the kids something to come and do, it’s just a fantastic way for them to learn and to enjoy themselves," Hickman said.

Colston said events like this give families a chance to enjoy all the museum has to offer with a little less stimulation.

“It’s important because the children’s museum should be for everybody, regardless of your comfort level and ability to play with our exhibits," Colston said. "This gives us a chance to adapt our regular exhibits in a way that meets other people’s needs.”

The events ran from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. It’s something the museum does every quarter, with discounted tickets and added activities.

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