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5 Valentine's Weekend Getaways for Autistic Families

Updated: Mar 9


A bunch of pastel valentine's day candy with pinks, purples, greens, yellows and oranges.  There is a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel 5 Valetine's Weekend Getaways for Autistic Families.  Valentine's Day is a special day that is used to show everyone in your life how much you love them.

Valentine’s Day is a special day that shows everyone how much you love them. While you don’t technically need this day to shower your autistic family with love, you can easily use it as an excuse to take a mini vacation. Quick weekend getaways can be perfect for autistic families like yours. Your routines won’t be out of whack for long. You won’t travel too far from home. And you can plan a weekend that won’t overstimulate your autistic child. Today, I will share five Valentine's weekend getaways for autistic families. One might be precisely what you need to finally escape the hustle and bustle of real life for a couple of days—in contrast, showing your family that you love them more than anything during this romantic time of the year.


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A family is stilling on a log.  Tehr eis a black mother with mixed children and a white father.  They are all smiling at each other.

5 Valentine's Weekend Getaways for Autistic Families


Mesa, Arizona


Mesa, Arizona is a destination where autistic families can visit and experience all types of activities. You may not be aware of this, but Mesa was the very first autism friendly city in the United States. Staff at the hotels, restaurants, and many of the attractions have been trained to assist families on the autism spectrum.


Two of the best autism-friendly attractions in Mesa are Butterfly Wonderland and the I.D.E.A. Museum. Each one offers multi-sensory experiences for the entire family.


Another option is to go tubing at the Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch. Everyone can float down the Lower Salt River in a tube. This relaxing activity allows you to enjoy nature while in the water.


LEGOLAND


There are three LEGOLAND theme parks in the US: Florida, California, and New York. If you live close to one of them, this may be the perfect Valentine's weekend getaway for your autistic family.


The staff at all three LEGOLAND Resorts have been trained to successfully interact with people on the autism spectrum and those with other sensory disorders. The theme parks have sensory-friendly areas. You will also be given a sensory guide sharing each attraction's sensory level. This will be helpful when determining which rides your autistic child can go on.


We can also chat about LEGOLAND’s Hero Pass when I am planning your Valentine's weekend getaway. This pass was designed to allow guests with disabilities to skip the line when needed.


Loveland, Colorado


You won’t need to wait until Valentine’s Day weekend to get away with your family when you visit Loveland, Colorado. It is Valentine’s Day all month long in this beautiful destination. So, you can avoid the crowds on the actual weekend if you know your autistic child may become overstimulated by extra people.


One of my favorite activities here is the Loveland Fire and Ice Festival. This festival features ice sculptures, live entertainment, and horse-drawn carriage rides. The food trucks offer great food, and all the adults can grab a craft beer to drink.


If you are looking for a low-key activity, I recommend driving around Loveland. Heart-shaped notes are hung from all the lampposts, and the kids will love stopping to read many of them.


Other activities include riding the miniature replica of a steam train at the Buckhorn Northern Railroad and checking out the sculptures at the Chapungu Sculpture Park.


Cocoa Beach, Florida


Spending time at the beach for Valentine’s weekend getaway may be what your autistic family needs, especially since most autistic kids love the water!


While you can spend hours at Cocoa Beach, swimming, walking the pier, and learning how to surf, there is much more to do in the area. Head over to the Kennedy Space Center to learn about space and astronauts. This visit may even inspire your budding scientist or astronaut!


Your family may also want to visit the museum at The Dinosaur Store or take a sightseeing boat ride on the Indian River Queen.


Oahu


Okay, so you won’t be able to fly to Oahu for a three or four-day weekend. But you can combine a Valentine’s weekend getaway with a long Hawaiian vacation. Oahu is one of my favorite places to visit with my autistic family.


My go-to resort in Oahu is Aulani. It is a Disney Resort, and you don’t need to be a Disney Vacation Club Member to stay there. This autism-friendly resort has everything your family will need for your time away from home. Plus, you can do all the activities at the resort or head out to explore the island. It is entirely up to you!


Some of the things you can do in Oahu include visiting Waikiki Beach, checking out Diamond Head, and shopping at the Ala Moana Center. As I plan your vacation, I can share many of the other autism-friendly things your family can do in Oahu.


These are the five Valentine's weekend getaways for autistic families. There are other options, though; we can chat about those if you don’t think these options will work for your family. Contact me today, and let me show you how you can enjoy time away from home with your family during Valentine's weekend getaway!


There is a glass vase with cross hatching on it.  There are white, yellow and pink flowers in the vase.  There are pink heart shaped glass candles with the wicks lit.  On the top of the photo is a title that read 5 Valentine's Weekend for Autistic Families.


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