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Supporting Children With Autism in Southern Pines

Children with autism flourish in spaces where they can feel calm, get creative and have fun. If you are a caregiver for a child on the spectrum, you’ll find plenty of places in Southern Pines, North Carolina, where your kid can play and develop social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. Discover some sensory-friendly spaces for kids on the autism spectrum as well as popular activities for families in the area.

Autism-Friendly Places in Southern Pines

You’ll find plenty of sensory-friendly, open play and creative spaces ideal for kids with autism in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Here are a few popular destinations:

Pollywogs Play Pad

Your child is sure to enjoy the massive open play space at Pollywogs Play Pad. The room is open to all on Saturdays and Sundays, where your child can explore imaginative play stations and interact with other kids. The center also offers Drop-Off Care throughout the week, where your child can enjoy a music circle, arts and crafts, learning time and sensory bin activities.

Sandhills Bowling Center

When you want to get out of the house for some family fun, look no further than Sandhills Bowling Center. The alley offers arcade games, food and plenty of lanes to enjoy some friendly competition. Bowling can be a particularly great sport for kids with autism, as it promotes social and behavioral skills while teaching patience. Your child may especially enjoy the rewarding and repetitive nature of watching the pins fall.

Check out Sandhills Bowling Center’s weekly specials and events to plan your trip.

9th of September Pottery Painting

Studies show that the ceramic art experience promotes critical skills for children with autism, including expression, communication and a desire for interaction. At 9th of September Pottery Painting, your child can show off their creative side by tackling a variety of pottery projects, from plates and figurines to mugs and more! The pottery studio has been in business for over 23 years — and for good reason. Take advantage of their walk-ins or schedule a private room for your own pottery painting party.

Southern Pines Library

Visit Southern Pines Library, where your child can curl up and relax with a good book or enjoy story time with other kids. The kids section is packed full of fun activities, and the library offers programs for children of all ages, including:

  • ecoEXPLORE: This program is for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade, where they are encouraged to make scientific observations, participate in research and earn points and prizes at the same time.
  • Homeschool Hangout: For homeschooling families, this program invites kids to network with other homeschoolers in a fun open space full of board games, coloring sheets and snacks.
  • STEAM Sunday: In this program, elementary-aged children and their parents explore topics in science, technology, engineering, art and math. Held once a month, you’ll participate in STEAM projects and activities you can recreate with your kid at home.

James Rogers McConnell Air Museum

Kids will enjoy exploring the many planes at the Air Museum dedicated to James Rogers McConnell, the North Carolina native who fought in World War I. The museum currently houses five WWI-era planes and various memorabilia where you could spend hours exploring with your little one.

Rassie Wicker Park

Rassie Wicker Park in nearby Pinehurst Village, North Carolina, covers 103 acres packed with fun amenities perfect for the whole family. Explore the paved walking trails, tennis courts, playground and various opportunities for sports and family fun. Your child will especially enjoy the soothing sensory experience of this park’s splash pad and mini waterpark.

Sandhills Discovery Room

This interactive learning area at the beautiful Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve includes hands-on displays for kids of all ages. The room is open daily, where your child can learn about the woodlands and all that makes this longleaf forest so unique. Get out into the park with them and catch glimpses of rare and endangered natural wildlife along the paths, from red-cockaded woodpeckers to pine barren tree frogs. Stop for a picnic and enjoy all the mental and physical health benefits of being in nature.

Autism-Friendly Activities in Southern Pines

Here are a few sensory-friendly activities you can enjoy with your child in Southern Pines, North Carolina:

Visit a Park

Play is critical for kids with autism, as it contributes to cognitive, emotional and physical development. Luckily, Southern Pines is full of playgrounds perfect for younger and older kids alike. Downtown Park, located in the historic district, includes a toddler and younger kid playground, swings, picnic shelter and lighted tennis and basketball courts.

Just a few minutes north, Reservoir Park is a 165-acre park home to a beautiful lake and opportunities for hiking and biking. You might also head out on the lake for fishing, kayaking or boating.

Go Golfing

Thistle Dhu is a popular and charming miniature golf resort near Pinehurst Village. Great for adults and children alike, the resort features an 18-hole putting course and plenty of food and beverages on-site. The resort is well-maintained and surrounded by scenic vistas on all sides, making it the perfect spot for your child to explore expansive greenery and enjoy friendly competition.

See a Movie

When you’re looking for something fun to take your kids in the evening, try Sunrise Theatre, built in the historic heart of Southern Pines. Sunrise is a nonprofit that offers concerts, live theater, dance and independent films throughout the year. So, visit with your child, grab popcorn and snacks at concessions and enjoy an exciting performance or film in this intimate theater.

Get a Sweet Treat

The Ice Cream Parlour Restaurant is a popular destination in the area when you have a sweet tooth. Have your child choose from their assortment of tasty homemade ice cream flavors and old-fashioned floats. The restaurant also features burgers, sodas and salad options, perfect when you need a break from cooking.

Attend a Community Event

Downtown Southern Pines hosts several community events throughout the year, from Spring Fling to Autumnfest and BooFest, all free, entertaining events for kids. Interact with the community, play games, win prizes and enjoy food, music and entertainment all in one central place — you’re sure to find an event your child will love. Visit the city’s website for special events as they change throughout the year.

Get Compassionate Autism Services in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Southern Pines offers plenty of fun activities and places for children with autism. So, make your next outing a fun, sensory-friendly one with our guide. If you are looking for extra support for your child with autism, visit Effective Intervention for autism therapy in Southern Pines. We are part of the Kids SPOT Family of Companies, and our medical team has specialized training in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy — an FDA-approved modality that prioritizes play.

Contact Us

In our calm environment, your child can feel more comfortable relaxing and opening up. We’ll develop a personalized treatment plan where they can learn critical skills they can take with them for the rest of their lives, like emotional understanding and regulation, hygiene practices and communication and sharing.

To learn more about our autism ABA therapy in Southern Pines, fill out a contact form today.