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Autistic-friendly Activity Suggestions

 My Mega List of Autistic-friendly Activity Suggestions

This list has grown over time with ideas from friends, colleagues, social groups.  They are activities I would feel comfortable hosting or co-hosting, or attending and I have shared many with local groups already.  Posting it here for easy access because sharing is caring.   Special thanks to LM for the huge starter list.  Some activities are local to Calgary but many could be done anywhere you are. Some I would bring foam earplugs for, or call ahead for gluten-free options.

photo source: Canva


  1. low demand / easy
  2. sensory friendly (bring stim toys & fidgets, scent-free, quiet, temperature not extreme, reduce visual clutter, flashing lights)
  3. allergy informed (if food is involved offer gluten-free, nut-free, vegan etc. depending on who RSVPs)
  4. accessible (wheelchairs, walkers, walking sticks)
  5. drop in - come/leave freely (no fear of being late)
  6. ask community what else they’d like to see

Online / Learning - easy

  1. Coffee chat hangout or wine o’clock
  2. Share your special interest TED talk style. 1-2 people in one hour with Q&A
  3. Ask an Autistic (advice / how-to column) - stimming, unmasking, boundaries, accommodations, disability, safe foods, sensory solutions, emotional regulation, glimmers, 
  4. Online body doubling to clean up, organon and put away stuff each in our own space but ‘together’ online.
  5. Word games online definition or explanation and one person has the real answer and everyone else has to make something up (can be online)

In person Crafts & creativity

  1. Knit, crochet, needlework and coffee
  2. Draw, paint evening. Guided with a theme for beginners or bring your own idea and supplies
  3. Pride hair, makeup & fashion tips
  4. Beading. Make your own bracelet with stretch cord.
  5. Read a book together but separately parallel play - introduce the book you’re reading and why you like it
  6. Rising Tides book club - just read with others. 
  7. Origami
  8. Astronomy / telescope
  9. Macro photography tips on iPhone. 
  10. Portraits / how to pose in front of a camera workshop
  11. Macrame 


  1. grab an ice cream and meet in a park for a walk
  2. coffee and walk at a park
  3. Inglewood bird sanctuary
  4. Silver Springs botanical gardens, 
  5. Douglas fir trail at Edworthy
  6. historic walks, Jane’s walks
  7. walk 17 ave / Inglwood / Marda loop / Kensington
  8. picnic in the park - Fish Creek
  9. geo caching
  10. music festival - lawn tickets where you bring your own towel or low chair

Winter blues 

  1. Devonian gardens in winter & macro photography tips on iPhone. 
  2. Ice skating - Bowness, Olympic Plaza, Olympic Oval?

In person active pursuits

  1. Have “conversation starter questions” laying around the table and normalizing using them to start convos can help I think too with the freeze feeling of what to say, and aid in finding common ground. 
  2. Beginner dance lessons - Burlesque, Bollywood - would need a guest teacher
  3. “all movement is dancing” dance parties where no talking is needed (I like this as an introvert) with plenty of room to move so not feeling overheated and crushed. 
  4. Yoga, rage yoga
  5. Swimming pool or Rec Centre
  6. Rainbow Elders Dances


  1. Movie theatre visits come from, being with others, with snacks, in reclining chairs, not needing to make much convo.
  2. Brewery tour with beer & cider (many Celiacs)
  3. Wine tasting
  4. Comedy club 
  5. Bowling
  6. Zoo
  7. Glenbow museum
  8. Aerospace museum
  9. Farmers market
  10. Ghost tours 
  11. Chinook honey company 
  12. Dog sled in Canmore
  13. Calgary corn maze jul-oct 
  14. Deerfoot casino - 80s night
  15. Rec Room - Deerfoot City


  1. Board game night 
  2. Word games online definition or explanation and one person has the real answer and everyone else has to make something up (can be online)
  3. Geocaching
  4. Games night


  1. Pot luck - bring one dish with ingredients list and share what makes it special in your culture/family
  2. Wine tasting
  3. Brewery tour
  4. Ice cream or milkshake & walk
  5. Picnic in the park - Fish Creek
  6. Food truck & music

What would you add to this list?