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AutismETC Holiday Guide

AutismETC Holiday Guide

The Winter Holidays Are Fast Approaching!!

10 ideas & events for family fun:


1. Jumpstreet

Jumpstreet will be hosting special events for children with special needs on the first Saturday of the month. Check them out THIS Saturday, December 3rd! Private hour is from 9am-10am, and it is open to the public from 10m-11am. Ages 4+ for $8 and ages 3- for $4 (other siblings are free). For more information, visit or email


2. Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo has been working with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center‘s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) to develop tools and support to enhance a zoo visit for families with children on the autism spectrum. Prepare for a visit to Nashville Zoo with these planning materials, such as visual schedules, zoo map with quiet areas & social stories about zoo experiences (email for your copy). Visit


3. Cheekwood

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art has several kid-friendly gingerbread workshops in December as well as their amazing 1 million holiday lights exhibit! For more information on these events, visit:


4. Gaylord Opryland

Opryland is host to several holiday events; get in the spirit of the season as you discover more than 2 million dazzling Christmas lights around every bend of Opryland hotel! Don’t miss the magic of the new lights and festive décor Santa’s Elves have added for 2016. For more information about Gaylord Opryland’s Holiday Events, visit


5. Nashville Children’s Theatre

Nashville Children’s Theatre is a professional theatre company providing the children, families, and educators of Middle Tennessee with extraordinary shared theatrical experiences that inspire imagination, develop creativity, and build community. For more information on their special holiday performances of Cinderella (as well as sensory-friendly performances), visit:


6. Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

The Hall offers drop-in art-making programs every Sunday in December, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Taylor Swift Education Center, and an empty classroom is available as a great quiet space for children who work better in that environment. Their instrument demonstrations on Sundays are great opportunities for kiddos to learn in the Hall of Fame Rotunda!  The Hall’s scavenger hunts can also provide a collaborative experience for families with kids, and they have a hands-on letterpress workshop with Hatch Show Print on December 4th (be aware that this event can be quite lively with full attendance.) Every Saturday and Sunday through December 18th, the Hall has FREE photos with Santa! Last, but not least, the Hall has been working with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to create social stories which may assist your visit (email for your copy). Also, please know that they have family discounts when you come in for a program; mention the discount at the box office. More information on their programs during Deck the Hall, visit:, and their general calendar can be found here:


7. Dancing Lights at Jellystone

For the 7th year in a row, the folks at Jellystone Park are hosting one of the most amazing drive-through light shows you will ever see. The Big 98 WSIX is proud to bring to you a new animated 35 foot Christmas tree added to the hundreds of thousands of LED Christmas lights dancing to some rocking Christmas tunes coming through your very own car radio. The show this year will feature new animated displays throughout the park, as well as Fox 17’s Santa’s Village. They are open nightly from 5pm-10pm with extended weekend & holiday hours. For more information, visit


8. Nashville Symphony

On December 3rd, bring the whole family to the Symphony and celebrate the holiday season with this all-new kid-friendly program featuring all your favorite holiday songs, along with a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” You’re invited to join in the singing to help make this holiday season one of festive cheer. Starting at 10 am, show up early for fun, family-friendly pre-concert activities, including their Instrument Petting Zoo, crafts, a book nook, and free photos with Santa. For more info on the Holiday Spectacular Sing-Along, visit:

9. Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation

Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF), in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, builds a foundation for reading & learning through books for the children of TN. Their partnership gives all birth-age5 kiddos the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. This would be such a great opportunity to give back in our community! For more information on this unique program, visit:


10. Toys”R”Us Gift Guide

For more than 20 years, Toys”R”Us, Inc. has offered the Toys”R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, a one-of-a-kind resource that offers toy recommendations based on research from the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization that evaluates all toys in the Guide. For years, the Guide has provided parents and caregivers with toys that aid in the development of children who have physical, cognitive or development disabilities. For more gift ideas, visit:





Don’t forget to support us this holiday season by donating & purchasing gifts via Amazon Smile!

#StartWithaSmile at for your holiday gifts and Amazon donates to Autism Education & Therapy Center.