On the Road – The Maryland Science Center

IMG_1427I’m a big proponent of educational stops for kids as part of their lives – not everything you hit on a vacation (or staycation) should be an amusement park.  One of the benefits to living in a bigger city, though, is having a bevy of educational options that can also fun and stay fresh…

So in that light, the weekend before last, we decided to take in the Maryland Science Center. Continue reading

Review – If I Need Help

ifineedhelpA few weeks ago, the Monster wandered off from us at Sesame Place when the park was extremely crowded.

The nature of the Monster’s Autism is that he’s limited in his ability to communicate with others.  If prompted, he can tell you his name (first and last, but you often need to prompt him along), but he doesn’t know our phone numbers, our names, his home address… or at the very least, he doesn’t know how to share them with others.

We were very lucky, that afternoon, that park security found him and took him to Lost Parents, and that he was sufficiently communicative when I got there that he positively identified me as his father, but… in a larger amusement park, anyone could have found him, and we could have been running all over.  And out in the wider world, if he were wandering in our neighborhood? Continue reading

On the Road – Morey’s Piers, Wildwood, NJ

Aerial view of Mariner's Landing, Wildwood, NJIs any childhood visit to a beach community with a boardwalk really complete without a trip to an amusement pier?

When I was a child, we used to take a week in the summer and head down to The Wildwoods, and at some point during that week, we’d end up at Mariner’s Landing to go ride the rides.  Now that I’m grown up, and my kids are old enough for at least some of the things that are offered on the piers, it was time to let them get the same experience, albeit removed twenty-something years from my own. Continue reading

On the Road – The Cape May County Zoo

So as followers of my Instagram feed (or those who noticed the pictures on the Facebook page) will know, my family and I decamped from Charm City for a week for a vacation down the Shore.

Yes, I say “down the Shore”.  (My wife’s the “down the ocean” or “downy Ocean” person.)  Don’t look at me like that.

My mother very generously arranged for a rental house in Wildwood, New Jersey for a week, so that my siblings could come with their families (as appropriate).  So a little more than a week ago, our cars converged on a nice little house a block off the boards, and we spent seven days away from it all before the new school year. Continue reading

On the Road – Hersheypark

hersheypassEvery summer, my company finds something for us to do with our families.  For several years in a row, it was the company picnic at a local swimming club, but… then we grew a lot.  So it got moved, first to Six Flags America (see On the Road – Six Flags America), and then the last two years have been at Hersheypark.  (Given where the staff at our company live, it just makes more sense to have it north of the office than south.) Continue reading

On the Road – Water Country USA (redux)

This weekend, we zipped off to the Tidewater region of Virginia to go hit the two amusement parks – Busch Gardens and Water Country USA – and two baseball games.  Unfortunately, one was washed out due to the weather, but…

I know I’ve reviewed Water Country USA previously (see On the Road – Water Country USA), but this time, due to the weather on Friday, we were able to do more of a visit that would answer questions that are of interest to Autism parents. Continue reading

Waterpark Blues

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that we face, when we’re going out to an amusement park, is how to cope with the water park.

Most water parks are not really built to accommodate people with disabilities.  It’s easier with a land-based ride, since there’s usually an exit and an entrance, and most parks seem to use the exit as a ‘fast-pass/disability’ access point.  But a water ride… usually has one way to ride it, and going in the exit doesn’t work. Continue reading

Autism at the Ballpark: Bowie Baysox

And the march from ballpark to ballpark continues.

This weekend is a double-header for us.  We’ve the opportunity to go catch two of the Baltimore Orioles’ farm teams this weekend – the Bowie Baysox (AA, Eastern League) on Friday night and the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Short-Season A, New York-Penn League) this evening.  Both teams are doing their Autism Awareness games this weekend. Continue reading

Autism at the Ballpark: Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

If it’s summer, it must be time to go catch a ballgame.

As I mentioned multiple times last season, I do love baseball.  I grew up mostly listening to baseball on the radio – I still don’t exactly “get into” watching it on television – but there’s still just one real way to experience the game, and that’s at the ballpark. Continue reading