Autism Friendly at Knotts Berry Farm During Ghost Town Alive
Autism Friendly at Knott's Berry Farm During Ghost Town Alive
I just love when I can share an autism friendly thing to do! It's back! Ghost Town Alive! at Knott's Berry Farm and it's bigger and better than before. This live action immersive event is happening now through September 4th making you part of the old west and I can not recommend it enough for kids on the autism spectrum (and everyone else too) We have attend the last few years went last year and we are so ready to do it again this year, check out all the amazingly fun reasons it works for our kids!
If your child has any level of issue talking with "good" strangers, waiting, following through with tasks, pretend play with other or following instructions this is a great way to get them doing all those things and more while having a blast doing it!
So this is how it works. Simply make your way right on into Ghost Town, you will find so many of the shops are open for business as they would have been 77 years ago and tended by friendly town folks. Just so happens the fine people of Calico are smack dab in the middle of celebrating Founders Day and the city is bustling with activity and could use the help of a few new citizen. You can literally can spend the bulk of your day within Ghost Town from opening till the end of the day when the entire town and it's visitors gets together for a mighty fine hoedown at 5:30. Since my girl had earned a coveted Deputy sheriff badge last year we already knew the ropes (not literally lol) so she got right into the mix! We recruited a friend to join in the fun and it made for THE best day ever for the girls, of course dressing for the part made it way more fun too!
Checking in with sheriff Wheeler, he might send you to the City Hall to be officially sworn in or have you deliver an anticipated package or message to the Pony Express or the Post Office. Here's is where the fun and chances to continue tasks are for our kids on the spectrum continue. The conversations start when the deliveries or tasks are completed and the offer to further help the town's shop keepers are presented sending your kid even further on a scavenger hunt of sorts making their way all around the town while getting to know the history, the personalities and the days anticipated events. All the while the pesky Mayfield gang makes appearances and gets into scuffles with the sheriff and his posse creating havoc and mayhem for the town on their very special day. You are invited to join the sheriff to apprehend the bandits on a chase (and sometimes a shootout) through the city streets to bring them no good outlaws to justice and delivered them to jail to serve their time. Best part, do as little or as much as you want. Hop on a ride, get a bite to eat and get right back into the fun as you please.... No pressures and there are so many characters to help out and chat with.
If your child really gets into it like ours did, be sure to find out when the Calico Gazette is collecting info for the different newspapers printed in the day. You could get your childs name written right into the headlines for a fun souvenir, literally making them part of the story! From there the fun continues, treat yourself to a clean shave at the Artistic Tonsorual Saloon. proprietor Percy Boyer has the reputation of the steadiest hand in the west along with the finest selection of the latest in facial faire, giving you a handsome mustache fitting of your personality! With that fine new facial scape be sure to help the happily engaged couple banker Tate Bonetfortune and Ms. Cookie Lemon in creating their big day's digs at Gertie's Dress Shop, they would be much obliged. Then be sure to attend the nuptials at the bank, tissue optional.... oh happy day indeed! This is only a sampling of the many businesses and characters that are apart of Ghost Town Alive, I can’t express enough what a fun and totally immersive experience this is for everyone.
Tips to make the most of your experience:
Be sure to go to Guest Services (near GhostRider) and get your Guest assistance card for those on the spectrum, this way you can get a ride return time while enjoying Ghost Town Alive!
Visit the Gazette to find out times to get your Childs name in the paper.
Get there at opening, while everyone else is getting on the big coasters you can enjoy less crowded Calico for a few hours.
Get into character and dress up!
After introducing yourself to Sheriff Wheeler, be sure to get over to City Hall and be sworn in as an honorary citizen.
Do as little or as much as you want, but the more you do the more you will be included as the characters get to recognize you.
Let your kids lead the way! Don't try to force or plan it, the action is always evolving and makes for a great opportunity to teach flexibility and being spontaneous in the fun.
Encourage your kids to peek into the shops and ask questions.
There is gun fire when going after the bandits, so be aware there will be the loud bang to prep your kids if it's an issue.
The hoedown is a great way to get your kids to let go, dance with several partners and learn a bit of dance moves. Great way to round the day out with all the characters they made contact with thought out the day.
Take a break at the Livery Stables and pet the horses! The are very gentle.
Why Ghost Town Alive! is a great tool for our kids on the autism spectrum.
Premak Principal easily applied during the day- First This, Then That.
Helps with multiple step tasks. First go here, talk to so and so and then go there.
Ultimate pretend play set up
Reward based play (with praise, feeling accomplished, name in newspaper)
Helps with initiating simple conversations/ stay on track with a convo
Social skills practice/ turn taking on tasks
Helps with group play for those who normally parallel play
Helps increase playtime (not just a 10 min. activity)
Appeals to both boys and girls.
Heads Up: GHOST TOWN ALIVE contain simulated gun shots throughout the park during the day from 9:55 am till 5:30 pm so if your child has auditory sensitivity, might be a good idea to prime them and bring some headphones.
So are you ready to hitch up and get to Knott's this summer for an experience our kids on the spectrum will love? Be sure to pick up the PLAN A DAY pass at Guest Services for kids with autism to make planning attractions simpler between all the Ghost Town Alive fun. Get info on PLAN A DAY HERE