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Sahara Sam's Indoor & Outdoor Water Park, West Berlin, NJ

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Special Needs Recreation heading

In addition to the resources below, check with your Recreation Department for programs offered for children with special needs as well as your local ARC. Also see listings under Universal Playgrounds, Enrichment, Camps, Sports, Therapeutic Services and Special Education for additional resources.

The Center for Special Needs, Inc.
38R Main St., Chester, 908-879-9648
    Yoga for special needs children and teens. Increase strength, flexibility, body awareness, confidence, focus, concentration and communication. Soothe delicate nervous systems. Have fun and relax with yoga! Dress comfortably, bring a yoga mat.
         Yoga for ages 5-8, 9:30-10:15am.
         Yoga for ages 9 and up, 10:30-11:15am.
         Yoga for Teens and Young Adults, 4:15-5pm.

    Provides recreation opportunities and services to people of all ages with developmental disabilities, some free, some on a sliding fee scale. Early intervention program helps parents identify developmental delays in infant children. VIsit ARC New Jersey for local chapter info.
• The Arc of New Jersey
  985 Livingston Ave., North Brunswick, 732-246-2525
• The Arc of Essex
  123 Naylon Ave., Livingston, 973-535-1181
• The Arc of Hunterdon County
 The Concourse at Beaver Brook, 1465 Route 31, Suite 23, Annandale,
• The Arc of Middlesex
  219 Black Horse Lane, North Brunswick, 732-821-1199
• The Arc of Morris County
  1 Executive Dr., Morris Plains, NJ 07950, 973-326-9750
• The Arc of Somerset
  141 South Main St., Manville, 908-725-8544
• The Arc of Union
  70 Diamond Rd., Springfield, 973-315-0000

Bambino Buddy Ball Baseball
    Nationwide program established by Babe Ruth Baseball gives ages 5-20 with special needs the opportunity to play baseball with the assistance of a "buddy." Ask your Recreation Department for information about your local Babe Ruth League.
• Westfield Buddy Ball

Buddy Ball of Edison
    Not-for-profit organization provides four seasons of sports and social activities for children and young adults.

Certified Fitness for Special Needs
422 Rt. 22 West, Whitehouse Station, 908-534-1961

Children's Specialized Hospital
150 New Providence Rd., Mountainside, 908-233-3720 x 5548
    Specialized recreational opportunities are offered for children with disabilities up to age 21.

The Connection Special Needs Programs
79 Maple St., Summit, 908-273-4242
    Adaptive Aquatics for ages 3-adult; Young Athletes, ages 21⁄2-7; Yoga, ages 5-11; Dance Foundations, ages 5-12; Teen Scene, ages 13-19; Learn-to-Swim, ages 3-14; Young Adult Social, ages 20-26; Club Oh! for adults.

Diggerland USA Special Abilities Nights
Off Cooper Rd. via Rt. 73, West Berlin, 856-768-1110
    Special Abilities Nights, or SAND events, provide fun, judgment-free evenings for individuals with special needs to enjoy with their family and friends and are made possible by the SAMBULANCE Safety Squad. SAND events offer the exciting chance to dig, drive and ride real construction equipment while keeping the unique challenges of individuals with special needs in mind.

Easter Seals New Jersey's Camp Merry Heart
21 O'Brien Rd., Hackettstown, 908-852-3896
    Year round recreation at Camp Merry Heart's 123-acre facility includes a wide variety of activities for individuals of all ages and levels of special needs and abilities.

EPOCH (Educational Programs of Children Handicapped)
Madison Area YMCA, 111 Kings Rd., Madison
    Afterschool recreational program and summer program for special needs children and teens offers a variety of enrichment and social opportunities.

High Expectations, Inc.
Email • Bob, 973-202-8994
    Parent-driven membership organization based in Union County provides sports, recreation and social activities for children, teens and adults with disabilities. Soccer, basketball, bowling, swimming and softball teams participate in organized leagues, tournaments and venues provided by the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Social activities include dances, craft nights, karaoke nights, movie nights and more.

Kaleidoscope Therapeutic Riding Program
Flora Lea Farm, 21 Branin Rd., Medford, 609-923-7847
          Therapeutic horseback riding program for children and adults with special needs.

Kids to Kids
    Mentoring program for special needs kids was developed and is run by Morris County high school students. Programs include swimming, art, drama and sports.

Monmouth County Park System Therapeutic Recreation
805 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft, NJ, 732-460-1167
    Provides traditional special needs programs and camps as well as inclusive recreation opportunities in hundreds of camps and programs run by the Monmouth County Park System, serving Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Mercer counties.

Pathways for Exceptional Children
    Montville organization dedicated to advocating for educational and social reform for children with disabilities, trains communities throughout the state in the "children teaching children" model for providing programs for children from age 3 to adulthood.

Pop Warner Challenger Football & Cheerleading League
         Shortened, non-competitive football and cheer program for boys and girls ages 5-16 with disabilities.
• Somerset Little Bears
  Serves Somerset County and parts of Hunterdon County
• Watchung Hills Pop Warner Challenger League
  Serves Long Hill Twp., Warren Twp., Watchung, Bernards Twp., Berkeley Heights and New Providence.

Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Water Park
535 N. Rt. 73, West Berlin, 856-767-7580
    Special needs events are hosted at Sahara Sam's Oasis and made possible by the Sambulance Safety Squad. They provide fun, judgment-free evenings for individuals with special needs to enjoy with their family and friends.

Shimon & Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (JCC)
775 Talamini Rd. (conveniently located off
Rt. 202-206), Bridgewater, 908-443-9029
    The JCC offers a variety of special needs programs for children and youth including Special Needs Swimming Skills Program (taught by certified American Red Cross Water Safety Instructors in adaptive swimming) and The Rising Tide Special Olympics Swim Team (part of Special Olympics Somerset County). A Sunday Respite Program is offered for elementary school age children (ages 5-16). The JCC Blaustein Early Childhood Center, JCC Camp Ruach and J-Crew After School Program work with families with children with special needs. The JCC offers adjusted schedules and one-on-one assistance. The JCC partners with Special Olympics New Jersey to offer membership to the JCC. The JCC also offers Jewish Family Service's Social Club for Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome or Developmental Challenges; a Parent Support Group and Sibling Support Group. All programs are open to the community. The JCC also offers monthly recreational programs to adults with special needs.

SNAP Special Needs Athletic Programs
    Non-profit organization arranges mentoring programs, in-house buddy programs and sports clinics in the Morristown area. Clinics include swimming, tae kwon do, soccer, basketball and baseball. Volunteers sought for mentoring.

The Social Scene Club
601 Riverside Ave., Unit 120, Lyndhurst, NJ, 201-241-0476
    Social experience for individuals with special needs, ages 18+, designed to empower them to make social and life choices in a safe supportive environment. Full day Summer Social Camp.

Somerset County Park Commission Therapeutic Recreation
355 Milltown Rd., Bridgewater, 908-526-5650
    Year round recreation programs for children, teens and adults with disabilities. Camp Okee Sunokee is a 6-week summer day camp for Somerset County residents age 6-14 with learning disabilities or Aspergers Syndrome.

Somerset County YMCA Special Needs Programs
Somerset Hills YMCA: 140 Mt. Airy Rd., Basking Ridge, 908-766-7898 x503
    Recreational programs for ages 5-18 include Saturdays in Motion for autistic children and their families; music and movement for ages 5-14; and Aqua S.T.A.R.S. for ages 3-12.

Special Olympics New Jersey
3 Princess Rd., Lawrence, 609-896-8000
    Non-profit organization with its own sports complex in Lawrenceville provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
      Young Athlete Program, for ages 2-7 in many New Jersey communities.

TryCan Coordinator–Summit: 908-277-2932
Berkeley Heights Recreation: 908-464-0550 x13
New Providence Recreation: 908-464-4430
    Other participating Recreation Departments include: Maplewood, Millburn, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, South Orange, Springfield, and Union.
    Through a cooperative effort between communities, one-on-one supervision is provided by trained teen mentors who work with special needs children participating in sports, leisure and social development programs. Children from all communities are welcome to participate. Call a participating Recreation Department for more information.

Union County Recreation Programs for People with Disabilities
Union County Department of Human Services, 908-527-4808
    A full schedule of offerings is available. Activities include karate, golf clinics, culinary delights, fishing derbies, volleyball, recreational swim, yoga, ceramics, zumba, sensory friendly theatre, a series of live performances for children of ALL abilities and their families, and more. Call to be placed on the mailing list.

Westfield Area YMCA
220 Clark St., Westfield, 908-301-YMCA (9622)
    Rainbow Fish swim lessons are for ages 3-12; Dragonfly physical and recreation programs for teens and young adults. Inclusion camp program available.