In an effort to welcome those impacted by autism and other sensory-processing challenges, Northlandz has created a sensory-supportive relaxation area at it’s impressive exhibit, which boasts the world’s largest miniature railroad. Located in Flemington, New Jersey, the Northlandz complex is spread over 52,000 square feet with 8 miles of miniature railroad tracks featuring hundreds of model trains passing through miniature cities, mountains, and rivers. The exhibit also features an art gallery, doll display, and outdoor train ride spanning 12 acres of land.
Now Northlandz also offers a 300-square-foot “Inclusion Zone” that welcomes all visitors who may benefit from the opportunity to relax in a calm, sensory-supportive space. Developed in partnership with Inclusion Festival, the Inclusion Zone offers comfortable seating, a variety of soothing textures, weighted blankets, noise-cancelling headphones, and other sensory toys and tools for all ages and abilities.
As participants of Inclusion Festival’s “Sensory-Friendly Project,” Northlandz staff has also participated in an Inclusion Training, led by Inclusion Festival co-founder and speech-language therapist Amy Pinder. The training is designed to help employees better understand and respond to individuals with special needs. With Inclusion Festival’s help, Northlandz will soon offer other accommodations including a user-friendly guide to the facility and a “Social Story,” which is a learning tool that helps individuals with autism and other sensitivities better understand what to expect in a situation.
In addition to welcoming guests with autism and other special needs, Northlandz has ramped up efforts to welcome everyone by installing new flooring, fresh paint, and renovations to the detailed train displays. The facility also offers private conference rooms for birthday parties, corporate meetings, showers, anniversaries, and other private events. There is a full-size theater and a large play area for children located near the Inclusion Zone.
For more information about Northlandz, and to plan a trip, visit www.northlandz.com or call 908-782-4022. Northlandz is open Wednesday through Monday from 10am to 6pm (closed Tuesdays), and is located at 495 Route 202 in Flemington, NJ.