For the first time, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation will host sensory friendly hours with special programming at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, from 9 until 11 a.m.
Between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. on Feb. 4, guests in the Museum & Visitor Center can enjoy free admission to the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama painting and the galleries in the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War. The Cyclorama painting will be displayed fully lit, with no narration, sound effects or flashing lights, so that visitors can spend an extended time viewing the historic painting. Where possible, loud sounds from audio-visual displays, interactive exhibits and films will be reduced or turned off in the museum. “Hands On History” carts will be available throughout the museum, allowing visitors to touch and feel reproduction objects from Gettysburg National Military Park's collection. Additionally, friendly staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and support your visit. Upon arrival, guests will receive a sensory bag with park maps, a trail guide and more (while supplies last).
A quiet space will be available in the Ford Education Center for those visitors who would like to take a break.
NPS Photo: Camp Life Exhibit
“This will be an opportunity for visitors with auditory or sensory sensitivities and their friends and family members to enjoy all that the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center has to offer.” explained Steve Sims, Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park. “For those on the autism spectrum, those with PTSD, or for visitors who enjoy a more relaxed experience, this event will allow for a quieter and more inclusive museum visit at no cost.”
Complimentary tickets for the Cyclorama and Museum for the sensory friendly hours at the Museum & Visitor Center can be picked up the day of the event at the Ticket Counter in the Main Lobby until 10:30 a.m. Programming with sound, light and audio-visual elements will begin to return to operation beginning at 11 a.m., with the first regular Film and Cyclorama show time at 11:30 a.m. Visitors with sensory friendly tickets are encouraged to explore the museum galleries and remain in the Museum & Visitor Center at their leisure. During the sensory friendly hours the film, A New Birth of Freedom, will be unavailable.
For more information on this and other programming at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, visit GettysburgFoundation.org.
Read the National Park Service press release.