Ohio State Fair Sensory-Friendly Morning


The Cardinal Gate Banner

Sensory-Friendly Morning Presented by White Castle on July 31, 2019, 10:00a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Come explore the Ohio State Fair during a sensory-friendly morning with the lights lowered and the sound turned down. Fairgoers will have the opportunity to ride the rides with no flashing lights or music, visit the Fair’s many educational activities, take a break in the OCALI Quiet Room, and explore the many activities in the shade of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park.

To learn more and find a Fair opportunity that works for you:


"The Ohio State Fair isn’t just about food and rides – it is about community. We want to make the Fair as enjoyable as possible for all Ohioans, and Sensory Friendly Morning is one way we can achieve that goal."

Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler

"At OCALI, we believe in a world where everyone deserves access to their community. These new features at the Fair help to create a common experience with unique considerations that allow greater access for all people."

OCALI Executive Director Shawn Henry


Support Your Visit

Parking Permit

Enjoy the Sensory-Friendly Morning by parking closer to the Fairgrounds. Participants of the Sensory-Friendly Morning will have the ability to park in a designated area within the perimeter of the Ohio State Fair. Please download the Parking Permit for instructions to access the designated lot. Overflow parking will be redirected.

OCALI Quiet Room

If you need some quiet time or a break from exploring Fair activities during the Sensory Friendly Morning, stop by the OCALI Quiet Room located in the Ohio Building. This quiet, air-conditioned space will offer a variety of low-tech and mid-tech solutions to support sensory needs, including fidgets, weighted lap pads and other sensory supports.

Social Narratives

Social narratives provide a story to describe a social situation supporting learners with socially appropriate responses and strategies to regulate their behaviors. We have prepared one to support a visit at the Ohio State Fair or learn more about Social Narrative strategies to create one.

First-Then Board

A simple visual schedule to support individuals moving from a less-desired activity to a more preferred. The First-Then board can include words, pictures or icons. Learn more about First-Then Boards and download a blank template to use with your own words, photos, or icons, or include pictures from the Ohio State Fair.

Wait Card

Waiting is a very abstract concept for individuals on the autism spectrum. How long do I wait? Where do I wait? A wait card can provide a visual to support an individual while waiting in line for a ride, a game, food, or to pet the animals. Check out examples of Wait Cards to take to the Fair.

For more interventions to support all learners, including those with autism spectrum disorder, please visit the Autism Center Resource Gallery.

Slim banner of the parade

More about OCALI

OCALI is a recognized global leader in creating and connecting resources and relationships to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to live their best lives for their whole lives. As a trusted source, OCALI enhances, develops and promotes world-class resources to effectively equip anyone who cares for, supports, educates, employs, or works with people with disabilities across the lifespan.

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*Photos courtesy of the Ohio State Fair.