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Iowa Cubs Announce First-Ever Sensory Friendly Game at the Ballpark

June 8, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Cubs are proud to partner with presenting sponsors Autism Society of Iowa and ChildServe to host the first-ever Sensory Friendly Game at the Ballpark on Sunday, June 9. The home game will begin at 1:08 p.m. versus the Toledo Mud Hens. UPDATE: Here is

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Cubs are proud to partner with presenting sponsors Autism Society of Iowa and ChildServe to host the first-ever Sensory Friendly Game at the Ballpark on Sunday, June 9. The home game will begin at 1:08 p.m. versus the Toledo Mud Hens.

UPDATE: Here is everything you need to know before you go.

Calming rooms are available for anyone needing to take a break from the busy game. They are located in Suites 314-316.

The Autism Society of Iowa and ChildServe will have tables and an educational area on the concourse to inform and help fans.

There will be a sensory obstacle course on the concourse kids can participate in. Kids run the bases after the game.

Principal Park is officially certified as a sensory-inclusive venue. Sensory bags can be checked out by guests at no cost by leaving an ID with Fan Service or the Front Desk. The bags include items that can help lessen sensory overload, such as headphones, various fidgets, and a communication card. Designated quiet spaces have been identified throughout Principal Park. The first is the Conference Room on the second floor. The second location is First Aid on the concourse. These will be available all season long.

The Park has ADA-accessible stalls in every single bathroom. The family restroom is located behind home plate next to First Aid. Changing stations are located in all concourse bathrooms and First Aid, (except the home plate women’s restroom). A nursing space is available inside First Aid.

“The Iowa Cubs are excited to host this special event, welcoming all groups and people to the ballpark and ensuring they feel safe and included,” said Sam Bernabe, Iowa Cubs President and General Manager. “We are pleased to partner with both Autism Society of Iowa and ChildServe, who will have team members and volunteers onsite to share their expertise – we’re looking forward to a great event!”

The 2024 Sensory Friendly Game will provide an environment designed for children, teens and adults with autism or sensory processing disorders in mind, so families who have a member with special healthcare needs can visit, play and enjoy the game. Special programming and activities are planned with modifications, including the mitigation of sounds and motions as much as possible, designated educational areas, directional signage and trained volunteers throughout the stadium.

“We are proud to be part of this new partnership that will assist individuals with autism in visiting Principal Park,” said Kris Steinmetz, Autism Society of Iowa Executive Director. “Autism Society of Iowa creates connections for those in the autism community, and this is just another way we hope to create a special, inclusive event with sensory-friendly accommodations throughout the ballpark.”

Calming rooms will be available and staffed by ChildServe therapists to provide a safe space for those who may need a break from stimulus at the ballpark. Engaging activities will also be available for those who need to release energy to regulate their bodies, including the opportunity to run the bases after the game.

“ChildServe therapists have the expertise and passion for helping children and young adults of all abilities,” said Teri Wahlig, M.D., ChildServe CEO. “At our other sensory-friendly community events, specifically the Iowa State Fair, we have found our therapists can partner with families, who know their children best, to help calm their child with sensory needs and make these must-see Iowa events enjoyable and inclusive for all. ChildServe commends the Iowa Cubs for helping make this day special for Iowa children and families.”

Tickets are available for purchase at Gates open at noon on Sunday, June 9. Tickets for the event must be purchased by June 7.

Items to note:

  • Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the cost is $13.
  • The ballpark is a cashless facility.
  • Families may bring their own headphones and sensory-friendly items as necessary.
  • Principal Park only allows clear bags smaller than 12-inches long by 12-inches tall by six-inches wide. Exceptions are allowed for medical equipment and diaper bags.

For comprehensive information regarding ballpark policies and what to expect, visit

About Autism Society of Iowa

The Autism Society of Iowa creates connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully. We exist to serve our Autism community in Iowa through advocacy, community programming, and creating a more inclusive world.

About ChildServe

ChildServe is a specialty pediatric healthcare provider for children and young adults with special healthcare needs. For nearly 100 years, the organization has partnered with families to help children with special healthcare needs live a great life. ChildServe provides more than 30 services to nearly 5,800 children in Iowa each year. The organization’s array of services are interwoven and streamlined, so families can get many of their child’s needs met in one location. ChildServe’s key specialty areas include: complex medical care, pediatric rehabilitation, autism and behavioral health, and community-based services.