Early Birds Autism and Sensory Friendly Mornings 16 January 2021
January School Holiday Program 2021 - Early Birds Autism and Sensory Friendly Morning 16 January. Visitors can explore the Museum in a reduced sensory, relaxed and supportive atmosphere. The Australian Museum worked with Autism Spectrum Australia to make this an accessible event. This program is funded by a grant from the Australian Museum Foundation. Image: Anna Kučera
© Australian Museum


Ages: All welcome!

Early Birds provides a reduced sensory, relaxed and supportive environment prior to the Museum opening to the public for the day. This can make visiting the Museum easier for autistic people and for those who have other access requirements, together with friends and families.


Features:

  • From 8am you will be able to buy tickets to see our newest exhibition, Sharks. Submerge yourself in the world of Sharks! In this immersive exhibition created by Australian Museum experts, visitors will go back in time to meet sharks’ ancient ancestors, come face-to-face with an 8m-long Whale Shark, and uncover their extraordinary adaptations with interactive displays, touchable specimens and objects from the AM collections.

    The exhibition will be adjusted for a low sensory experience with reduced lighting and sounds, before it opens to the general public at 10am. Please note lighting and sounds in the exhibition will be restored for general public sessions at 10am. Please also be aware we anticipate large crowds on weekends from 10am.

    Additional charges apply for exhibition entry. You must register for Early Birds first. You will be given the option to purchase tickets to Sharks during registration. Entry to the exhibition is timed and capacities are strictly limited. You can purchase tickets at the Admissions Desk on the day unless sessions are sold out prior. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
  • If you become an AM Member you can receive FREE tickets to Sharks! Call the Members team on 02 9320 6225 and join today!
  • A supportive environment with limited visitors prior to the Museum opening to the general public.
  • Lighting and sound will be adjusted for a low sensory experience (these will return to daytime levels from 10am).
  • A designated quiet area for those needing to take a break.
  • A Visual Story with more details on what to expect.
  • Staff trained in autism awareness and disability.
  • Café open for an early morning beverage or snack.
  • After 10am Early Birds are welcome to stay for the remainder of the day.


FAQs

Early Birds is designed for autistic people and those with sensory sensitivities. Features of this event may also benefit visitors with other access requirements and their families or friends. This event is for all ages.


Early Birds events align with the Australian Museum's Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan 2018-21 (AIAP) to break down barriers that hinder the full and effective participation of people with access requirements, and create a place where everyone can be inspired to explore and understand our natural and cultural worlds. Early Birds is a gateway event where visitors become familiar with the Australian Museum in a safe and supportive environment, in order to feel comfortable and confident visiting us again.


  • Early Birds events have limited capacity to reduce crowds, queues and associated noise.
  • Lighting and sound levels will be adjusted, where possible, throughout the Museum.
  • Exhibitions will have lighting decreased and loud, unexpected sounds such as dinosaurs roaring, switched off.
  • High sensory areas where lighting can't be increased due to conservation issues, will be indicated on the Museum map and in the Visual Story.
  • Hand-dryers will be turned off and paper towel will be available in toilet facilities.
  • PA announcements will be avoided from 8am-10am
  • A designated quiet room will be available for use to take a break and reset before continuing on your Museum adventure!
  • The first Early Birds event took place in January 2021. View blog here.

Yes. Early Birds are welcome to stay and enjoy the Museum for the remainder of the day, however, lighting and sound in exhibition spaces will return to previous levels along with other features.


Everything you would do during opening hours!


Early Birds events are scheduled to occur on one Saturday morning, in line with each NSW school holiday period. Future sessions will be announced soon.

To be the first to know about our next Early Birds event, subscribe to our eNewsletter.


There is currently no onsite parking at the Museum. We recommend parking at nearby car parks and metered parking in surrounding streets. Enacon Parking on Cathedral Street has 11 accessible spots and is a 3 minute walk to the Australian Museum. This route has no steps. For more information please refer to the Enacon Parking website.

For more information on parking and public transport options visit our parking and transport page.

There is also limited, unsupervised pram parking available in designated areas throughout the Museum.


Yes, more detailed information on the Museum’s accessibility features can be found here. There is limited, unsupervised pram parking available in designated areas throughout the Museum.



The Australian Museum is COVID Safe

To help keep our staff, visitors and community safe, the AM has COVID-19 protocols in place, including physical distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene practices. Facemasks are encouraged.

View our full COVID-19 safety information here.