Leisure and Recreation

There are so many social, recreational and leisure opportunities for children and adults with IDD & autism in the Triangle Area. Here are a few links to help you navigate this myriad of choices.

Apex Specialized Recreation

Apex Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, where possible, attempts to provide recreational programs for special populations by request and/or inclusion in existing programs. Those with special needs who are interested in participating in existing programs should check with Recreation Programs Specialist Allie Prelaske to discuss their particular situation.

Arts Access

The mission of Arts Access is to enable North Carolinians with disabilities to have full access to arts programs and facilities, and to encourage them to participate fully in the rich cultural and artistic life throughout the state.

Bridge II Sports

Bridge II Sports creates opportunities for people with physical disabilities to ‘Find the Player Within’ through adapted sports. Youth with physical disabilities (ages 5 through high school) and their families are welcome to participate in different year-round adapted sports programs including: cycling, kayaking, archery/air rifle, boccia, goalball, Team PRIDE wheelchair basketball, and GiGe (Girls Inspired, Girls Empowered).
Individual consultations are also available with our program specialists to try various sports and adapted equipment.
We believe participation in sport leads to life-long, life-changing impact and outcomes for everyBODY.

Carrboro Recreation and Parks

The Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department offers programs specifically designed for individuals with developmental and or multiple disabilities. However, anyone and everyone are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun! For more information call 919-918-7372.

Cary Specialized Recreation

Cary offers programming for persons of all ages with disabilities. Subject areas include art, culinary, dance, fitness, nature, outdoor recreation, performing arts, social gatherings, sports, special interests, parent workshops, and special events.

CFF Challenger Football and Cheerleading

The CFF Carolina Challengers provides a fun, safe and structured environment for young athletes to be on a team and enjoy the great sports of flag football and cheer. We meet each Saturday, usually from late August through October (and sometimes into November) for about an hour and a half for a combined practice and an intramural game. Our game locations and times change each week as different associations within the Consolidated Football Federation host the Challenger Division.

Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation’s Adapted Recreation & Inclusion Program

The Adapted Recreation program through Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation offers specialized classes and programs for people with special needs/disabilities and inclusion support in typical parks & rec programs. Some activities are free and some have a fee. Residents outside of Chapel Hill or Orange County are also welcome to register, for an additional fee. For specialized programs, click on Adapted Recreation in the right-hand column.

Durham Special Programs and Inclusion

Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) seeks to offer diverse recreational programs for persons with disabilities by providing programs such as Special Olympics and by making accommodations within all other DPR programs and services. DPR strives to make our programs, services, and facilities accessible for all individuals and families, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin or ability level.

Holly Springs Specialized Programming

The town of Holly Springs is now offering specialized programming for children with special needs.

L’Arche North Carolina – Community Events Calendar

L’Arche North Carolina is a community of belonging for adults with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. We work to serve the Triangle by providing free, fun, and accessible programming year round. Programming takes place once a week for 1-2 hours, covering a wide range of areas from cooking, exercise, and art. Our main goal is to create community, and we believe that everyone has a gift to be celebrated.

Miracle League of the Triangle

The Miracle League of the Triangle offers Youth and Adult baseball leagues for individuals with special needs each spring and fall. The noncompetitive games have volunteer coaches working with players and their “buddies”, emphasizing safety and fun. We have 3 all-access fields located in Cary, Durham and north Raleigh.


TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a recreational sports program for children with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities. TOPSoccer provides people with diverse abilities an opportunity to play soccer in a structured environment that is safe, fun, supportive, and inclusive. TOPS athletes are up to age 18 with a disability including but not limited to: Intellectual Disabilities, A.D.D., Autism, Hearing Impaired, Sight Impaired, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorder and Spinal Bifida.

Raleigh Specialized Recreation and Inclusion Services

Raleigh Specialized Recreation and Inclusion Services offers a variety of programs for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities, as well as for those with visual or hearing impairments. Fitness, sports, social activities, overnight trips, arts and crafts, and summer camps are just some of the programs offered. Each program is designed to meet the needs and interests of participants. Whether you prefer social outings, learning a new skill, or trips, there is sure to be a program that will interest you. Some eligibility restrictions may apply.

Special Olympics NC

Special Olympics North Carolina is one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world with nearly 40,000 registered athletes who train and compete in year-round programs in 19 different sports.

These programs are organized by approximately 100 sub-accredited local programs throughout the state, and the involvement of some 20,000 volunteers makes possible nearly 8,000 sport practices and 400 competition events at local, area, state, regional, and national levels each year.

Together On Center Stage (TOCS)

TOCS program provides a performing arts vehicle for people regardless of their level of experience, abilities or disabilities, and promotes inclusion and community spirit. It is presented in a welcoming environment and is committed to developing social and performance skills, building self-esteem, discipline, responsibility, and positive values through the creative arts.

Individuals from all over the Raleigh triangle area meet at the Holly Springs Cultural Arts Center and our performances are held in their beautiful 186 seat performing arts theater.

Triangle Special Hockey Association (TSHA)

Triangle Special Hockey Association (TSHA) is dedicated to the development and enjoyment of ice hockey for developmentally or physically challenged youth and adults. We are associated with the American Special Hockey Association. We serve the Triangle and surrounding areas of North Carolina.


*We do the best we can to keep this list up to date and accurate, but cannot be held responsible if information is outdated or incorrect.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.
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