With our recent vacation to the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin, it was lots of fun to see the kids playing all the attraction this place has to offer, but it was specifically interesting to observe my son (who has sensory processing disorder) navigating through the lights, activities, and attractions.
He is 5 now and is getting a bit better: casual meltdowns we had to deal with one-two years ago, are a lot easier to avoid.
Usually my boy gets overstimulated in the big spaces and you would see it just by looking at him – even if he is held tight, his eyes keep moving, his body attempts to move, and it is almost impossible to get eye contact with him. For this reason I try to stick with the smaller resorts and off-season timings at the vacation destinations just to make it easy on him and the rest of the family.
Wilderness Resort in December, especially midweek, is definitely an off-season time and my only concerned is creating my own family routine with the down time, meal time, and learning time.
Here are the main attractions of the resort and how well my son did:
The rope course
Located right above one of the arcades, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but is a creative use of the space. However, once I had my family up high and moving from place to place, I was terrified. Both of my kids did very well, moving from place to place, while the adults were more cautious. To my surprise, my sensory seeker was more than cautious about where and how he was moving than his sister. Lead by his father, my usually unstoppable sun was very concerned about falling and calculated every step with an extreme caution. If you have a sensory seeker, you might want to try it and see how s/he reacts – you might be surprised. Afterward, my son was very excited.
Laser Maze and Laser Arena.
I think Laser Maze is highly addictive if you have ever wanted to be an international spy. And it was equally entertaining for the adults and the kids. One person goes into the maze after picking the difficulty level and tries to to hit the required sensors while avoiding the lasers. Once again, my sensory seeker didn’t just run through the maze hitting all the lasers – he played the game, avoided most of the lasers, but he did on purpose touched one of them – just to see what would happen.
The Laser Arena might of being a little bit too much for the kids. While the father of the family was very skillful in hiding, sneaking from around the corner, shooting and disappearing in the dark, my son preferred to follow his aunt and continued shooting her in the back. It was still plenty of fun, since he got to run around and shoot things.
You just cannot get away from the arcades. You might just feel that you are visiting the Las Vegas for kids. Many new machine and everything is flashing, sparkling, spinning. That is a complete overload for a sensory seeker and in the previous years that caused a lot drama. With my son being 5 years old, he still gets upset when the playing card is empty, it all gets better once he gets a prize. I always have a game with me in a case he gets overstimulated – it definitely helps to get refocused.