Special Needs Programs

The Parks & Recreation Department offers various programs for persons with disabilities throught the year, including Special Olympics, Teen and Adult Social Club, and Camp Sunburst, a summer camp for participants ages 6 - 21.

Special Olympics
For participants ages 8 and up

The Parks & Recreation Department offers Special Olympics programs throughout the year with various competitive activities.

  • Fall: Bowling
  • Winter: Basketball, Swimming & Bowling
  • Spring: Track & Field, Swimming

The East Hartford Parks & Recreation Department takes great pride in partnering with Special Olympics CT to provide opportunities for special needs athletes to engage in athletic programs where athletes are able to participate in weekly practices and showcase their skills and abilities in state competitions, all while developing friendships and memories. Our highly experienced staff are devoted to working with each programs athletes in providing a positive environment and encouraging our athletes to strive to do their best.

Note: All athletes must provide updated Special Olympics CT; Athlete Medical and Release forms PRIOR to registration. For competition purposes, all athletes must register PRIOR to the start of the first practice.

The following forms must be filled out completely when registering for Special Olympics. Medical Forms are good for three years.


Winter Swimming
Winter Swimming season will focus on fundamentals and progressing swimmers. There is no tournament during the winter season. Coaches work to prepare swimmers for the spring season and initiate the preparation for the highly anticipated Summer State games.
Activity # 11006-1
Location:      East Hartford Middle School
Dates:          Saturdays, January 4th – February 29th
Times:          9:00am – 10:00am
Fee:        $50 Resident / $60 Non-Residents

Winter Bowling
Bowlers will enjoy games each week and end the season with a fun team tournament followed by a pizza party and awards at the bowling alley.
Activity #: 11002-2
Location:      HOF Silver Lane Bowling
Dates:          Saturdays, January 4th – February 29th
Times:          10:30am – 12:00pm
Fee:         $65 Resident / $75 Non-Residents

Winter Basketball
Winter Basketball practices focus on fundamentals, team cohesion and sportsmanship.  Special Olympics Winter Games basketball tournament, along with transportation is included. Players are evaluated by ability and placed onto one of our two tournament teams.
Activity # 11001-1
Location:      Community Cultural Center
Dates:          Wednesdays, January 8th – March 25th  
Times:          7:15pm – 8:15pm
Fee:         $55 Resident / $65 Non-Residents

Spring Swimming
Spring Swimming season will further develop fundamentals and prepare swimmers for competitive swimming. Athletes’ skills will be showcased at the Summer Games. Summer games and transportation to games is provided.
Activity # 31006-1
Location:      East Hartford Middle School
Dates:          Saturdays, March 28th – May 23rd
Times:          9:00am – 10:00am
Fee:         $50 Resident / $60 Non-Residents

Spring Track and Field
Spring Track & Field athletes can choose which track events they would like to focus on; softball throw, shot put, long jump, walking, sprints and team relays.  During practice there are group drills and individual drills that will be specific to the track & field events. Athletes’ skills will be showcased at the Summer Games. Transportation to Summer Games is provided.
Activity # 31005-1
Location:      East Hartford Middle School Track
Dates:          Saturdays, March 28th – May 30th
Times:          10:30am – 12:00pm
Fee:         $55 Resident / $65 Non-Residents


Teen & Adult Social Club
For participants with special needs, ages 13 & up
From bowling and the movies to paint nights and dances, there's something for everyone. Our experienced staff will provide a night of supervision and activities in addition to facilitating group interaction and fostering positive behaviors. Staff are trained in the field of special education and are able to provide the necessary skills to facilitate the program.
Click here to register online  Please note that while drop-ins are permitted for some events, pre-registration is highly encouraged for planning purposes. 

Movie Night at the Library
Friday, February 21, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Enjoy a movie and popcorn at the library with friends!  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at Raymond Public Library, 840 Main Street.  
Fee: $5 pre-registration, $10 drop-in.  
Activity # 11000-11

Dinner at the Golf Course
Friday, March 6, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Enjoy dinner at the Golf Course with friends!  Dinner included.  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at 130 Long Hill Street.  
Fee: $10 pre-registration, $15 drop in.
Activity # 11000-12

Bowling at Silver Lanes
Friday, March 20, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Includes two games of bowling and shoe rental.  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at HOF Silver Lanes, 748 Silver Lane, East Hartford
Fee: $5 pre-registration, $10 drop-in.
Activity # 11000-13

Egg Coloring
Friday, April 3, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Color some festive eggs for the spring season.  Festive treats provided.  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at North End Senior Center, 30 Remington Rd.
Fee: $5 pre-registration, $10 drop-in.  
Activity # 11000-14

Paint Night
Friday, April 24, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Create your own canvas masterpiece.  Canvasses will have an outlined design - the rest is up to you!  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at North End Senior Center, 30 Remington Rd.
Fee: $8 pre-registration, $13 drop-in.
Activity # 11000-15

Flower Pot Planting
Friday, May 8, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Paint your own flowerpot, then plant some flowers in it.  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at North End Senior Center, 30 Remington Rd.
Fee: $8 pre-registration, $13 drop-in.
Activity # 11000-16

Create a Garden Stone
Friday, May 22, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Create a decorative garden stone.  Drop off at 6 PM, pick up at 8 PM at North End Senior Center, 30 Remington Rd.
Fee: $8 pre-registration, $13 drop-in
Activity # 11000-17

Lake Compounce
Saturday, May 30, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Includes bus transportation, supervision and rides.  Participants should bring money for lunch.   Drop off at 10 AM and pick up at 5 PM at Community Cultural Center, 50 Chapman Place.   
Fee: $35 pre-registration, no drop-ins
Activity # 11000-18


Camp Sunburst
Ages 6 - 21
A full day summer camp program, held for 7 weeks in the summer.  Information regarding Camp Sunburst is released annually in April.