Welcome to LifeTown Shoppes,

where everyday lessons come to life.

LifeTown Shoppes is a simulated city where students practice, master and reinforce school curriculums in life-like Shoppes and sidewalks, all in a supportive and encouraging environment.

As featured in:

About

11,000 sq. ft. of education

Practice real-life skills in an immersive educational experience

In this safe and controlled, real-world environment, neurodiverse children and teens can practice core skills, run daily errands and discover real-life work opportunities as part of their educational curriculum.

Adult volunteers serve as storekeepers and help participants as they explore the various opportunities inside each store.

Students will navigate and interact with:

Bank and stores

deciding how and where to spend their money

Salon and medical clinic

schedule appointment and show up on time

traffic lights, crosswalks & sidewalks

learning how to navigate ‘real-life’ traffic

friendly shopkeepers and traffic cops

who volunteer to assist children as they navigate LifeTown

interactive activities in each store

that guide them through every social interaction

Students will navigate and interact with:

Bank and stores

deciding how and where to spend their money

Salon and medical clinic

schedule appointment and show up on time

traffic lights, crosswalks & sidewalks

learning how to navigate ‘real-life’ traffic

friendly shopkeepers and traffic cops

who volunteer to assist children as they navigate LifeTown

interactive activities in each store

that guide them through every social interaction

It doesn’t matter how old or smart you are, you can do anything.

Reid, 7-year-old

It doesn’t matter how old or smart you are, you can do anything.

Reid, 7-year-old

The shoppes

The Shoppes include:

We had an absolutely amazing time at LifeTown. We have gotten nothing but positive feedback from the families about your facility and your volunteers… These experiences truly make a difference in the lives of our students.

Kate Drucker, Teacher

curriculum

100’s of interactive activities designed to support your student’s IEP

Our designed curriculum sparks ideas and offers a structure to your visit. Educators can work one on one within the thriving LifeTown Shoppes and focus on mastering specific skills.

Multiple visits to LifeTown will build on each other, with each visit presenting as a completely new experience.

Deductive reasoning

Social
skills

Communication skills

Non-verbal learning

Safety

Deductive reasoning

Social
skills

Communication skills

Non-verbal learning

Safety

Logical patterns

Logical patterns

Verbal reasoning

Visual problem solving

Independence

Sensory Integration

Sensory Integration

Verbal reasoning

Independence

Visual problem solving

Logical patterns

Sensory Integration

Verbal reasoning

Independence

Visual problem solving

This is great for working on social skills in a small setting

Annie Peterson, Speech Pathologist

This is great for working on social skills in a small setting

Annie Peterson, Speech Pathologist

This is great for working on social skills in a small setting

Annie Peterson, Speech Pathologist

Lifetown

LifeTown is not about therapy, LifeTown is about life

We believe children with special abilities should experience the magic of real-life everyday experiences. Our immersive center creates that.

What else can I expect to see at LifeTown?

Step outside the Shoppes and explore

Indoor
playground

Sensory
Room

Art
Center

Tactile Room
Gym

NFL/NY Jets Football field

Aquatic Center (Coming Soon)

Therapeutic play

Every detail of the center has been crafted to support recreation, education, and therapeutic play. Sensory rooms and activities are situated throughout the center to soothe and engage overstimulated children (or adults!).

Inclusivity

From the musical stairs to the sound-dampened gym to the activity centers , every aspect of LifeTown is designed and decorated to include and welcome every individual.

Leah* has autism, almost no speech, and hyperactivity, in fact, she wouldn’t sit still for a minute. On a visit to the LifeTown Shoppes with her buddies, Leah pulled them into the Salon.

‘’Do you want to get your nails done?’’ ‘’Yes.’’ She answered.
A few minutes and once chosen color later, Leah sat quietly for a full 15 minutes as her nails were done.

When Leah’s mom came to pick her up, she was floored. In tears, she shared that she did not believe that Leah could sit still long enough to get it done. Leah now goes regularly to the salon to get her nails done.

This is one of hundreds of stories of children who have been touched by the magic of LifeTown.

You can learn how to grow up and be bigger and also have a lot of fun while doing it

Shane, LifeTown visitor

You can learn how to grow up and be bigger and also have a lot of fun while doing it

Shane, LifeTown visitor

Here’s what other schools are saying:

Our students had an unbelievable visit to LifeTown.

The facility, experience, and volunteers were all excellent… Thank you for accommodating our small group and making our students feel so welcome. All the lesson plans leading up to the trip were very helpful ane we really appreciated the thoughtfulness of the LifeTown educational team.

Beth, Teacher

A great learning opportunity

The LifeTown experience was great and I am hopeful we can come back as it was a great learning opportunity for our clients (and I know several of our other clients would benefit as well)

Mary, Therapist

It was phenomenal!

Thank you so much. The students had a wonderful time and learned so much, it was phenomenal! I will definitely be reaching out to schedule another visit

Michelle, Principal

Are you ready to experience LifeTown for yourself?

What does a day at LifeTown look like?

FAQs

Your visit

LifeTown in a day

Your visit to LifeTown will be approximately 2-2.5 hours, here’s what an average visit looks like.

1

Welcome to LifeTown!

Schools arrive and are met by the educational director who will show you to your assigned multipurpose room. This is your headquarters for the day. You can leave anything you’d like in this room (coats, lunch, bags) and can come back at any point throughout the day. It is also where you’lll be eating lunch.

2

Let’s take attendance

Once everyone is settling in, we’ll take attendance to mark any absences or changes in which students are present for the trip.

3

Learn how to navigate the village

The educational director will meet with you briefly to go over what to expect during your visit, how your time in the village will work, and general rules for the village. Students will be given their wallets and the educational director will go over how to fill out the withdrawal form for the bank and health insurance form for the doctor’s office. Students will view a video walking them through it.

4

Ready? Let’s go go go!

When ready, the students will be sent to the village where their first stop will be the bank. There they’ll withdraw $12 to spend in the village. They will have approximately 90 minutes in the village.

5

Time for lunch and play

At the end of their time in the village, students will return to the bank to deposit any unused money and return their wallets. Then the students will have 30 minutes to play in our indoor playground, gym and sensory rooms before heading back to the multipurpose room for lunch.

6

Goodbye, come again soon!

After lunch, your time at LifeTown has come to an end. We hope you come back again soon!

FAQS

Have more questions about the LifeTown experience? We have answers!

We are offering a discounted price to attend LifeTown of $35 per student per visit. All adults are free.

Visits to LifeTown provide an immersive experience for all participants and are appropriate for students from self-contained classrooms, as well as mainstream classrooms.

A number of partial scholarships are available for schools wishing to attend LifeTown with their students. Our goal is to help every student in every school and we will work hard to accommodate as many as possible.

Priority will be given to schools booking large groups (over 50 students) and reserving multiple visits to LifeTown throughout the year. Pooling together your visit with multiple classes or a full school group will help us help you.

Payment is due the day of the visit. We do accept Purchase Orders, but ask that they are completed and submitted prior to the trip. You may also mail in a check prior to your visit. If paying via credit card, use the link on the invoice to complete your purchase.

No. The students will be withdrawing $12 from the bank at LifeTown. We ask that they don’t bring any other money with them into the village. Money they receive from the bank should be put in the wallets provided for safekeeping.

At the end of their time in the village, students will return to the bank and deposit any unused money as well as return the wallets. We encourage the students to spend as much money as they can in the village!

Elementary through young adulthood. The Shoppes function like real stores and the teachers can tailor the experience to the age, level and skills of the students. We work closely with each school to tailor the experience towards their students’ needs.

It depends on the students’ needs. Some schools will come for one visit, others for 2 or 3, and some schools come every month. The more visits, the more skills can be targeted and built on during each visit.

Lunch is not included. You can bring a cold lunch with you to eat before or after your time in the village and play areas. We are in the process of building a coffee shop cafe which will have some ready made food for purchase.

We have a 35 student minimum to open the LIfeTown shoppes. If your group is less, we will pair you with another group to meet that requirement. However, we find that the more students present, the more realistic the village feels. Our experience finds that 50+ students works best. Up to 100 students can fit in the Shoppes at a time.

We understand that absences happen and are uncontrollable. If you bring less students, we offer a credit for a future visit.

Reach out to the educational director as soon as possible to see if that is an option. Adding a few extra students usually isn’t a problem.

Please bring any supports the students need (e.g. AAC devices, sensory strategies, etc). Bring lunch if you plan on eating at LifeTown. Other than that, dress comfortably as you will be walking around quite a bit. We ask that students don’t bring any outside money into the village. Teachers are welcome to bring their own money to purchase items in the village.

The trip is 2 hours. If you are eating lunch here, then 2.5 hours.

Students can purchase ice cream and ice pops at our ice cream stand. Fresh popcorn, twizzlers, and water at our concession stand at the movie theater. Different types of chips, pretzels, cookies, apple sauce, raisins, seltzers, water, and juice boxes at ShopRite.

All the food in the village is nut free, dairy free and Kosher certified.

Currently, all items in the village cost $1-2. Some items are free as well.

Depending on when you visit, you may see birds, fish, guinea pigs, and/or dogs in the pet shop.

We try our hardest to have all the Shoppes open during every school visit. However, we periodically need to close some Shoppes for maintenance.

Yes, when you book your visit, you will receive an email with curriculum information and other handouts that will help prepare your students for the visit.

The curriculum is a suggestion for how schools should adapt the visit for their particular needs, based on what they are working on in school with that particular student.

Our dates fill up fast. We suggest booking 3-4 months in advance to ensure that you get the dates you want.

Yes. However, if there is another school present, make sure not to get any of their students in your photos without permission.

The Shoppes are all “staffed” by volunteers. All our volunteers go through training and have their background checked to ensure everyone’s safety. The volunteers are meant to act as regular shopkeepers to make the experience as realistic as possible.

The schools decide how much staff they need to bring on the trip. Keep in mind that our volunteers are just running the activity in the shoppes. Teachers and paraprofessionals are expected to assist the students with tasks as needed.

The teachers are expected to remain with their students to help maximize the educational experience in the Shoppes. There are endless ways that each store can be used to teach your student various skills in a real setting.