Lifetown in Livingston Gives Kids with Special Needs in New Jersey Their Very Own Safe Space

Activities  / 

For most of us, running errands is a mundane part of our everyday lives, but young people with special needs often need a little extra practice in order to get comfortable with the process of visiting new places like the grocery store, bank, or dentist’s office. That’s exactly what a brand-new project dubbed LifeTown is meant to give them.


The main attraction of the 53,000-square-foot indoor venue in Livingston is Life Village, a simulated downtown area boasting a bank, pet store, movie theater, medical center, hobby shop and copy center, along with crosswalks and traffic lights, all meant to offer real-world scenarios in safe and controlled environments. Life Village is staffed with volunteers and centered around its “Lessons for Life” program with the goal of giving kids and young adults with special needs a chance to take their time navigating these everyday situations and help them learn life skills and prepare for independent living.

Each storefront is more than just a make-believe business. Participants can get educated on basic budgeting, time management, animal care, and even what happens if you get a jaywalking ticket, along with potential job skills and training. Created by the non-profit Friendship Circle, LifeTown also features a gym, aquatic center, bowling alley, therapeutic activity wing, and a parents lounge, where moms, dads, and caregivers can relax and chat with other parents while their kids are off having fun and learning new things.


If LifeTown seems like a perfect fit for your family and you just can’t wait to check it out, we’ve got great news: It opened this week and is currently welcoming visitors, both individually and through school programs. Sounds like it’s time to hit the town ...


10 Microlab Road, Livingston 
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