Feast for the senses: Mother and son to open Keep Calm Sensory Zone on Madison’s north side

MADISON, Wis. — It’s always great to witness the power of love and determination. Welcome to your front-row seat.

Courtney Willegal has two sons with mental and behavioral health disorders. Her youngest pre-teen son, Sean, has multiple diagnoses. Some deal with sensory processing.

Courtney says she’s gotten turned away from so many resources, was told, “No, we can’t help you,” and couldn’t even get pointed in the right direction.

She got tired of leaving places early with Sean, feeling left out and even losing friends.

So Courtney decided to create a place where everyone would feel included, parents can bond with other parents who “get it,” and kids can climb, lick or stare at the walls.

Why? Because Courtney and Sean say you can!

In December, Courtney and Sean are opening the Keep Calm Sensory Zone on Madison’s north side. The 11,000-square-foot building on Roth Street will be a feast for the senses.

Together, the dynamic duo is creating an inclusive family environment where everyone is welcome. You don’t have to have a diagnosis, and no one is going to ask.

From the moment people walk in, bubble tubes and touch walls will greet them. There will be different spaces depending on the need.

The gym will house a full-sized enclosed trampoline and a sensory gym with ziplines, a slide, swings, climbing areas and foam pits.

Across the way will be two sound-proofed rooms for kids to take a break and self-regulate when it gets to be just too much.

There’s a dedicated touch wall area with color boards, finger tracing mazes and 720 PopSockets on a board that kids can push and pull until they can’t anymore. And speaking of fidgets, more than 200 different types of fidgets and sensory tools will also be sold here.

There’s a toddler zone that connects to the outdoor playground, and for adults, there’s a space where parents can sit, relax, read and connect with other parents.

The grand opening is Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Before then, they’re also hoping to hire a staff.

If you’d like to help Courtney and Sean with some items they need for Keep Calm Sensory Zone, click or tap here.