Accessible family events over the Christmas holidays
In our family polls families raising a disabled or seriously ill child regularly tell us that events, activities and special occasions can prove challenging- with 81% of families saying they have felt left out at festivals or celebrations because of their child’s disability or serious illness.
Christmas time can create sensory triggers, with many festive events involving lights, glitter, temperature changes, different smells and sounds. Places can be overcrowded, loud and generally overwhelming.
Many attractions and places across the UK are hosting accessible or relaxed events for families, to support as many people as possible to enjoy the festivities this winter. This festive season, we’re celebrating those places that get it right and are inclusive and welcoming for all.
To help you find suitable events, below are some events and theatre performances that could be of interest.
Accessible events and days out
Relaxed theatre performances
Relaxed theatre performances mean the auditorium has a supportive atmosphere when it comes to noise and movement. These performances are ideal for people with learning disabilities or autism, or anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Some theatre productions are also able to offer captioned or signed performances too.
Take a look at our page of relaxed theatre performances to see if there is one near you!Relaxed theatre performances
Luminate UK – Across England and Wales
Santa’s Quiet Grotto at Dobbies – UK wide
Lapland UK – Ascot
Lapland UK is an immersive festive experience. They have designated, adapted days called ‘Superstar Day’ to allow greater flexibility and support for those with additional needs. Tours operate at reduced capacity so they’re quieter, with improved accessibility and offer additional support if required.
Santa’s Magical Journey – Thursford, Norfolk
This festive journey will take your family from penguins and polar bears, to giant sized teddy bears loading Santa’s sleigh, and past the busy elves hard at work in the toy factory. The journey continues outside to the lantern light extravaganza. Thursford has a relaxed day on Friday 8 December between 2:00pm and 4:45pm. This will have reduced capacity and softer music and lighting.
Christmas at Murton Park – Yorkshire
Spencer’s Retreat SEND Christmas – Berkswell, Coventry
Out of Bounds SEND Christmas Event – Angmering, West Sussex
Christmas Comes Alive – Craigavon, Northern Ireland
Castle Espie Wetland Centre Elf Academy – Comber, Northern Ireland
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Elfingrove – Glasgow, Scotland
At home activities
There are lots of Christmas themed activities and crafts available online for families to enjoy some creative time together. And don’t forget, we have free, Discover Digital creative iPad workshops this winter, including our ‘create an elfie-selfie’ workshop!Family Fund Discover Digital workshops
We’d love to hear about your experience if you’re attending any accessible events. And we’re always keen to find out about great places that have accessible facilities for families.
If you’d like to share your experiences, please get in touch by emailing: [email protected].