Accessible Christmas Activities
Christmas is a joyous and magical time of the year, with lots of festive activities to enjoy on the run up to the big day. But with it being the busiest time of year, shops and highstreets can be overwhelming and overcrowded which can impede on accessibility.
Inclusivity throughout the season, at markets, and at events is crucial to ensure everyone can spend quality, merry time with their loved ones.
We’ve highlighted some of the most inclusive and accessible Christmas activities to try out this festive season, ensuring fun for all.
Accessible Christmas Markets
Christmas markets are one of the most popular festivities and are now popping up in most towns and cities up and down the UK. You can enjoy pretty Christmas lights, delicious food stalls, Christmas gift shopping, mulled wine and most importantly, hot chocolate! We recommend contacting the market organisers directly for specific accessibility advice.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park London
Arguably the most popular market in England, Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park has been built with many accessibility features including, wheelchair ramps, accessible toilets, allocated disabled car parking spaces and a wheelchair accessible pod on the giant ferris wheel.
Edinburgh Christmas Market
Edinburgh’s Christmas market is also a winner for accessibility. They boast accessible parking, accessible main entrances, accessible toilets, ramped access to bars and cafes, pods for wheelchair users on the big wheel and wheelchair friendly Christmas tree maze.
Attend festive light displays
A wonderful part of the festive season is all the colourful and bright light displays lining the shops, homes and high streets. What started with the big department stores and cities putting together elaborate light displays, has also been adopted by even the smallest shops, towns and villages.
Another accessible Christmas activity idea, why not attend the local light switch ons and explore the streets to enjoy the twinkling lights. If you have access to a vehicle, you could go on a night time drive to admire the houses and streets decked out.
Wheelchair ice skating
Ice skating is a classic recreation throughout the Christmas season and many ice rinks now cater for wheelchair access and additional accessibility requirements. It is advised to contact your local ice rink before visiting to ensure the venue meets your access needs. Here are some of the best accessible ice rinks throughout the UK promoting inclusivity:
Somerset House in London
Somerset House have launched a ‘Skate For Everyone’ initiative to promote inclusion and encourage everyone to enjoy the ice rink. They have a range of dedicated sessions to choose from, including, wheelchair user skate sessions, skate school to build confidence and chilled out sessions offering reduced capacity and noise.
Winter Wonderland in Cardiff
The Winter Wonderland in Cardiff is running specific ice rink sessions for wheelchair users, those with visual impairments and autism. Please note that wheelchair users must be accompanied by a companion either wearing ice grips or ice skates, though their ticket is free.
The Royal Pavilion in Brighton
The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink has advocated and offered wheelchair friendly sessions for years. It is accessible with all ramped exits and entrances, viewing areas and cafe and a disabled toilet is available. Wheelchair users’ accessible skating sessions: 10am – 10.45am every day except 16th Dec – 24th Dec 2023.
Is it truly Christmas without a visit to the pantomime to enjoy a family fun show? The costumes, sing-alongs and audience interactions provide entertainment for the whole family.
Most theatres throughout the UK have accessible seating with hearing loops and dedicated relaxed performances. Take a look at your local theatre to see what Christmas pantomimes they have on.
Adaptive crafting and sensory friendly decorating
Crafting, DIY decorating and baking are fun activities which can be done in the comfort of your own home and thus can be made as accessible for you or a loved one’s needs.
There are so many Christmassy craft ideas such as DIY Christmas wreath making, paint your own bauble/ornament, create Christmas cards, decorate gingerbread houses and of course festive baking!
Local venues will also often put on crafty days throughout the season for children and families to enjoy, so it’s worth checking out what’s planned near you.
There are many wonderful accessible Christmas activities to enjoy throughout the festive season, whilst we have listed some, we also advise contacting local venues and event organisers to understand their accessibility features. Find out how you could benefit from a range of car adaptations so you can enjoy travelling this Christmas period and beyond.
We are coming to the end of UK disability history month and we have a blog to highlight the historical significance of the event.
We also have a blog covering accessible days out for Easter so you can plan ahead for Easter weekend 2024.