They can stretch out like six weeks of potential and fun, however they can soon lead to boredom and cabin fever. Careful thought and planning can turn up many activities and offers. Even if money is tight, discounted entry and supermarket vouchers can make having fun easier on the pocket.
On your doorstep
Your local area can offer a wealth of interesting places to visit. If the weather is good, pack a picnic and head down to the local park or the park in the next town if you fancy a change of scenery. The whole family can enjoy themselves without it costing the earth. Sometimes, local parks and forest centres put on things like pond dipping days, den making, butterfly hunts and kite making, generally costing less than £5 per activity.
A local farm can also make for an interesting day out. Some farms are open to the public enabling everyone to visit the animals and see how it works. Some even have a pick your own where you can pick and buy fruit then take it home with you.
Most areas have a local paper or magazine that may contain details of places to visit and things to do. There are also dedicated websites for local areas, listing activities and places to go. Maybe there is a museum or a nature reserve, where you can experience the countryside, or even a soft play area for some sensory and safe fun. Garden centres can be a great place to spend an afternoon, often with a small soft play or beach themed sand pit for the kids.
The UK has such a wide variety of attractions, places to visit and options for days out. If you want to travel further afield, you can be spoilt for choice and there are many resources to give more of an idea of what’s available.
Kids Days Out
Kids Days Out is a really useful website that has details of attractions in all counties in England, Wales and Scotland. It gives contact details for the attraction, a description of what is on offer and information about whether it is wheelchair accessible.
Days Out Guide
The Days Out Guide website is run in association with National Rail and lists attractions in England and Scotland. It has lots of two for one entries to attractions, exhibitions and events if you travel by train. It also includes lots of ideas of where to go and specific two for one offers in Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, London and Scotland.
The UK has 15 National Parks. The National Parks website contains guides to individual parks and accessible activities, if you or a member of your party uses wheelchairs, pushchairs or has limited mobility. Guides can also be downloaded from the website in different formats, including spoken word. Information includes contact details, activity, location, description, and accessibility details including parking, WCs and access.
The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain
The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain contains over 200 days out with reviews, hints and tips written by and for disabled people. The guide is free to download from the website www.accessibleguide.co.uk
It has a separate site for Family Days Out www.accessibleguide.co.uk
Both sites are produced in association with Motability.
There are lots of voucher sites online which can offer discounts on theme parks, entertainment, restaurants, bowling and more. Search online for ‘Voucher Code Sites’ and have a look around for something that fits what you want to do.
For those who shop at Tesco and have a Clubcard, the vouchers that are received in return for shopping with the store can be exchanged for Clubcard rewards. This can include up to four times your voucher value on restaurants and days out. There are lots of rewards to choose from, just look on the website to find out how you can use your points. Apparently hundreds and thousands of points go unclaimed every year so don’t miss out.
Merlin’s Magic Wand
Merlin’s Magic Wand is a worldwide charity for children, aiming to provide magical experiences for those who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged. They offer free tickets to any Merlin theme parks and attractions for disabled children and their parents or carers. Attractions include Legoland, Sealife Centres and Madam Tussauds. www.merlinsmagicwand.org
Many theme parks and attractions offer concessionary entry for those with a disability and their carers. Some places even enable carers to enter for free or for a reduced price. It is always worth contacting, or checking the website of, the attraction before visiting to find out more. Proof of disability may be required.
We know it’s not easy for everyone to get out and about, as we’ve talked about before here so next time we’ll be looking at fun things to do at home.