Autism Hour: Top 10 autism-friendly days out | Day Out With The Kids

Autism Hour: Top 10 autism-friendly days out

Lola Oxnard

01 October 2017

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4 minutes
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One of our mottos at Day Out With The Kids is that each and every child should have a day out that they enjoy and is special to them. Whether it be with parents, grandparents or a carer sharing those special moments with each other, and spending quality time together whilst doing something fun, is hugely impactful on a child's development.  

Seeing as the brilliant Autism Hour is just around the corner (October 2nd at 10am), we thought what better time to showcase attractions that pride themselves on being autism-friendly and specifically designed for children who have individual needs or likes and dislikes.

Autism-friendly days out to support Autism Hour

From research into this project, it was important to find out what was important to families with children on the Autism spectrum, and what they hope for from a day out. What came up more than anything was parents not wanting “to be judged” and their children being allowed to play freely. This should be massively encouraged. No child should face judgement or stigma for who they are. We are strong believers that the uniqueness and differences between us all are what makes people so special

As a result of extensive research, recommendations from our amazing community and the help of The National Autistic Society, we have put together a go-to guide, for the top 10 attractions that are Autism friendly. For us, it is not about the basics, it is about those that go the extra mile to ensure every child's needs are catered for and a day out is not to be feared but enjoyed.

  1. ThinkTank, Birmingham

    Play freely and explore gardens and interactive exhibits at ThinkTank. From ear defenders to drown out loud noises, a sensory room for chilling out time and Autism only times on Saturday there’s plenty to help ensure your child has a great day out at their own pace and serenity.

    Thinktank Birmingham is a great autism-friendly day out

  2. Cineworld Autism-Friendly Screenings

    Cineworld is proud to offer screenings that cater for those on the autistic spectrum. Features include: lights being left on, reduced volume and the option of bringing your own food. This is a great way to catch a family favourite movie at the cinema without breaking routine too much. You can find a full list of participating cinemas here.

  3. Legoland, Windsor

    Legoland Windsor is a popular attraction for families from across the world and yours doesn't have to be any different. They have put the needs of families like yourself at the forefront of their processes. Queuing can be a daunting task for children on the Autistic spectrum and their families alike. The Ride Access pass eliminates this problem and allows families to access rides easily without the need to queue.

    Legoland Windsor is a great autism-friendly day out

  4. Jump Nation, Manchester

    Physical activity is massively important to us all. It can help improve problems with motor coordination which is vital to your child's development. Jump Nation offers autism-friendly sessions with the following features: fewer jumpers so the trampolines are not too crowded, quieter music and you can join your child on the trampoline to help them feel comfortable to bounce away.

    Jump Nation is a great autism-friendly day out

  5. Eureka! The National Children's Museum, Yorkshire

    Children’s exploration and learning is encouraged at Eureka. They have gone the extra mile when it comes to catering for those with additional needs. The creation of the Eureka Story is available for families to download before their trip to help children understand what they can expect from the day out. They don’t expect you to queue either if the attraction is busy and have a special sensory place where you can zone out for a little. Download your Eureka story before you go.

    Eureka is a great autism-friendly day out

  6. The Tower Of London

    Keen historians and those that love all things medieval will love a trip to the Tower Of London. It’s very popular and can mean long queues and crowds of people. The team acknowledge that this can be daunting so you can jump the queue and go straight into start your adventure. There’s also a guide you can read before you go so there are no surprises! Download your guide to get all clued up.

  7. Thames Valley Adventure Playground, Taplow

    Thames Valley Adventure Playground has been carefully created with your child in mind. A space where they can feel free, and able to express themselves. With both indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From thrilling zip wires to an enchanting castle what will you explore first? The park is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is definitely worth a visit.

    Thames Valley Adventure Playground is a great autism-friendly day out for kids

  8. Chelmsford Museum

    Described as one of the most autism-friendly venues in the country Chelmsford Museum is one not to be missed. Staff have received special training to ensure every visitor with additional needs has the best day out. From free downloads for before you visit to specially designed events there’s so much on offer to support your family. Run free on the adventure playground, get hands-on and explore the interactive exhibitions and feel at ease throughout the day.
  9. Home, Manchester

    Home holds relaxed theatre and film screenings for families that will like an experience that is toned down, and more subtle. Theatre performances are relaxing and you can come and leave when you like. There’s a chill out area in another room if things get too overwhelming. With subtle sounds and more flexibility, this is a great way to experience the wonders of theatre and film at your own pace. There’s plenty on, take a look here.

  10. Rock Up, Multi Locations

    Climb to new heights at one of the Rock Up locations. On various Saturday’s throughout the month, they hold Autism and SEN friendly sessions perfect for your child. You are free to enjoy the facilities in a quieter atmosphere. Climbing is a great way to help improve your child’s fitness and a fun way to help with mobility. Find your nearest Rock Up here.

    Rock Up is a great autism-friendly day out

From museums to theme parks to relaxing cinema trips there’s plenty on offer for you and your family to feel safe exploring. Many attractions like the ones listed above want all families to enjoy their days out and will be more than happy to cater for the needs of your family.

There are so many other attractions we could shout about, who are all doing a fantastic job to be more accessible and adaptable. This feature is all about praising those that go the extra mile to make everyone feel accepted, welcome and appreciated.

We know you might not be able to visit all the attractions listed here, but we hope you can visit a few. Don’t be afraid of having family days out your own way, feeling safe and unprejudiced.  Make special memories together and cherish the good times.

Where are your favourite autism-friendly days out? Let us know in a comment below!

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Lola Oxnard

01 October 2017

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Lola is one of our Content Administrators here at Day Out With The Kids. Currently a student at university in Nottingham, Lola is always looking for her next adventure.

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