Autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire between Christmas and New Year

The Quality Streets have been demolished, the house is a mess and you have no idea what day it is. Sound familiar?

If cabin fever is setting in, everybody is getting on each other’s nerves and you need to get out of the house, then check out these autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire between Christmas and New Year.

Let me know in the comments below if there’s anything else you’d add to the list. Do you have any favourite autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire?




A few years ago on Boxing Day, we had a two-year-old who was content at home and, a four-year-old who needed a change of scenery. We were due to go and see family in the afternoon but nothing planned for the morning so I booked a 9.30am cinema showing of Paddington 2 for Big Bear and I. It was brilliant. We had the whole cinema to ourselves (unsurprisingly). If you have a child who gets overwhelmed in busy places, then choosing an unpopular time to go to the cinema can be a winner.

Also, check out autism-friendly screenings. During these sessions, adjustments are made to reduce stress and sensory input, such as no trailers, low lighting and sound and staff trained in autism awareness.


  • Sunday, December 26 2021 (Boxing Day) 10.30am: Autism-friendly screening of The Addams Family 2 at participating Vue Cinemas.


  • Sunday, January 2 2022 at 11am: Autism-friendly screening of Clifford The Big Red Dog at participating Cineworld cinemas.


Fountains Abbey


SEND Family Guide To Fountains Abbey


Percy the Park Keeper needs your help! Working with Percy’s animal friends, follow clues to find lost items and help get the tasks done with lots of fun along the way. Complete the trail for a fun prize at the end. Trails cost £2 and can be collected from the admissions teams.

Winter opening: closed Fridays from November 5 – Jan 28 (excluding December 31) Closed December 24 & 25. Visitor Centre & Studley admissions Sat-Thu 10am-4pm, West Gate 11am-3pm. Car parks close at 5:30pm.

  • Families with a Max card (£3 per year) can get in free! (up to two adults and two children)
  • Carers get in free. If you don’t have a Max card, one or two carers can get in free with a disabled visitor. To make entry easier, you can obtain a National Trust essential companion card and show it when you arrive.

Visit Fountains Abbey


Love Exploring App: Winter Fairies


If, like mine, your kids need an incentive to go for a walk, download the free Love Exploring app to discover the Augmented Reality Fairy Walks.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, search for the Fairy Walks at a location near you. Use your phone to see them dancing and flying.

You can follow them at Middleton Park, Bramley Fall Park, Armley/Gotts Park, Roundhay Park, Cross Flatts Park, Meanwood Park and in the city centre.

Love Exploring Dinosaur Safaris are also still available in Leeds, along with more than 20 walking trails including the Street Art trail near Leeds Dock.

Find out more and download the app at


Short walks in the Yorkshire Dales



While we’re on the subject of walks, Girl About Yorkshire, has a great round-up of Pram-Friendly Walks in the Yorkshire Dales, including Malham Cove, Burnsall Riverbank, Bolton Abbey, Ilkley, Grassington, Nidderdale and Skipton.

These walks are also suitable for wheelchairs and short enough to not overwhelm those who find going out for walks difficult (two miles is our limit at the moment)


Festive short walks


Meanwood Park, Leeds. Find the 24 Elves that are recovering after a hard year in Meanwood Park. Follow the Meanwood Elf Door Trail Instagram account for more information. Runs until January 3. Free, no booking required.


Christmas at Temple Newsam. Discover sparkling tunnels of light, walk under giant baubles and beneath the trees illuminated in Christmas colours along the new illuminated trail. Adult entry plus parking is £22. Child tickets are £12 each. Carers get in free. Runs until January 2 Book here


Robin Robin adventure trail


This trail ties with in Aardman’s new festive musical tale about a young robin trying to fit in.


Neighbourhood Christmas lights


If you live in Leeds, head over to Rothwell to visit the street with the best Christmas lights. For 20 years, the residents on Stone Brig Lane have been lighting up their homes for Christmas to raise money for charity.

If you’re planning to visit, park in the free local car parks in Rothwell. Postcodes for these are LS26 0DB, LS26 0QL, LS26 0AE or LS26 0AW. Stone Brig Lane is just around the corner from all of them. Please don’t drive onto the street itself. Don’t forget to take plenty of change for the charity buckets. Visit the Stone Brig Lights Facebook page for more details.

Don’t live in Leeds? Here are some other festive streets across Britain:

  • Peasefield Road in Dovecot, Liverpool
  • Run-on Road in Branksome, Poole
  • Malcolm’s Way Stonehaven, Scotland
  • Brodawel in Ammanford, Wales

Bike Rides



There are some lovely family-friendly bike rides around West Yorkshire. Yorkshire Tots to Teens has a great post Top 10 Yorkshire Family Bike Rides from Emma Young,  founder of the Child Friendly Bike Rides in Yorkshire Facebook group




Did you know that many swimming pools are open throughout the Christmas holidays? With the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, you can guarantee to find a swimming pool near you for the kids to burn off some festive energy. Check your local swimming pool website for details.





Trampoline parks are open throughout the Christmas holidays. It’s worth knowing that ZigZag Leeds Autism Support Group runs SEND sessions at Gravity in Leeds every Sunday and Thursday 6pm-7pm. This includes Boxing Day, December 28 and January 2. You will need to be a ZigZag member to attend. Visit the ZigZag Facebook page and message them for more details.


  • Do you have suggestions for autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire between Christmas and New Year? Pop them in the comments below or find me on Instagram



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