The best autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire for summer 2020

Are you worried about the summer holidays or does six weeks feel like it’ll be a breeze after four months of lockdown/shielding/restricted movement?

There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has kiboshed most events this summer and SEN-specific activities have been particularly hit hard.

However, if you live in West Yorkshire, I’ve scoured the internet to find the autism-friendly activities that ARE happening in this summer. As you can see, they are very few and far between.

The good news is that the current social distancing rules and restrictions on numbers at tourist attractions means they aren’t as busy as usual on the days they would usually be packed.

Booking in advance can be tricky for some families but once you get there, venues are generally quieter than usual, making life easier for many children and families.

The first section of this post contains a list of specific autism-friendly activities in West Yorkshire for summer 2020. Thanks to Leeds autism support group ZigZag.

The second section contains a list of ideas for Yorkshire days out which are quiet and easy for social distancing. I’ve only included places we’ve enjoyed since lockdown ended and those recommended by other parents of autistic children (with the exception of Thornton Hall Country Park which I thought was worth a mention). Let me know in the comments below if you have anywhere to add.

Do check out individual websites and social media for prices and up-to-date information before you go to make sure you have the correct information. Note that most venues and activities require booking in advance.

 

Autism-friendly activities in Yorkshire:

 

THURSDAY 30TH JULY

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

THURSDAY 6TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

SUNDAY 9TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

WEDNESDAY 12TH AUGUST

10am-11am: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Insane Air in Bradford run by ZigZag. £8 jump. Parents and carers jump free. Adult socks £1. Free kids’ socks. Unfortunately the soft play area will be closed due to current goverment guidelines

 

THURSDAY 13TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

SUNDAY 16TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

THURSDAY 20TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

SUNDAY 23RD AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

THURSDAY 27 AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

SUNDAY 30TH AUGUST

6-7pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Gravity in Leeds run by ZigZag. £5 jump. Socks £1.50. Parents and carers jump free.

 

Autism-friendly days out in Yorkshire

 

Drive Thru Farm Safari at Thornton Hall Country Park – Skipton

 

On paper, this ticks a lot of boxes for families of autistic children (as long as they like being in the car). You can enjoy the farm and see the animals without actually getting out of the vehicle. You can book a time slot and from Saturday 18th July the attraction is opening its picnic plot and outdoor play area. The play area is only available for people who book a dedicated picnic plot and food must be ordered from the onsite Rooster’s Diner via the phone line. There’s also a walk-through of what to expect and how it all works on the website.

Prices vary depending on how many people are in the car, but it’s £25 for four to six people.

Visit the website for more details

 

Mother Shipton’s Cave – Knaresborough

 

 

Set within historic woodland along the picturesque River Nidd, this is one of the places that benefits from a limited number of visitors. The cave and petrifying well weren’t busy when we went at a weekend. The rest of the attraction is wide paths and open spaces. The changing lights and water in the wishing well were an enjoyable sensory experience. There’s a pixie village trail for little ones and an adventure playground with swings, slides and a zip wire for lots of different ages. The playground equipment is well spaced apart which helps with social distancing. You need to pre-book a slot, it’s £25 per car. Sadly the usual 15 per cent carers discount has been suspended for now. Toilets/coffee and ice cream vans are open. Visit the website for more details.

 

Fountains Abbey – Ripon

 

SEND Family Guide To Fountains Abbey

 

The abbey, water garden, visitor centre car park, restaurant and toilet facilities at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are open and you’ll need to book tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Two adults and two children can get in for free with a Max Card. Tickets are released every Friday. Visit the website for more details.

 

Castle Howard – near York

 

I’ve only heard raving reviews about this place since it reopened. My husband and the boys had a great day here last year so we can’t wait to go back. The Castle Howard Gardens and Skelf Island adventure playground are both open daily. Visitors should pre-book their visit on the website. Max Card holders are entitled to free entry for one adult and up to three children.

 

Cannon Hall Farm – Barnsley

 

This one was recommended by a member of my Facebook Group – Travelling The Spectrum. She said: “They have really reduced the amount of people allowed in. We went for 1st time slot and there wasn’t many people about. It’s all social distanced with markers and kids enjoyed following the arrows on the floor for one way system. It is also fully accessible for wheelchairs, except roundhouse but you can view animals from the outside so you don’t miss them. The playpark is huge so they managed a play aswell without compramising social distancing. There is hand sanitised around.
We didn’t eat there so I’m not sure what that is like but I’ve read it’s done well. We took a picnic, plenty of picnic tables inside and outside the farm.”

All tickets must be pre-booked. Max Card holders can get two for one tickets. Visit the website for more details.

 

Walks under two miles

 

 

Two miles is our limit for walks at the moment so I put together a blog post of some of our favourites in Yorkshire and others recommended by my lovely followers. Read: 21 of the best family walks in Yorkshire under 2 miles

 

For more ideas, check out Yorkshire Tots’ epic post: 100+ family days out in Yorkshire Summer 2020 

 

 

Comments 2

  1. Hi
    Do we have to pre book trampoline sessions or just turn up like before please

    1. Post
      Author

      It doesn’t mention pre-booking but best to ask ZigZag before going

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