I love a list and my phone is full of them. Two of my favourites are my ‘safe’ places for family days out – one for dry days and the other for wet.
They have been carefully compiled and honed over the last few years from experience. These are places I know I can rely on for a less stressful day out.
They are especially useful during school holidays and the other day, when I needed to entertain both kids, they came out again.
It was raining so I decided we’d take a trip to The Deep in Hull. Nanna happened to be in the city babysitting Cousin Bear so we arranged to meet them too.
We spent a fun couple of hours there, made easier by The Deep’s “Access For All” policy https://www.thedeep.co.uk/plan-your-visit/access-for-all, which makes an effort to welcome visitors with access or additional needs.
So here’s the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) family guide to The Deep:
What is The Deep?
One of the UK’s biggest aquariums and home to a whopping 3,500 fish including Green sawfish, spectacular sharks, rays, turtles and a colony of Gentoo penguins.
Why we like it
- It’s a sensory experience. From gazing at the fish in huge tanks, to interactive sessions with crabs, bubble tubes, glow-in-the-dark jellyfish and a small soft play for under 5s, there is plenty to keep sensory-seeking children entertained.
- Essential carers get in free and you only have to pay for children over the age of 3. Make sure you take your Disability Living Allowance award letter as proof (although we weren’t actually asked for it).
- Once you’ve paid, you receive a 12-month free pass to go back as many times as you like.
- There is an accessible entrance for people with additional needs. This is a godsend on cold rainy days when visitors are queuing around the car park to get inside.
- You can access a social story on The Deep’s website to help prepare your child for the visit and plan your day.
- There are disabled loos and, at the time of writing, The Deep is also installing a changing places toilet http://www.changing-places.org/the_campaign/what_are_changing_places_toilets_.aspx
- There is an indoor picnic area where you can eat your own food. Be sure to get there early, though, as tables get snapped up quickly.
- For older children, there is an activity sheet to focus wandering minds. Big Bear (age 5) was interested in finding out the information and ticking the right box with one-to-one support.
- The glass lift ride at the end, which takes you up through the fish tank, is a major highlight of the visit for adults and children alike.
- The Deep is at its busiest during school holidays and on Bank Holidays, particularly between the hours of 11am and 2pm.
- The quietest visitor times are at 10am when it opens or 3pm -6pm before it closes. Last admission is 5pm.
- Car parking costs £3 for six hours and can become full during school holidays.
- Adult tickets cost £12.15 (online) or £13.50 (on the day). Children’s tickets are £10.35 (online) or £11.50 (on the day)
- SAT NAV (HU9 1TU)
- Tel: 01482 381000
- For more information, visit https://www.thedeep.co.uk/