Are you worried about half term? Does the thought of a week without a routine in place send you into a spin? Are you wondering how on earth you will entertain the kids for an entire week?
Fear not. If you’re looking for autism-friendly days out in West Yorkshire during October half term 2019 that your children will enjoy, I’ve got it covered.
If your child struggles with crowds and sensory issues, SEN activities can be a lifesaver. When done well, these sessions can be the difference between an awesome day out and a disaster for families of children who need extra support.
Here I’ve compiled a list of autism-friendly days out in West Yorkshire for October half term 2019. One or two are slightly further afield but most of them are in and around Leeds.
Of course there are lots of places without the SEN label that are suitable for children with additional needs. However, this is a list of sessions specifically highlighted as autism or SEN-friendly.
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 some events and activities require booking in advance.
Autism days out in Yorkshire:
SATURDAY 26TH OCTOBER
11-3pm: Autism Angels Family Fun Day. A fun day out with the family in Summerbridge, near Harrogate. Families will have some fun playing leading games with the horses, getting involved in grooming, and tacking them up before an afternoon riding out together in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. All in a supportive, can-do environment. The cost for the day is £45 per family.
9.45am-onwards (slots to be confirmed): Skiing with Disability SnowSport at Chill Factore in Manchester. Organised by Little Hiccups in Leeds, this session will enable children (and parents) to have a go at skiing. Disability Snowsport UK is a nationwide registered charity, based at Chill Factore and they provide adaptive skiing for individuals with any disability, including physical, sensory and learning difficulties. Price: £5 per person (minimum age 4). For more information and to book a slot visit the Little Hiccups website
2.30pm-5pm: SNAPS Special Spooky Spectacular Party at St Chad’s Parish Centre, Leeds. This event features a disco, fancy dress competition, messy play, arts & crafts and more. There will also be a buffet and refreshments. Tickets are £2 per child (parents and carers tickets are free but still need to be booked). Places are limited so please book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
SUNDAY 27TH OCTOBER
10.15am. Autism-friendly screening of Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon at participating ODEON cinemas.
10.15am: Autism-friendly screening of Toy Story 4 at participating Vue cinemas.
11am: Autism-friendly screening of Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon at participating Everyman cinemas* (except York, Harrogate and Leeds which will screen it on Sunday 3rd November at 11am).
6pm: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Jump Arena in Leeds run by ZigZag. £4 jump. Parents and carers jump free.
MONDAY 28TH OCTOBER
6:15pm: Autism-friendly screening of Terminator: Dark Fate (15) at 9 participating ODEON cinemas running this trial, including Sheffield.
10am-3pm ASAS (Aireborough Supported Activity Schemes) Lineham Farm Activity Day for children age 8-18 years old who live in Leeds. Aimed at children who prefer a less structured and busy environment; activities include animal care, climbing wall, adapted bikes, Sensory Caravan and walks in the countryside. Lineham Farm Children’s Centre, Swan Lane, in Leeds. Cost is £15 per child.
10am-3pm: Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource (AWARE) Stay and Play Session for AWARE members at Cafe West in Allerton, Bradford. This session will include a family yoga session between 10.30am and 11.15am. The day will also include the usual sensory play, crafts, bouncy castle, bricks etc. Bring a packed lunch if you’re staying all day. £6 per family per day. £3 half day plus £1 for a friend. Let them know you are coming by emailing email@example.com. Check out AWARE’s website for details on how to join the group.
TUESDAY 29TH OCTOBER
9-10am: Leeds Gymnastics Club – additional needs session. These drop-in sessions take place every Tuesday morning during the Leeds school holidays. Families can use this hour of unstructured play time to introduce their children to gymnastics. 4-11 year olds. £5.50 per child/£4.50 per sibling
10.30am-3.30pm ASAS (Aireborough Supported Activity Schemes) Community Activity Day. These sessions are for children aged 8-18 years who live in Leeds. They take place in Kirkstall at the Leisure complex and are aimed at children who can cope with an organised programme of activities and cope with busy and noisy environments. Activities include bowling, lunch in a restaurant and cinema to see a film. Cost is £15 per child.
1pm-2.30pm: I love Donkeys session Juniors (5+) at the Donkey Sanctuary Leeds. Spend time grooming and getting to know the delightful herd of donkeys.
Have a photo taken with your favourite donkey at the yard, and take away a photographic memory of your experience. Take a lovely countryside walk with the donkeys, before collecting your donkey goody bag and certificate to remind you of your day forever more. This isn’t specifically an SEN session but the Donkey Sanctuary works a lot with children who have additional needs. Give them a call to discuss specific requirements. Cost: £15 including a goody bag and photographic certificate of the day. Booking is essential for this activity.
WEDNESDAY 30TH OCTOBER
10am-midday: Autism-friendly trampolining session at Insane Air in Bradford run by ZigZag. £8 for children and socks are free. Parents and carers jump free but £1 for trampoline socks.
THURSDAY 31ST OCTOBER
10am-3pm: Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource (AWARE) Stay and Play Session for AWARE members at Dixons Cottingley Academy Sports Hall in Bingley. Fisical will be running a relaxed and fun sports session between 10.30 and midday. All welcome, whatever the ability. There will be two bouncy castles for children too. The day will also include the usual sensory play, crafts, bricks etc. Bring a packed lunch if you’re staying all day. £6 per family for the day. £3 half day plus £1 for a friend. Supported places available for children age 8+ and also family supported places (all ages). Both at a price of £15 for the day. To book a supported place or let AWARE know you are coming, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out AWARE’s website for details on how to join the group.
FRIDAY 1ST NOVEMBER
10am-3pm: Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource (AWARE) Stay and Play Session for AWARE members at Dixons Cottingley Academy Sports Hall in Bingley. It’s craft day! The session will also include the usual sensory play, bricks etc. Bring a packed lunch if you’re staying all day. £6 per family for the day. £3 half day plus £1 for a friend. Supported places available for children age 8+ and also family supported places (all ages). Both at a price of £15 for the day. To book a supported place or let AWARE know you are coming, email email@example.com. Check out AWARE’s website for details on how to join the group.
SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER
8.30am-10am: Early Birds session at the National Media Museum in Bradford. Early Birds This is a special event for families with children with additional needs who would benefit from a quieter, more relaxed museum opening. As part of the event, there will be a screening of A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (U) at 10.15am. Entry and activities are free but charges apply to the film screening. Booking required.
9.30am: Double the Fun Sensory Play. Jean Parker, experienced play specialist, and Kim, from Shabang, will run a specialist play session for parents and children in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield. Put intensive interaction approaches to sensory play into practice with this relaxed session. If you would like to attend, call 07947586445 or 01484 84873. The session is free, donations always welcome.
SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
11am: Autism-friendly screening of Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon at participating Cineworld cinemas.
11am: Autism-friendly screening of Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon at Everyman cinemas in York, Harrogate and Leeds.
- For more half term fun, check out Yorkshire Tots To Teens’ October term & weekend round-up 2019
- What have I missed? If you know of any other autism-friendly days out in West Yorkshire for October half term 2019, pop them in the comments below.
- If you enjoyed reading The ultimate guide to autism-friendly days out in West Yorkshire for October half term, read: Half term rainy day ideas for children on the autistic spectrum