These different indoor activities have one thing in common – they have all made efforts to increase accessibility for autistic visitors.
1. Postal Museum, London
Does your child love it when the postman comes to your door every morning? Or are you a young person who enjoys collecting stamps? Then the Postal Museum could be an ideal day out. During your visit you’ll be able to find out more about the history of social communication through exhibits, activities and even an underground postal service ride!
Ambitious about Autism’s Youth Patrons have worked closely with the museum to make it as autism-friendly as possible. From August 15, autistic visitors will have access to a range of resources to plan and support their experience. This includes an online video and downloadable visual stories and communication cards on the Postal Museum’s website, as well as access to sensory bags with stim toys at the venue. There will also be early morning openings starting from August 15.
Find out more by visiting the Postal Museum website.
2. Science Museum, London
Where else can you see actual rockets that went to space, cars from the 1950s and learn about all about the human body and human emotions? Why it’s the Science Museum of course! With many interactive areas, the museum has a track record of accessibility for autistic young people. For three years it has hosted a Night Owl experiences for autistic guests, as well as Early Bird experiences for autistic younger guests. Entry to the museum is free but there is a charge for some exhibitions – including the current Wonderlab experience, which features many interactive exhibits based on chemical and physical forces.
Go to the Science Museum's website to learn more.
3. British Library, London
The British Library boasts over 25 million books, more than any other library in the UK! Amongst its famous collection includes original Beatles lyrics, early Bibles and even the Magna Carta. This summer, the Library is starting relaxed early openings in which families with autistic children are free to look around the library without any harsh sounds. There will be also be workshops and a sensory room. Entry is free - book your place by visiting the British Library's website.
4. Eureka Children’s Museum, Yorkshire
Now for something a little further north, the Eureka Children’s Museum in Halifax, Yorkshire is a giant playground with eight floors dedicated to playing, learning and role play. There is plenty of sensory activity and parents of autistic children have recommended this museum highly as an accessible place to visit. In addition there are exhibitions and family activities running all throughout the summer. Prices from £13. Go to Eureka's website to discover more.
5. BFI Relaxed screenings
In February this year, the British Film Institute introduced relaxed screenings to make the venue more accessible for autistic cinema lovers - you can read my review of BFI's relaxed screening of The Lady Eve.
Relaxed screenings feature dimmed lights, no trailers and more room to move around and make noise if required. The BFI has introduced them for many popular film releases this summer – including Disney’s new version of The Lion King. Tickets are from £3 and you can find out more by going to the British Film Institute's website.
6. Science and Media Museum, Bradford
Children and young people with an interest in video games, animation or the internet might enjoy a visit to Bradford’s Science and Media Museum in Yorkshire. The museum is part of the Science Museum Group and includes similar exhibitions to its London counterpart – including Wonderlab. There is also a video games lounge, a place to see animations old and new and three cinemas showing all manners of film. Plus, there are Early Bird openings, so autistic children and young people can explore the museum in peace and quiet before it opens to the general public. Entry is free. Find out more at the Science and Media Museum's website.
For more summer autism-friendly activities, read our Autism Summer: The 10 best autism-friendly outdoor activities for children and young people blog.
About the author
Solmaz is Ambitious about Autism's Marketing and Communications intern. She loves writing, and also has interests in music, technology and beauty products.