Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. As I get older, the excitement has worn off somewhat, but with little nephews and nieces in my life, I can feel that excitement return, and I’m getting into the festive spirit again. I’ve realised I enjoy the build-up and all the accessible Christmas activities more than the actual day itself.
I love continuing family traditions and creating new ones. I love going out and picking a real Christmas tree and wearing a silly Christmas jumper. I love decorating the tree and helping wrap gifts while Christmas music plays in the background. I love the uplifting and cosy feeling of a good festive movie. I love taking my nephew out for the day to do something fun and Christmassy and watching his face light up with amazement.
7 Amazing Accessible Christmas Activities For Ultimate Festive Cheer
With that being said, Christmas activities can often be a challenge especially if you have a disability. Christmas is the busiest time of the year with shops and high streets being stressful and overcrowded.
However, there are many amazing accessible Christmas activities to do over the festive period. Here are my top inclusive and accessible Christmas activities for ultimate festive cheer for wheelchair users and the whole family to enjoy.
1. Go Wheelchair Ice Skating
Wheelchair Ice skating is something that can be done any time of the year, but it’s always fun to join in when there is a Christmas ice rink. With most ice rinks welcoming wheelchair users onto the ice it shouldn’t be a problem to add this to your festive to-do list.
I loved being able to try wheelchair ice skating for the first time with my nephew when we went to Edinburgh Christmas Markets. It felt good to join in with everyone else whizzing around the ice rink rather than sitting on the sidelines spectating. The Christmas songs kept us going and I never had the fear of falling down. Silver lining and all that.
2. Have a Christmas Movie Marathon
Nothing beats a good Christmas movie to get you in the festive spirit. Invite your friends and family to your house to watch your favourite movie. The best thing about that is that you don’t have to worry about accessibility as you’ll be in the comfort of your own home.
If you want to enjoy a day out at the cinema to see the latest Christmas movie you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a free carer ticket (with a CEA card), wheelchair spaces, and accessible toilets.
One of my favourite cinemas is Cineworld in Silverburn shopping centre. Some of the screens have wheelchair accessible booths at the back and there is also a Changing Places toilet in the shopping centre.
Here is a list of my favourite Christmas movies.
3. Admire the Festive Light Displays
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the glow of twinkling lights lining the streets and our homes. I absolutely love Christmas lights and they give me all sorts of happy feelings. You don’t even have to look far to find a good light display, as all the high streets have fantastic displays.
Small towns and villages even go all out with their light displays. My hometown is looking very festive at the moment, which is great because I get to enjoy it every day. The good thing about Christmas light displays in towns and on high streets is that these streets are usually accessible.
One of my main reasons for going to New York in December was to see the Christmas lights. Another option if you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle would be to go a nighttime drive around your hometown and admire all the streets and homes decked out in Christmas lights and displays.
4. Attend a Carol Concert
When you think of a traditional Christmas, carol singers are probably one of the things that come to mind. I guess one of my earliest memories of this is watching Home Alone as a child and seeing Kevin go to the local church and watch the children’s choir. I even planned on going to a carol concert in New York but no tickets were left.
However, there are many local choirs and charities that put on Christmas concerts. The venues can range from shopping centres, churches, concert halls, and even schools. These buildings will most likely have good wheelchair accessibility.
5. Go to a Christmas Market
Christmas markets are popping up in towns and cities more and more. Some people even hop on a plane to another country just to visit the Christmas markets. They are a holiday tradition, and you can expect to find a variety of food stalls, Christmas trinkets and stocking stuffers, mulled wine, and hot chocolate.
Despite the busyness, we enjoyed a trip to the Edinburgh Christmas market and Glasgow Loves Christmas in recent years. Wheelchair access at both markets was good, and with Changing Places facilities located nearby, they were inclusive and accessible for all.
The nearest Changing Places to the Edinburgh Christmas market is The Booking Office JD Wetherspoons. There is also one at St Enoch Centre and Glasgow’s Queen Street station which are the closest to the Glasgow Christmas market in George Square.
6. Go to a Christmas Pantomime
Christmas pantomimes are a great tradition that many families continue every year. They are fun for all ages, especially the little ones, with plenty of sing-alongs, shouting, and audience interactions. A great way to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
Another festive favourite is a ballet performance, which is ideal if you enjoy a calm and quiet type of performance. The Nutcracker is a fantastic choice for the Christmas season, and one I would personally love to see.
Accessibility at theatres usually tends to be good with accessible seating, hearing loops and relaxed performances. My favourite Christmas show I’ve ever attended was the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City.
7. Bake Christmas Cookies
There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies to add a little Christmas cheer. And who doesn’t love a cookie especially shaped like snowmen, Christmas trees, candy canes and gingerbread men? You may enjoy the baking or the decorating of the cookies the most. Or maybe you just enjoy eating them. No matter your role, it is always a fun (and messy) accessible Christmas activity.