Travel and Things To Do
Accessible Activities To Do This Winter
People with limited mobility often encounter additional challenges when it comes to the winter months. There are many obstacles you could be faced with that prevent you from being safe amongst snow covered pavements or icy paths - thus leading to the increase in risks of slips, trips and falls. Therefore, we have gathered our own research on accessible activities to do this winter. However, before we dive into this, we touch on the risks the colder weather can have on those with limited mobility.
Challenges in cold weather
There are many challenges cold weather can bring to seniors and those with limited mobility. This can lead to discomfort, increased fatigue, and the risk of hypothermia. We list a few more risks of winter weather below:
Snow and icy floors
Winter weather often brings snow and ice, which can create slippery and uneven surfaces. In general, most people find it difficult to navigate through icy and snow covered pavements. However, those who are older and have limited mobility will naturally be more at risk.
Limited accessibility in icy/snow covered grounds can create a huge barrier for individuals using mobility aids such as wheelchairs and canes. Mobility aids rely on the grip of the ground, providing stability and support for the individual. The lack of traction can make it difficult for those to propel wheelchairs or maintain stability while using canes.
Inaccessibility of ramps and curbs
Snow and ice can block ramps and obstruct curbs for individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The lack of clear pathways can limit the ability to access public spaces, transportation, and essential services.
To address these challenges in cold weather, it’s fundamental for communities to prioritise removing ice and snow from public places. This is important for accommodating individuals with mobility issues in winter weather conditions and can make a huge difference to them when carrying out their daily activities. If you want to know how else you can help, we’ve addressed this in our article ‘How to help someone with mobility issues’.
Accessible activities in winter weather
Finding accessible activities in winter weather can be challenging, especially for those who find it harder to venture outside due to physical limitations. However, we’ve put together some fun activities you can indulge yourself into to steer away those winter blues!
Most Christmas markets around the UK are accessible for everyone regarding their abilities or disabilities. The use of ramps and accessible restroom facilities are always present to accommodate individuals. Here are 5 accessible Christmas markets you can visit in the UK.
Why miss out on the festive magic? You can visit botanical gardens or parks with accessible paths. Many places have winter-themed displays and lights during the holiday season that you simply can’t miss! Kew Gardens in London support accessibility and even have their own wheelchairs/mobility equipment that can be borrowed so you can comfortably enjoy your visit. The National Trust also pride themselves in creating inclusive spaces - working collaboratively with disabled and disability organisations to develop solutions.
Museums and exhibits
Not all museums and exhibition spaces are accessible due to the buildings being historic, meaning a variety of ground surfaces being uneven. However, exhibition spaces these days are most likely to provide ramps, elevators and other accommodations to help you enjoy your hobby in comfort. We’ve put together an article covering ‘Accessible Attractions and Days out in the UK’ for all year around.
Theatre and cinemas
Christmas pantomimes are usually a great tradition that many families continue to do every year. Theatres and cinemas have become more inclusive over the years and as there are over 240 professional pantomimes across the UK, it’s best to contact your local theatre to help you identify the right performance that suits your accessibility needs.
Arts and craft workshops
Many studios and community centres provide inclusive spaces. Arts and craft workshops can be a fun way to connect with your local community in a comfortable and accessible surrounding. Always get in contact with the venue to see if they’re able to accommodate your accessibility needs.
Puzzles and games
By stimulating your brain, you can keep your mind sharp and strengthen your cognitive function. Games and puzzles, such as crosswords and sudoku are designed for improving your mental stability. Typically, you can find these games in magazines, books, newspapers or even use them on your phone and computer. The non-profit ‘Active Minds’ have developed a series of puzzles that can increase wellbeing and help improve communication and interaction. This development has also helped those living with dementia.
There are plenty more accessible attractions you can comfortably visit. We’ve gathered our own research on the 'Top 30 best accessible attractions in the UK’ for all year around.
Overall, there are many accessible activities to do this winter and enjoy even if you are someone with limited mobility. The colder winter weather shouldn’t hinder your experience of the outdoors. Although there are a few obstacles that come with winter weather, you can research your chosen activity beforehand or contact the venue to ensure that they have the right accessibility measures for you.