Valentine’s Day is here soon, so it’s time to get thinking of romantic date ideas for you and your loved one. Whilst your loved one is obviously the most important aspect of your date, it’s also important to consider the accessibility of where you want to go. A restaurant that has a wheelchair ramp is essential for a candlelit dinner if either of you is a wheelchair-user, just as audio description or a signer is required at a public outing if you have a visual or hearing impairment. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled our top five accessible date ideas for the 14th of February.
1. Although it can a quite generic date idea, going to the cinema is a relaxing and comfortable experience which isn’t too expensive or difficult to organise. Many cinemas have accessibility features such as audio description headsets, access for guide dogs, wheelchair access and often a free ticket for your carer/partner. Cinemas like Odeon additionally provide screenings for people on the autism spectrum, which feature lower sound and light levels and no adverts before the film.
2. Art galleries are an excellent place to visit on a date, whether it be for a first date or with a long-term partner. Many art galleries have accessibility features to make their galleries available to everyone; the Manchester Art Gallery, for example, has sign language tours once a month which you can view on their events calendar. Large print guides are also available if you’re visually impaired, whilst ramps, lifts and manual wheelchairs to borrow are provided in most art galleries.
3. Going on a walk in the fresh air is an easy and cost-effective way to spend a date. With numerous beautiful countryside areas around the UK, appreciating nature’s beauty whilst in the company of your loved one is perfect for Valentine’s Day. The National Trust have many beautiful gardens and parks which are accessible for visitors with disabilities; their Access for all Admit One Card enables you to take a carer/partner with you and they offer Braille and large print guides, along with induction loops.
4. If you and your partner are animal lovers, a trip to the zoo would make an exciting Valentine’s date. Zoos like Chester Zoo have accessible paths and free wheelchair/scooter hire, in addition to quieter times for people with autism and guided sensory tours for visually impaired visitors. After looking at the animals, you could sit in the cafe and enjoy a snack and drink, then head to the gift shop for some goodies.
5. For all those music lovers out there, a gig could be the perfect place for you to spend your Valentine’s Day. Bigger venues can be harder (and more expensive) to book accessible tickets, but are more likely to have signers and better accessibility features. Smaller venues are also often older buildings with few accessibility features, so it’s best to consider what kind of gig you want to go to and to check their accessibility on their website or by ringing up.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Let us know by tweeting us at @AbilityStore.