Are you looking to take your child(ren) out over the remaining days of the Easter holiday but don’t know where to go? Check out the following SEND-friendly places and events that you could visit with the family over the weekend…

Manchester Duck Race

Friday, 19 April, 11am-4pm (New Bailey / Spinningfields)

Poster for the Manchester Duck Race 2019, showing an illustration of 10 differently decorated ducks with the event's details, plus Brainwave's logo

Watch hundreds (Maybe thousands? Let the kids guess!) of yellow rubber ducks race along the Spinningfields area of the River Irwell or try the different family activities – including gooey “slime challenges” – in this year’s rendition of the annual Manchester Duck Race.

Please note that the event will surely be very busy and, while it is not exactly advertised as “SEND-friendly”, proceeds from the event will benefit children accessing a Brainwave Programme.

A few useful tips:

Flip Out’s “ASD and Disability Sessions”

Sunday, 21 April, 10-11am (Flip Out Manchester)

Here’s what Flip Out has to say about these inclusive trampolining sessions:

During these sessions, we turn the music down low and the disco lights off to create a more relaxing environment.

Each session costs £7.50. Carers can come along for free.

Socks are required for the jumper and the carer for a price of £2 each

These sessions are on every Sunday and will be available as well this weekend.

Book via:

Manchester Art Gallery

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (including Easter Monday); Closed on Good Friday 19 April

While MAG’s “Open Doors” workshop – their autism-friendly sessions, which normally take place on the third Saturday of every month – is unfortunately not on this Saturday the 20th, the art gallery does say that they “are dedicated to being accessible to all our family audiences. Please ask a member of staff if you need any assistance.”

They have “family explorer toolbelts” – activity packs that “will help you and your families make connections with the artworks, exhibitions and the building in a playful way” – which you can borrow from the front desk. There’s also the Clore Art Studio, an interactive space where families can explore art and have fun in ways that you might not have thought possible in an art gallery (they have hexagonal table tennis!).

A sketch of the layout of Manchester Art Gallery's Clore Studio

Layout of Manchester Art Gallery’s Clore Studio | Image source:

Manchester Marvels Disability Sports Club

Saturday, 20 April, 1-3pm (Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre)

This is a weekly session, which we previously didn’t know about but found via the SEND Local Offer’s What’s On section.

Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre’s website describes it as:

This is a parent committee led group funded by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group. Fully qualified coaches organise a range of multi-sport activities that improve fitness, confidence and other life skills of young people aged 8-18 years. Young people of all diabilities are welcome to join.

Ages: up to 25 years

You can also learn more about this sports club by visiting MCR Active’s website.

National Football Museum

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (including Easter Monday)

Their Autism-friendly Early Opening is unfortunately not on this weekend but they did publish a social story to help prepare your child for the visit, in case you are looking to go.

PHM’s “Doodle Den”

Daily until Tuesday the 22nd, 10am-5pm (People’s History Museum)

PHM describes Doodle Den as “a relaxed space where visitors of all ages can take time out, pick up a pencil and explore ideas through drawing.”

Entry is free and the museum has published a social story to help prepare your child for the visit.

A girl wearing a Peppa Pig shirt doodling on clear glass wall at People's History Museum's Doodle Den

Image Source: People’s History Museum