Two years ago, we launched our autism-friendly grotto sessions – opening Santa’s Grotto an hour earlier, with bookable timeslots available, and lots of ways to tailor the grotto experience for all children.
We work hard to ensure that our grotto is always accessible, with trained staff and adjustable lighting and sounds. We know, though, that many families with disabled children find it beneficial to be able to book specific timeslots rather than having to join the grotto queue, and especially so when we open the grotto doors earlier at during a time when the museum is quieter.
An accessible grotto for children with any additional needs
Last Christmas, a few families of disabled children told us that it’s not just children with sensory conditions that would benefit from being able to come to these extra sessions – that children with any disabilities would. So this year we’ve changed things up by introducing our Accessible Grotto Sessions for disabled children and their families!
Our Grotto is always accessible: just let our elves know what changes or support you need and they’ll be happy to accommodate. However, if your child is disabled and would benefit specifically from timed slots during our quietest periods, come along on Grotto Days when we open at 10am and book a visit to the Accessible Grotto on arrival.
Accessible support in ALL grotto sessions:
- All staff trained in disability awareness
- Lighting can be subdued, and music turned off if required
- Adjustments to outfits, e.g. Santa’s Beard
Additional options during Accessible Grotto sessions:
- Book a timeslot on arrival. We’ll tell you what time to come to the grotto, so no need to join the queue
- Scheduled when the museum is quieter
To visit the grotto for either session, pay at the tills on arrival. Grotto visits are charged in addition to museum admission (remember – essential carers visit free) and cost £4 per child, including a small gift.
Accessible grotto sessions: 10-11am, then grotto open to all visitors.
- Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November
- Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December
- Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December
- Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 December
- Daily from Thursday 19 – Monday 23 December
Wishing you all a happy, accessible Christmas!