Disability/Autism-friendly grotto sessions

 In Events, News

We’re running Disability/Autism-friendly grotto sessions for the first time this year!

Christmas is an absolute feast for the senses – it’s one of the things that we love about the festive season: all the sights, sounds, smells and general festive sensations.

We also know though that whilst all this rich sensory activity is exciting and joyous for many, it can have the opposite effect for people with disabilities/autism or other sensory conditions. Grotto visits to see Father Christmas and his elf helpers can be impossible for some families due to the mix of flashing lights, festive music and for some children, even just seeing grown-ups wearing beards or costumes.

So we decided that it was about time that we took a look at what we could do to open up our festive activities to more people, hence the creation of our Disability/Autism-friendly grotto sessions!

Our dedicated grotto sessions are tailored in a number of ways by:

  • Sessions are limited to 20 kids, to reduce the need to queue.
  • Turning off any flashing festive lights
  • Adjust lighting to suit each child (some prefer dimmed lighting, some prefer the lights right up)
  • Turn the festive music off!
  • Remove beards or any costume items that are triggers for individual children.
  • All of Santa’s helpers have an awareness of Autism

At the start of each event and before your Santa visit our staff will discuss your child’s individual requirements, before nipping in to see Santa and make sure that everything is just as you requested.

So when’s it happening?

Autism -friendly sessions will run on Saturday 8th and 15th December, and Disability sessions on Sunday 9th and 16th December from 9.15am to10am. (The grotto will open to the general public at 10am)

Each event is limited to 20 kids, to book a place contact our staff at the Info Desk on

01475 521536.

Standard grotto charge of £8.50 per child applies, and includes a small gift for each child.

Carnival rides are £1.50 per ride or 5 rides for £6.

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