Accessible events for you to enjoy in Summer 2020

Woman with arms raised celebrates her achievement and success in her wheelchair at the beach.



















It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s summer, Christmas festivities are happening, it’s school holidays and most people are getting a bit of downtime to relax, be with relatives and enjoy the season. Why not book a session with your support worker to get out there and enjoy?

With a support worker, you could go along to these activities and celebrate the joy of summer. Here are some suggestions for each capital city.

Brisbane

GOMA

Leave the heat behind and enjoy the cool climes of GOMA. There are lots of events on for December including a volunteer guided tour of ‘Unfinished Business: The Art of Gordon Bennett’. A children’s science event, ‘Ross Manning: Idling Engines’ features a cool installation that demonstrates how sound creates movement. There’s also the ‘White Wash’ exhibition around Indigenous Australian art. The free Art and Dementia Program is worth a look too!

When: Daily, 10am to 5pm

Where: Stanley Place, South Brisbane

Accessibility features: Accessible venue. Guided tours are available with Auslan interpretation, for guests with low or no vision, physical and/or cognitive impairment, and hearing loss. There are also low-sensory events. Disabled parking bays, assistance dogs welcome, hearing loop system, free mobility scooter and wheelchair loan. Companion Card accepted.

Gold Lotto City Hall Lights

King George Square comes alive every December with the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights spectacular! Marvel at the beautifully decorated tree then keep your eyes on City Hall as dazzling animations glitter across the façade and up the clock tower. There’s a free show every 15 minutes between 7.30pm and midnight.

When: Nightly, 4th to 24th December

Where: King George Square, 100 Adelaide Street, Brisbane

Accessibility features: Accessible venue

Christmas lights viewing

Due to Covid-19, there will be no Christmas lights bus tours but that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on seeing some of Brisbane’s most magical displays! Book a session with a support worker to take you on a drive-around, being guided by this handy Christmas lights listing, categorised by Brisbane north, south, east or west.For CBD visits, view the very helpful Brisbane Mobility Map for information on accessible routes, toilets, parking facilities and building entrances.


Sydney

If you’re in Sydney, you might like to download the Sydney Culture Walks App which features a self-guided tour of lights, decorations and shopping destinations. The tour covers 4km and you can choose how much of it you do. Take a moment with your support worker to choose which highlights you’d like to see and plan your outing around those.

High Tea with Santa

Have a photo with a difference with Santa this year! The Tea Room in QVB is the setting for High Tea with the jolly old fellow. The cost is $55 for an hour and includes the photo opportunity plus delicious treats. Dietary considerations are accommodated and there are special Sensory Santa Experiences offered to, for a calm and comfortable visit. Book here. While you’re there, visit the awe-inspiring, 24m tall Swarovski Christmas tree, the largest indoor tree in the southern hemisphere.

When: Daily, 9th to 24th December

Where: Level 3, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George St, Sydney

Accessibility features: Accessible lifts, wheelchair accessible toilets. Speak with concierge on Ground Floor or on 9264 9209 for priority access to bathrooms. QVB accessibility info.

Shine Shed

This all abilities indoor play centre is just the ticket for children, adults and families with neurodiversity. The owner is a speech pathologist so some of the facilities reflect her knowledge of how to make a play centre educational, fun and functional for everyone. There are ramps, swings, a foam pit, a flying fox, climbing gym, trampolines, a sensory room and so much more. There is an accessible bathroom and a café too and high safety standards throughout the complex.

When: 7 days, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 4pm

Where: 5 Mount Erin Road, Campbelltown

Accessibility features: All abilities play centre, disability access, dedicated parking.

David Jones Windows Come to Life

Visit the newly renovated flagship David Jones store in Elizabeth Street for the whimsical store window decorations. The displays took more than 6,500 labour hours to create and are jam-packed with hidden surprises. This year’s theme tells the story of Claris, Holiday Heist, about an adorable little mouse (Claris) who foils a cat burglar in New York City.

When: Thursday 12th November to Sunday 3rd January

Where: David Jones, 86-108 Castlereagh Street, Sydney

Accessibility features: Accessible venue


Melbourne

IceBar Melbourne

Get out of the heat and into an icy wonderland! This wintry bar is mostly for adults but children can visit between 11am and 7pm if accompanied by a parent or guardian. The temperature inside is -10 degrees Celsius. When you arrive, you are given warm capes and gloves as well as socks and Ugg boots. Enjoy a cocktail, a mocktail or a cold beer and sit and be amazed at everything around you. All the furniture, walls and the bar are made of ice and there are spectacular ice sculptures to see as well. Booking online is a must.

When: 7 days from 11am to 10pm (until later on Fridays and Saturdays)

Where: The Atrium, Fed Square, Melbourne

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible, best to go at off-peak times for greater freedom of movement.

Christmas Square

From the giant 16m Christmas tree to Santa’s Workshop and all the festive decorations throughout the venue, Christmas Square is the place to be if you’re in a jolly good mood.

When: Friday 27th November to Friday 25th December

Where: Federation Square, Cnr Flinders and Swanston Streets, Melbourne

Accessibility features: Accessible venue, see details here.

Christmas projections

This year, there is a very special extra feature to the Christmas projections along St Kilda Road. Make your way along Swanston Street and witness the colour and magic of the static displays on Melbourne Town Hall and Princes Bridge. The brilliant animations on the façade of the State Library Victoria this year feature a tribute to Melbourne’s selfless COVID-19 heroes.

When: Friday 27th November to Friday 25th December

Where: Princes Bridge and St Kilda Road

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible

Nicholas Building Christmas Makers’ Market

Get your last-minute Christmas shopping done or pick up some lovely treats for yourself at the twilight Christmas Makers’ Market. There’ll be live music to add to the festive atmosphere. Pick up some handmade trinkets, original artworks and bespoke jewellery.

When: Thursday 17th December, 7pm to 9.30pm

Where: The Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible


Canberra

It seems that Canberra’s December events are very low-key this year due to Covid-19. But fear not, you can still have fun and celebrate summer!

Sensitive Santa photography

Like most shopping centres, at Westfield Woden, Santa photos are socially distanced. But here, Santa is also offering a sensory-friendly environment, calm and comfortable before stores open. Bookings are essential.

When: Sunday 6th December, 7.30am to 9.30am

Where: Westfield Woden, Keltie St, Phillip, ACT

Accessibility features: Sensory-friendly, wheelchair accessible

Ordinary Ornaments (Christmas craft workshop)

For 18 years+ only, this workshop at POP Canberra will present you with a table of craft supplies and you can make as many ordinary ornaments as you like over two hours. Mocktails and cocktails are available. POP is an inclusive community space where you can meet other locals, get creative and have some fun.

When: Thursday 10th, Saturday 12th, Friday 18th December, evenings

Where: POP Canberra, Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible

Telstra Tower, Black Mountain

Take in the 360 degree views of Canberra’s metropolis and the Brindabella Ranges. A lift takes visitors to the indoor observation deck of the 195-metre tower where there are two levels of viewing facilities. Don’t miss the Telstra Heritage Exhibition featuring old-fashioned phones and a video production about the tower’s design and construction.

When: 365 days of the year, 9am to 10pm

Where: 100 Black Mountain Drive, Acton

Accessibility features: Accessible parking, lift access and the Australian Companion Card is accepted


Hobart

Big Band Carols under the Stars

Get together with your local community for Christmas carols under the stars at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. You’ll need to register your details at the Gardens before the 6th December by leaving them in the box located just outside the Botanical Shop.

When: Saturday 19th December, 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Where: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens

Accessibility features: Accessible parking zones, easy access pathways, wheelchairs for loan, accessible toilets. More info here.

Shopping at Salamanca

Discover a huge range of handmade treasures at Salamanca Market and support small Tassie businesses this year by buying local.

When: Every Saturday from 8.30am to 3pm

Where: Salamanca Place, Hobart

Accessibility features: Additional parking is reserved on Saturdays for people with disabilities on the section of road between the two lawns, off Castray Esplanade. Free wheelchair service offered.


Adelaide

Santa’s Wonderland

Get along to Adelaide Showgrounds for lots of fun and excitement, no matter what your age. Have photo taken with Santa, personalise a Christmas bauble, see the giant Candyland tree and watch a variety of Christmas-themed performances.

When: Friday 4th to Thursday 24th December, various session times, book here

Where: Adelaide Showground, Goodwood Road, Wayville

Accessibility features: Wheelchair friendly, wheelchair accessible bathrooms. Santa’s Wonderland is also working with Autism SM to make aspects of the event sensory-friendly.

Treasure of Pageants Past Exhibition

If you love a parade, you’ll enjoy the Treasure of Pageants Past Exhibition held at two iconic venues. Relive the magic of pageants from years gone by, explore the artworks, costumes, props and photography.

When: Sunday 29th November to Thursday 24th December

Where: Adelaide Town Hall and City Library

Accessibility features: Town Hall – Wheelchair friendly, hearing assist technology, accessible toilet, disabled parking. City Library – Accessible venue, see more.


Perth

Rogers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

The State Theatre Centre of WA is putting on two special accessibility-focused performances of Oklahoma! Enjoy the spectacle of this fabulous stage show set in 1906 in the federated United States.

When: Saturday 12th December, 2pm

Where: State Theatre Centre of WA

Accessibility features: The afternoon session will be an Auslan interpreted performance, captioned performance and audio described performance with tactile tour. The evening session will be Auslan interpreted.

Christmas Lights Trail

Immerse yourself in the magic and joy of Perth’s Christmas Lights Trail. There are four journeys to choose from and a total of 30 different stops. Witness enchanting building projections, sparkling light displays, incredible street decorations and more.

When: Friday 20th November to Sunday 3rd January

Where: CBD, Northbridge, East End and West End

Accessibility features: Wheelchair access



Darwin

City of Darwin Carols by Candlelight

Enjoy the community gathering at this special Christmas event. The Christmas Choir will sing from their repertoire of festive carols and invite the audience to join in and the Australian Army Band will be playing. This is a lovely, family-friendly event.

When: Sunday 6th December, 5pm to 9pm

Where: 200 Gardens Road, Darwin

Accessibility features: Accessible venue

Visit Parap Village Markets

This year-round treat is held every Saturday and offers a bounty of lovely fresh foods. Go along to pick up some treasured trinkets like jewellery and gemstones, look at the artworks, grab some cut flowers, have a massage or have your tarot cards read. At this time of year, be sure to wear protection against the hot sun.

When: Every Saturday, 8am to 2pm

Where: 3/3 Vickers Street, Parap

Accessibility features: Accessible venue

It’s time to celebrate summer and the festive season! Book some sessions with your support workers to get out and about, socialise, explore your community and have some fun.