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Enjoy the holidays with these accessible holiday activity ideas

This is a busy time of year, that’s for sure, but you can always turn to Mable to find independent support workers to help plan, organise and accompany you to events.

There are support workers with a diverse array of interests, skills and passions so whether you want to make your own Christmas cards or learn to surf, searching the profiles is a great way to start. There is something for everyone on Mable!

In this article

Quick tip! If you have something specific in mind, simply type the word/s into the search bar on the ‘Search for workers’ page in Mable. It could be ‘baking’, ‘swimming’ or ‘shopping’.

icon gift The joy of gift shopping

There’s a buzz in the air at shopping malls and markets, with sparkly decorations, twinkling lights and the aroma of baked goods adding to the atmosphere. Organise a support worker to accompany you to your local mall or Christmas markets to wander around, soak up the vibe, do some shopping and stop for a treat. Don’t forget to pick up some wrapping paper to wrap all those goodies.

icon loved ones Get together with friends and family

You might like to invite loved ones over for morning tea and your support worker can join you in organising it, setting the table and preparing the food.

Otherwise, arrange to meet in a park or by the river and everyone can bring something delicious to share. And if you receive an invitation to someone else’s festive event, be sure to arrange a support worker for that date and time and say ‘yes’!

icon ticket Sensory-friendly holiday activities

Not everybody wants to be a part of the noisy, crowded aspect of the holidays. There are loads of sensory-friendly activities to explore, from lovely, air-conditioned museums and art galleries to sensory movie days at Event Cinemas and Village Cinemas.

Visiting a farm provides a lovely opportunity to be out in open spaces, meet, touch and even feed animals and pick your own fruits or veggies. A wander through a sensory garden at the local Botanic Gardens or similar can be calming and delightful, with fragrances to explore and tactile experiences to enjoy.

Staying at home, why not have some fun with finger painting, play dough, collaging, crafting felt animals or making homemade pizza?

Icon music Get your music on

A support worker with an interest in music could be a fabulous find for activities over the holiday season. Your search of the independent support worker profiles could uncover musicians, music teachers, singers and musical therapists. How about a karaoke session in your living room? Have you always wanted to have a go at playing the trumpet? Would you love to write a new Christmas carol? These are some of the ideas you can pursue with your musically inclined support worker.

Day tripping

A day trip from your area could involve a visit to a winery, an animal sanctuary, a dairy, a historical site, the beach, waterfalls, a river cruise or any number of other attractions. Your support worker can plan your day out with you, including booking tickets, packing your essentials for the day and driving you to the set-off point. They can even accompany you on your day trip.

icon celebrate Celebrate your religious traditions

There are lots of independent support workers on the Mable website from a wide array of faiths. Reach out to connect with someone who can join you in setting up for your holiday traditions (now or at any appropriate time of year).

Icon surfing Learn to surf

A good dose of sunshine and fresh air does wonders for the soul. Have you ever wanted to try surfing? The Disabled Surfers Association of Australia offers learn-to-surf classes for all classes of disabilities, including intellectual and physical, right through to paraplegic. Available in Qld, NSW, Vic, SA and WA.

icon grow Grow your support team

Of course, you may still need your practical help over the holidays, from personal care to cleaning, mental health support to being driven to appointments. Mable doesn’t shut down over the festive season. You can always search the independent support worker profiles for someone to help with your regular needs, even if your usual worker is unavailable.

icon last minute Last-minute support

Mable Last Minute was created to accommodate short-notice requests for support, with between 4 to 48 hours’ notice. Simply log in to your account, click the orange ‘Post a job’ button, click on ‘Last Minute Job’ then ‘Create a Last Minute Job’.

The Australian Government’s Disability Gateway Competitive and recreational sports, community programs, holidays and going out and social life.

There really is so much to do and the holidays will go by in a flash. Now is a great time to visit the Mable website (or app) and search the profiles to find independent support workers who will join you in arranging or participating in your desired activities.

Click here to search for independent support workers now

icon location marker Exciting events in your local cities:

BRISBANE

  • A Christmas Carol at QPAC – The classic is playing at QPAC from 2-24 December. Follow the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the four ghosts who visit him and enjoy what the Courier Mail calls “the most uplifting theatrical experience you’ll have this year”. Auslan interpreted performances are available on selected dates. Accessibility details here.
  • The Enchanted Garden – Visit The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland for Brisbane’s biggest interactive lighting display covering 8,000 square metres. Food trucks, sculptures, holograms and hundreds of 3D-printed birds are among the attractions. 1-23 December.

SYDNEY

  • Sydney Christmas Fair – Over three very festive weekends, Sydney Christmas Fair offers a variety of activities, from Santa photos for kids and pets to carnival rides and games, the Elf Patrol Christmas show and even water activities. Moore Park, 4th and 5th, 11th and 12th, 18th and 19th December.
  • Sensory High Tea with Santa – Enjoy a magical Sensory High Tea with Santa Claus in an experience that has been designed to carefully consider the sensory environment. Lower impact sensory elements, gentle lighting and quieter sounds all combine to create a comfortable and joyful Christmas event. Queen Victoria Building, check website for dates.
  • Wonderdome – Revel in a fully immersive experience where the viewer becomes ‘part of the show’. The Wonderdome is a 21-metre diameter steel dome that features a space age cover, spectacular projection system and surround sound system. Staff are on hand to assist with any accessibility support guests may need. The many shows include Dynamic Earth, Flying Monsters with David Attenborough, The Magic Globe and Art Universe. Dates and times according to show.

MELBOURNE

  • Disney: The Magic of Animation – Celebrate nearly 100 years of Disney animation at this revealing exhibition containing original sketches and rare artworks from 1928 to the current day and go inside a scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Fed Square. ACMI welcomes visitors with all kinds of access needs.
  • Cricket at the MCG – Cricket lovers, there’s plenty on offer for you in December, with matches on 10th and 15th December and of course, the Boxing Day Test beginning on the 26th! Accessibility information can be found here.

CANBERRA

  • Sunset Cinema – Held at the National Botanic Gardens in Acton, Sunset Cinema shows some of the latest movies on the huge outdoor screen. There’s fresh popcorn and snacks as well as food trucks and a licensed bar. See the website’s FAQs page for accessibility information.
  • Questacon – Exciting and fascinating for all ages, Questacon is a science museum where visitors can pull things apart, participate in little experiments and witness science in action. Companion card welcome and the venue offers specially discounted Access and Equity days.

HOBART

  • Mawson’s Hut Replica Museum – Gain insights into the challenges faced by explorer Douglas Mawson and his crew during his 1911-1914 expedition. Authentic in its origins, the hut has been replicated using hundreds of photos and measurements as references. People with access needs are welcome.
  • Zoodoo Zoo – Just 20 minutes from Hobart by car, Zoodoo Zoo offers daily animal presentations, fun opportunities to be a keeper for a day and animal encounters. Get up close and friendly with meerkats, marmosets, lions and more. Wheelchair friendly!

ADELAIDE

  • Quentin Kenihan Inclusive Playspace – Located in the eastern parklands of Rymill Park, Quentin Kenihan Inclusive Playspace is designed so that the play equipment is inclusive of everyone. There’s even a wheelchair-accessible trampoline and merry-go-round and a giant, accessible sway-table.
  • Unley Swimming Centre – Cool off at Unley Swimming Centre at Ethel Street, Forestville where facilities are available to assist people with low mobility to be lowered into the pool. There’s plenty of shade courtesy of large sails, a café and friendly staff.

PERTH

  • Festive Land – The Perth Cultural Centre (James Street Mall) will come alive from 10th December to 3rd January with Festive Land. Christmas attractions, sideshow games, carnival rides, holiday markets, showbags and a sparkling Christmas lights trail are just some of the drawcards. Accessibility details here.
  • Fremantle Prison Tour – Discover the notorious Fremantle Prison, where men, women and children were incarcerated in its darkest days. Learn about realities of life on the inside. Accessible venue and people with hearing impairments receive free access to Auslan handheld guides.

DARWIN

  • Barramundi Adventures – Catch the ‘big one’ at Barramundi Adventures, a recreational fishing venue at the southern end of Darwin harbour. The venue is wheelchair friendly.
  • Santa Fun on Wheels – Starting and finishing at Nightcliff Pool, Casuarina Drive, Nightcliff, Santa Fun on Wheels is an event for all ages and promises heaps of fun for everyone. Bring your bike, scooter, unicycle, trike, skates or wheelchair for an enjoyable ride along the foreshore. Elves will be along the route with goodies to share.

These are just some ideas for you to check out in your capital city. You could find others in your local newspaper (print or online) or learn about them from other people in your area, on the radio, social media or on community noticeboards.

Wishing you a happy and fulfilling holiday season.

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