Our events, specifically arranged for children with a vision impairment and their families, around the UK, are a great way for families to take a break and meet others in a similar situation, in a safe and secure environment.
Relaxing and having fun can encourage children with sight loss to develop confidence and make new friends. One family who attended the Summer Party at Gulliver's World on Saturday 16 June 2018 said: "Today was a brilliant opportunity for vision impaired children to be able to play with others who have similar conditions. It was also great as a parent to be able to gain useful information to better inform me before attending our annual EHC Review. Thank you for a lovely day out."
Representatives of our children’s services teams are present at each event to offer support and discuss any areas of concern you may have regarding your child’s vision impairment.
Children with a vision impairment plus one parent/guardian go free to most events and there is a small charge for immediate family members.
Events include trips to:
- the pantomime
- Easter, Summer and Christmas parties
- a family weekend for families with a child recently diagnosed with a vision impairment
- family guide dog experience days
- events in partnership with other charities
Please see our events below, which are added to regularly.
Each event has a flyer with further information. To request places, a booking form needs to be completed and returned to the Family Events Team who will then make contact with you to confirm places.
Family Easter party at Paradise Wildlife Park - Saturday 21 March 2020 - FULLY BOOKED
Paradise Wildlife Park, White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne EN10 7QA
Join us for a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some small mammals, including meerkats, lemurs, and red pandas. Or if you’re feeling brave enough, then why not make your way to the big cat territory and view the breath-taking collection of lions, tigers and more!
The dinosaur enthusiasts among us can also visit the World of Dinosaurs, one of the UK’s biggest and most spectacular animatronic dinosaur attractions. Set in acres of natural woodland the 30 life-size, moving and roaring dinosaurs are a real thrill for any dinosaur adventurer!
We'll have exclusive use of the Discovery Centre, where we'll be ready to greet our families with hot/cold drinks and our children and young people’s services team will be around at lunchtime if you want to chat or get any advice. Different tactile activities will also be going on throughout the day, including animal encounter sessions for all the children.
Booking is essential and don't forget to bring a picnic!
Family Easter party at Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire - Saturday 4 April 2020 - FULLY BOOKED
Folly Farm, Begelly, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire SA68 0XA
Have an Easter to remember at Folly Farm - 'Best UK attraction for little kids 2019' and 'Best visitor attraction in Pembrokeshire 2019'. With four big attractions in one place, there's something for everyone:
- Explore the zoo and discover over 90 species of animal
- Experience the thrills of yesteryear at the vintage fairground
- Enjoy getting up close with the furry, feathery and friendly farm animals
- Embark on adventures in the outdoor and indoor play areas
We have exclusive use of the Funfair Restaurant, so also take the opportunity to catch up with specialists from Guide Dogs' children and young people team and chat with families on a similar journey to you over welcome drinks and a hot lunch. We challenge you to fit this all in between 10am and 3pm!
Family guide dog experience day, Leamington Spa - Wednesday 8 April 2020
Leamington Spa Guide Dog Training School, Edmondscote Manor, Warwick New Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV32 6AH
Get the whole family together and come along to our Leamington Spa training school to experience what it would be like to own a guide dog. From 11am to 3pm, the day includes:
- Welcome and introductions
- A tour of the training centre
- Practical hands-on dog handling
- Fun activities
- Question and answer session
Bring a picnic, drinks will be provided, and chat with Guide Dogs' staff and families on a similar journey to you and your family. To ensure everyone has as much time as possible with the dogs, only eight families will get the chance to book - so don't delay!
Family event at Pleasurewood Hills, Suffolk - Saturday 16 May 2020
Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, Leisure Way, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 4TZ
Enjoy the magic and thrills of over 35 rides, shows and attractions and an unforgettable day (10am to 2.30pm) in the east of England's biggest theme park.
Meet the team and other families at our dedicated base, Tony's Restaurant, for hot and cold refreshments to set you up at the start of the day and lunch to refuel for the afternoon's adventures! Our base also gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns, get information and advice from members of our Children's and Young Peoples services teams, and to network with families experiencing similar journeys to you and your family.
Pleasurewood Hills caters for adrenaline junkies and chilled explorers with:
- Heart Kid's Zone for the little ones
- Family rides
- Thrill rides
- Sea lion and parrot shows
- Woody's Club House indoor soft play
Children with a vision impairment and one parent/guardian go free and immediate family members are only £5 each. Booking is essential as we can only accommodate a maximum of 70 guests.
Annual family weekend, Teignmouth - Friday 23 to Sunday 25 October 2020
The Cliffden Hotel, 20 Dawlish Road, Teignmouth TQ14 8TEJoin us for a weekend specifically set up for families with a pre-school child who has recently been diagnosed with a vision impairment.
This unique opportunity gives you the chance to:
- Meet qualified professionals from our Children and Young People's teams, to discuss your concerns and get information and advice
- Attend workshops run by the qualified staff from the Children and Young People's teams, taking advantage our crèche to keep the little ones entertained
- Network with other families in a similar situation
The whole family, including siblings, can join in the fun:
- Organised games and activities
- Evening family entertainment
- Indoor swimming pool
The weekend costs (which have been subsidised by Guide Dogs) include and evening meal on the Friday, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Saturday and breakfast and late morning refreshments on the Sunday:
- Adults - £80 each
- Children 4-12 years-old - £20 each
- Children 0-3 years-old - free
Limited funding is also available for families on a low income.
We have a corporate partnership with Merlin Entertainment, which gives discounted tickets for our families and staff to Merlin Entertainment venues such as Legoland, Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Blackpool Tower, Edinburgh/York Dungeons, Sea Life Centres and many more.
To request a copy of the discounted offer leaflet please contact the Family Events Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can pick up many buy one get one free offers on cereal packets/ bus tickets etc. and if you are a family of three, five, etc. or going at short notice then these can be useful.
There is a charity Merlin's Magic Wand, which has supported us over the last few years and parents may like to consider applying individually to this charity for free tickets to Merlin attractions.
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