Recreational activities

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 a recent event 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.

Feedback from the Summer Party at Gulliver's World on Saturday 16 June 2018

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


Amazing day with amazing people. The staff are almost like family. Being with people that get it and swapping ideas and information is invaluable. Thanks Guys.

Feedback from the Blair Drummond Safari Park family event on Thursday 5 July 2018

Please see our calendar of events below, which is 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 Recreation Team who will then make contact with you to confirm places.

A family petting a guide dog


Atherton Guide Dog Training School, Gibfield Park Avenue, Atherton, Manchester M46 0SU

We'd like to invite children with a vision impairment and their immediate families to attend a family guide dog experience day at our Training School in Atherton, Manchester.

Children and young people, together with their families, will gain an understanding of what is required to become a guide dog owner in the future. They will also look at positives and negatives of having a guide dog versus the cane.

Participants will experience working with a guide dog on the harness and handle (with staff supervision) and learn about instructions used to support a guide dog.

There will be two sessions:

    • 9.30am until 12 noon for children aged six to 10
    • 1pm until 3.30pm for older children aged 11-16

A maximum of 6 children with a vision impairment will be catered for in each activity

More info
Booking form

Father and son at a family day


Thomley Activity Centre, Menmarsh Road, Worminghall, Bucks HP18 9JZ

We will have exclusive use of Thomley Activity Centre for our families, with lots of different tactile and fun activities going on throughout the day, including play rooms, soft play area, art rooms, imagination room, music room and lots of outdoor activities.

Bring a picnic to enjoy at lunchtime and join us for a great opportunity to spend the day with other children and their families, together with representatives from our children and young people’s services team.

More info
Booking form

A young child with his face painted at a touch table


Battersea Park Children's Zoo, Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ

Guide Dogs' children and young people's services would like to invite children with a vision impairment and their families who live in London to a Family Fun Day at Battersea Park Children's Zoo.

The Children's Zoo includes stables, monkeys, lemurs, coati's, a play area and much more. We will have exclusive use of the Tree Tops hospitality cabins and will provide welcoming drinks on arrival. A picnic lunch, ice creams and refreshments will all be provided!

There will be time to watch the otters, meerkats and lemurs being fed and we'll have a private rabbit handling session together with plenty of time to enjoy the zoo.

We have 60 places for this event. Children with a vision impairment plus one parent/guardian are free. Immediate family members £5 and under 2's are free.

More info
Booking form

Outdoor fun at the family weekend


Cliffden Hotel, Dawlish Road, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8TE

The Family weekend is a unique opportunity for families of children with a recent diagnosis of a vision impairment to access specialised services provided by Guide Dogs’ children and young people team. You will be able to meet the team who will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide information and discuss and issues of concern to your family.

The weekend is also an opportunity to meet other parents and exchange information as well as allowing everyone to partake in family fun and games. There will be workshops for parents as well as evening entertainment suitable for the whole family.

More info
Booking form

Young girl sitting on the floor with a guide dog


Redbridge Guide Dog Training School, Findlay House, 7 Manor Road, Woodford Green IG8 8ER

Redbridge Training School is where dogs undergo training before qualifying as a Guide Dog. We are inviting children and young people with their families to gain an understanding of what is required to become a guide dog owner in the future.

Participants will experience working with a guide dog on the harness and handle (with staff supervision) and the instructions used to support a guide dog. They will also learn about foot positions and gain an understanding of how to learn a route with a guide dog as well as experiencing using equipment for working, feeding and grooming a guide dog.

More info
Booking form

Merlin Entertainment

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.

Logos of attractions, to include Thorpe Park, Sea Life Centres and LegolandTo request a copy of the discounted offer leaflet please contact the Recreation Team at we will be happy to forward onto families that we support".

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.

Do you need help?

Please get in touch if you'd like some advice, or to chat about how we can help you.

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