Braeden is out every day with his support workers and the wet summer has meant we’ve had to come up with lots of indoor activities. I’m not going to lie, it’s been so hard to keep variety in his days. It’s not easy dealing with getting Braeden in and out of the car in heavy rain and trying to keep his wheelchair and anyone supporting him dry. As a result, Braeden has been repeat visiting many places but he’s so social he’s usually happy as long as there are people to engage with. Given school holidays are either starting or already underway, I thought I’d put together a list of ideas to try and help others keep their sanity.
Out and about rainy day wheelchair accessible activity suggestions
Braeden loves being out rather than having quiet home days so he’s visited just about every wheelchair accessible museum, gallery and indoor recreation centre in Sydney. Here’s a list of his favourites. I’ll list the venue in Sydney he visits but it’s worth checking if you have somewhere similar where you live. I’m hoping this list might be a prompt for people to research a local equivalent.
Ice Zoo Sydney
Not all ice rinks allow wheelchairs on the ice at all sessions but Ice Zoo Sydney does for public sessions. Braeden loves zipping around the ice in his chair with his support worker and finds the other skaters pretty friendly too. Make sure you pack wear layers to keep you warm.
Ice Zoo offers parking underneath the building with lift access to the rink. You can find out more about Ice Zoo and session times on their website.
Ten Pin Bowling
Bowling is a well known accessible outing suitable for all ages. Make sure you book early to reserve a lane in wet weather (the day before in school holidays is ideal). When booking ensure you let staff know about your access needs. We always mention we have a wheelchair user and would like a lane that will make moving around easier.
Braeden has visited many Sydney bowling alleys but Strike at Macquarie Centre offers undercover accessible parking in the complex and lift access. An accessible bathroom is within the Strike Bowling Centre too.
I know there are a few indoor mini-golf centres but by nature mini-golf generally has some access challenges. We’ve visited Putt Planet in Sydney many times and find this to be the most accessible mini-golf but I’d love to hear of others elsewhere.
You can read our detailed review of Putt Planet here.
Museums and art galleries
Pop into your local museum or art gallery for an indoor activity with a side of culture. Braeden has spent lots of time in Sydney’s galleries and museums recently. I think he knows every square inch of them all. For Sydney-siders, here’s our list of places to explore.
New exhibitions also make revisiting museums more fun. Any Lego lovers must check out Jurassic by Brickman at The Australian Museum. You can read our review here.
Also, don’t discount the smaller galleries and museums. Although they may not fill a day, there’s often super cool exhibitions to check out. One of our faves is White Rabbit Gallery here in Sydney. They currently have Big in China which is cool. You can read our review here.
Braeden loves going to the movies, though I must admit he hasn’t been back since early December last year due to Omicron. There’s always a good range of new school holiday movies released and if you want a real treat, and your budget will stretch for it, try Gold Class. There’s far fewer people in a Gold Class session and seats are more spread out. We’re also a fan of indoor movie nights at home and in fine weather the drive-in movies.
Borrow a hall
When Omicron and the rainy weather hit in January we made enquiries to see if we could access a hall. We were lucky to be offered a church hall where Braeden could take a range of indoor games and had access to a kitchen to do cooking. We found this hall through asking in a local community Facebook group. We don’t pay for this but when I was desperate I did find out that Scout and Community halls weren’t hugely expensive to hire for a day. This cost could be split with a couple of other people which would also make it more fun no doubt. Everyone could bring a few games for variety. It’s a good change of scenery and can be made fun with the right activities. Try asking in your local Buy nothing Facebook group, you maybe surprised at how many responses you get.
Rainy day at home accessible activities
Braeden’s never been a huge fan of art but when we pulled out a paint roller for a rainy day indoor painting activity he was very keen to give it a go. We did need to ensure when he was wielding the roller that he had someone else hanging onto it too. We didn’t really want our ceiling repainted yellow, red and blue!
We put a disposable plastic table cloth down on the floor, rolled out some butcher’s paper, Braeden squeezed dots of paint on the paper and then rolled over it with the roller to make whatever design he liked.
We’ve had lots of fun with dry ice experiments and I’m possibly a bigger fan than Braeden if I’m honest.
You can get some ideas of ways to have fun with dry ice in our previous blog about it.
Braeden loves having the opportunity to do the activities some of his favourite YouTubers get up to in their videos. And these are guys around the same age as him so it just goes to show he’s not the only one that enjoys a bit of silly fun on a rainy day.
Blow up and tape some balloons in a row to the floor and have a race to see who can pop them first. It’s guaranteed fun. Braeden has no noise sensitivities so he loved this one.
Bubble wrap races
Grab a big roll of bubble wrap from a Reject Shop or similar (about $8 for a big roll) lay it down on the ground and enjoy the satisfying sound of a million bubbles popping. Whether you’re trying to encourage walking in a walker or wheeling in a chair this one ensures lots of laughs.
Love them or hate them, rainy days can be a challenge when it comes to finding accessible entertainment. While Amelia thinks rainy days are great for a movie day on the lounge, Braeden much prefers being out no matter the weather. I’d really love to hear your ideas for rainy day accessible fun whether it’s home activities or getting out and about.
Wheelchair painting is a lot of fun too! Have him design a simple 2-3 color design using the computer, then using a painting medium to prolong the dry time of house paint, paint the design on canvas and cover with plastic, then tape down with duct tape and have him roll over the paint with his chair in any pattern he chooses.
Thanks for your ideas!
Thanks for this great idea.We’ll have to give it a go.