5 Christmas Activities In Newcastle Suitable For Neurodivergent People Of All Ages

Firstly, I just want to say how excited I am to be back blogging! I'll catch you up on what's been happening soon, but first, here's a post I've been working on with NewcastleGateshead.

This post is sponsored by NewcastleGateshead. As always, all views are my own and I have worked with them to make sure that the content is something which we are both proud of!

The majority of my family are Neurodivergent. I'm pleased to say that I'm finding venues are starting to cater better for Neurodivergent people in general, however, I personally find that this is often aimed at children. So, in this blog it was really important for me to highlight activities suitable for all ages. Please, let me know if you can recommend any more. And, I do apologise if the grammar for Neurodiverse/Neurodivergent isn't quite correct - still trying to get to grips with that one!

Image description: A panorama of a wall at The Baltic showing a range of colourful canvases designed by Neurodivergent artists. These can be audio described when visiting the centre. 

'Project Art Works' Residential Exhibition at The Baltic

23 September 2023 – 25 February 2024 | 10am-6pm

An exhibition and collaboration to increase the visibility and presence of
Neurodivergent artists in contemporary art. With over 50 pieces of mixed media artwork, it's not to be missed!

  • The Baltic Crew Team are on hand to interpret the artwork to help bring meaning and understanding to the exhibition
  • The building and facilities are fully accessible. 
  • There are free exhibition tours and access guides

Whilst you're there, check out the free activities in Baltic's Front Room! 

Neurodivergent Night at Northern Lights

7th December | 4.15pm - 5.15pm

Enjoy the Northern lights with reduced audience capacity and reduced audio. 
  • You can get a free carer ticket (with evidence)
  • You can also get a free fast-pass ticket (on a case by case basis)
I will say, I am disappointed there is only one night, for one hour, to support those with additional needs. I also sigh every time I have to upload countless documents to prove my disability to get the access requirements. But, at least it's something?

*Please note, that the entrance for Northern Lights is not well signposted, so please check where you are going before you turn up so you aren't wondering around in the cold!*

Image description: A map in a bright graphic style of Northern Lights, Newcastle. In a circular, clockwise motion from the entrance the immersive experiences are: End of rainbow, Our North Star, Laser Garden, We Are Stardust, Mashmallow Trees (Accessible Toilets), Dash, Fluff Pods, Christmas Twist, Will-O-The-Wisps, tetra Pack, Luminary Lane, Electric Avenue, Upon A Star, Christmas Market. 

Christmas Activities At The Common Rooms

Enjoy STEM activities throughout December in the Common Rooms! Activities include:
  • Tipsy Lego
  • Make Your Own Light Up Christmas Card
  • Glass Bottle Painting
The activities are reasonably priced and such a good find for anyone who loves STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!) 

Image description: A flyer for an activity, LED Christmas cards, at The Common Room. On the left it has someone decorating a Christmas card with paint and some electricity symbols on it. On the right, text says: LED Christmas Cards. Saturday 9th December 12-2pm. Aimed at 5+. Join us for some festive family crafts. Create your own light-up Christmas card using STEM skills. Celebrate the holiday with a dash of science and a sprinkle of creativity. thecommonroom.org.uk. A 2 min walk from Newcastle central station. 

Relaxed Film At Tyneside Cinema

Tyneside cinema have a number of schemes to make going to the cinema financially feasible. In this blog, I'll be highlighting their relaxed screening.
  • Relaxed screenings take place every month in the Roxy screen on the 3rd floor
  • Tickets are £6, companions go free
  • The sound will be played slightly quieter and the lights will be slightly raised
  • Guests are free to move around and use breakout spaces
  • Guest will receive a social story after booking, including information about the film, the building and how the day will run
  • There will be no adverts. The team will introduce themselves before the film starts.

  • Where possible, the screen will have descriptive subtitles
Image description: An alleyway with fairy lights running above. The outside of Tyneside cinema with an old fashioned 'Cinema' sign. The entrance is accessible with automatic glass doors. 

Eldon Square Soft Play / Bowling / Shopping

At Christmas, this can be a bit hit and miss, especially for someone who struggles with sensory overload.
  • Quiet hours 10-11am Tuesday + 9-10am Sunday
  • Sensory Bags available (Includes fidget toys, ear defenders, timers, glasses...) for £20 deposit
At a £20 deposit, I can see why I was told no-one has used the sensory bags. Having a young family member with Autism/ADHD, I'd be worried he'd either loose, break or get upset parting with the contents at the end. It's a good idea, don't get me wrong, I just can see there are still barriers in place.

That aside, Eldon Square is really a hub of Newcastle and a great place to visit - you just might need to find some quiet corners!

Image description: A blue sensory bag with a green lanyard with yellow sunflowers, sunglasses, ear defenders, 3 sand timers in different colours, a tangle fidget, a spinning fidget, a popping fidget in the shape of an ice lollipop and 3 snake fidgets. 

There we go! Do you have any more recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

Kate x

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