Accessible Valentine's day ideas
Valentine’s day has come back around, but it can be difficult to think of accessible romantic activities. Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help you to plan a great day!
Part of a classic date night and can be great for accessibility. Most of the popular cinemas have audio description enabled, screenings with subtitles, wheelchair spaces, and useful accessibility information available on their websites. Approximately 90% of cinemas accept CEA cards, but if you don’t have one you can try checking ahead to see if they offer any discounts.
Many restaurants that are part of a chain have allergen guides. If you can’t find the information you need online, or just want to be certain, see if the venue can be contacted so you can ask any specific questions. Make sure to inform the person serving you of anything you can’t have - even if you’re ordering something that shouldn’t contain it. Better to be safe than sorry. If you have any allergies or sensitivities, make sure that your partner also hasn’t eaten anything containing the ingredients if you’re going for a kiss!
Walks and trails
If trails and countryside views are what interests you then having a look at websites like Accessible Countryside for Everyone and Phototrails can help to inform you of what you can expect to encounter in different locations, and they often provide pictures for people who want to see if it’s the type of setting they are looking for.
A date in comfort at home can be just as romantic - not having other people around allows the day to feel more personal and intimate. You and your partner can choose the atmosphere and what you do during your date, plus you don’t have the pressure of finding out if where you’re going will be suitable for you. Do you have a favourite delivery place, is there a homemade meal you would love to try? You can listen to music and talk, watch your favourite movie, or get out a board game that’s been collecting dust. It can be easier to adapt plans when you’re based at home.
For more unique ideas, what’s available in your area? You might have some great museums and galleries, zoos, or classes (I know I’ve always wanted to try a pottery class). However, don’t feel like you have to try something new if it doesn’t seem suitable - doing an activity or going to place that you’re already familiar with and know works well for you can also be a great idea.
There are many different options and the most reliable way to ensure that they will be suitable for you is doing research. Seeing if activities have information online about their accessibility, or if necessary, contact them with your specific questions and to organise any assistance and adjustments that they offer. Websites like DisabledGo.com and Euan's Guide provide access reviews of different locations.
If you feel that the actual day of the holiday doesn’t work for you, consider if scheduling your activities for a more suitable day would be better. Are you having a bad day on Wednesday and feel like you would enjoy it more on a different day? Worried about how busy it will be and what that will mean for crowding, noise, and quality of assistance? Or maybe what you want to participate in is only available at a different time? Making sure that you and your date enjoy what you’re doing and feel comfortable is often more important than keeping to a particular day!
What are your plans for Valentine’s day? Do you have some great date ideas? What are your experiences of trying to plan accessible dates? It would be great to hear from you.