Great places to take your children with special needs in Brisbane
Brisbane is a city with something for everyone. Bordered by bays and bush, and being a rapidly growing capital city, we really do have a great range of options for entertainment and exploration.
As kids with special needs tend to have vastly differing needs, before embarking on an outing it’s best to consider a few things:
1. Firstly, what are my child’s interests. What does he or she find fun and exciting?
2. Who is coming with us. What will I need to take?
3. Can we get help if we need? How easy will it be to return home or find medical care, or even take time out if needed?
4. If my child has limited mobility, what access is available for wheelchairs and other mobility aids?
5. Am I eligible for a discount on entry or are there any special allowances for my child that may give us a better experience?
6. What is the best time of day or day of the week to go? Do I need to worry about crowds or noise?
There are quite a few parks out there that have much to offer kids with special needs. A little bit out of the way, but nice for a day trip is Queens Park in Ipswich. Particularly great for kids with limited mobility, the park’s café and amenities all have wheelchair access, and a liberty swing has been installed also for use with wheelchairs. Other parks with liberty swings can be found here -
Closer to the CBD is Hawthorne Park on Riding Road. This is a great little playground for kids who tend to attempt escape. It is fully fenced, shaded, and is well-padded for those kids that are a little accident-prone. There are a few other fenced playgrounds around, offering a low-risk play experience for young kids.
In South Brisbane, there is a line up of some of the best experiences for kids – and they’re free. A stroll or zip around the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum can be a great experience for budding artists or curious kids. A lesser-known gem in this part of the city, is The Corner, on the ground floor of the State Library. Suitable for preschool aged kids and below, The Corner is a quiet play area often set up with dress-ups, books, craft, computers, imaginative play and construction toys to keep the kids busy. It’s cool and quiet, and worth a visit if you are in the area.
Pools and Water Play
Swimming and water play is a big part of our lifestyle as Queenslanders, as evidenced by the number of pools and water play places dotted around our capital city. Some kids prefer to be fully immersed, having a paddle or a kick around, while others just like to be near water – feeling the splashes or smelling the saltiness of the sea. Water is a sensory experience. It can be calming or exciting, depending on your child and their particular preferences. Knowing what your child enjoys is important before ‘throwing them in the deep end’. Luckily, we have lots of options in Brisbane to help kids with special needs benefit from water play.
Many pools, like The Colmslie Pool in Morningside have disability access and offer hydrotherapy, swimming lessons or free play. Alternatively, on Wynnum Esplanade you can find a water park, which allows kids to run in and out of the water fountains or play on the equipment nearby. On the north side, Redcliffe Lagoon also has a water park, which may be preferable for those kids who don’t like to enter water, but like to feel water on their skin.
All throughout the year, events for children with special needs and disabilities are advertised, and can be found on websites such as What's on 4 Kids and Families Magazine - Brisbane.