Family events

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.


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Relaxing and having fun can encourage children with sight loss to develop confidence and make new friends. One family who attended the Summer Party at Gulliver's World on Saturday 16 June 2018 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."

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

Events

Please see our events below, which are 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 Family Events Team who will then make contact with you to confirm places.

Fantastic day! So informative and interesting. Also a huge confidence boost for two children who were a little uncertain of dogs. Our son really enjoyed his experience of being led by the guide dog. A really helpful experience and something to think about for the future. Thank you! What a lovely team!
Feedback from the Family guide dog experience day on Thursday 25 October
  • Well-being workshop, Watford - Monday 21 October 2019

    Watford Connexions One Stop Shop, 206-210 Lower High Street, Watford WD17 2EL

    Inspired by Mental Health Awareness Week, join us and MIND for a day of workshops and activities focusing on how to feel good about yourself. Aimed at young people, 11 years and older, with a visual impairment and their parents/carers, there will also be:

    • sessions in the kitchen to develop independent living skills
    • workshops for parents/carers on well-being

    This free day runs from 10.30am to 3pm and includes lunch. Places are limited, so please book by Friday 18 October by calling 0345 1430228 or emailing lisa.underhill@guidedogs.org.uk

  • Family guide dog experience day, Redbridge - Tuesday 22 October 2019 - FULLY BOOKED

    Guide Dogs Training Centre, Woodford Green, Near London IG8 8ER

    This is a day when the whole family can experience what it would be like to own a guide dog. The programme includes:

    • welcome introductions
    • a practical hands-on dog handling experience for all family members
    • dog grooming
    • fun activities
    • a question and answer session

    The day starts at 10.30am and will finish at around 3.00pm, with a lunch break where families can bring a picnic and we all have time to chat – drinks are provided.

    Join us for a fun-filled and informative experience for the whole family.

    More Info
    Booking Form

  • Annual family weekend, Windermere - Friday 25 to Sunday 27 October 2019 - FULLY BOOKED

    Windermere Manor Hotel, Rayrigg Road, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1ES

    The Family weekend is a unique opportunity for families of children, with a recent diagnosis of vision impairment, to access specialised services provided by the Guide Dogs’ children and young people team.

    The team will also be on hand throughout the weekend to provide information and discuss any issues of concern and to run workshops for parents.

    The weekend is an opportunity to meet other parents and exchange information as well as allowing everyone to join in family fun and games, including evening entertainment suitable for the whole family.

    More Info
    FULLY BOOKED

  • Children’s Christmas party and Winter Wonderland, Tamworth - Saturday 23 November 2019 - FULLY BOOKED

    Tamworth Snowdome, River Drive, Tamworth B79 7ND

    Kick-off the day at 8.30am with hot chocolate, tea or coffee and Danish pastries in readiness for an exclusive visit to Santa's Winter Wonderland!

    This ultimate Christmas adventure for all the family includes:

    • Real snow and falling snow, for the best snow slides, snow tubes and snowball fights
    • A sledge ride and stroll through the enchanted forest
    • Meeting Santa, his reindeer and visiting his animal village
    • A hot and cold buffet lunch

    Children with a vision impairment and one parent/guardian go free and immediate family members are £7.50 each. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment

    More info
    Fully booked

  • Christmas party at We The Curious Museum, Bristol - Saturday 30 November 2019 - FULLY BOOKED

    We The Curious, 1 Millennium Square, Anchor Road, Bristol BS1 5DB 

    We The Curious Museum, on Bristol’s harbourside, is like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences where you can interact with exhibits and take part in experiments. It's an adventure with less SHHH and more play, where you DO touch the exhibits and DO laugh out loud! Where science is accessible to all.

    Children's entertainer, Lucy Lost-It, will also be on hand to dazzle the children with astounding magic, dancing, hilariously funny puppet shows and fun party games. There'll be crafts, colouring and face painting and a sandwich buffet for all to enjoy. And of course, there will be a visit from Father Christmas!

    All this crammed between 10am and 2pm, so be sure to have an early night the night before!

    More info
    Fully booked

  • Dick Whittington, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - Sunday 5 January 2020 

    The Grand Theatre Wolverhampton, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1DE

    Staring Ryan Thomas (from Coronation Street and Neighbours), Su Pollard (from Hi-de-Hi!,  You Rang, M'Lord? and Oh, Doctor Beeching!) and Jeffrey Holland (from Hi-de-Hi!).

    This panto season, at a special audio described performance, join Dick Whittington on the ultimate rags to riches adventure as he outwits Queen Rat and takes his rightful place as Lord Mayor of London. The Grand’s sensational Christmas show features all the ingredients for a magical pantomime – side-splitting comedy, live music and a lot of audience participation!

    Prior to the panto, meet at 11.30am for an exclusive touch tour where everyone will be able to go back-stage and meet some of the actors in their costumes and familiarise themselves with a selection of the props and sets. Bring along a picnic and then take your seats in the centre stalls for a 2pm showing of the main event.

    Priority will be given to families who aren't attending the Guide Dogs Christmas parties, to ensure as many families as possible enjoy this festive time of year. Children with a vision impairment plus one parent/guardian go free and immediate family members are £7.50 each.

    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.

To request a copy of the discounted offer leaflet please contact the Family Events Team at familyevents@guidedogs.org.uk.

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.

Get the latest news on new activities and events

Do you need help?

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

0800 781 1444