5 all-weather accessible activities to do this winter

As the mercury dips and the days shorten, it’s time to prepare for the cold months ahead. Australia’s wet winters can bring extra challenges for people with disability, with an increased risk of falls and illness. But by making the most of accessible wet-weather activities, you can turn it into a season to enjoy.

Here are our top five picks for awesome, accessible activities to enjoy – rain, hail or shine.

1. Join an accessible ice skating session

Accessible winter activities-3Most capital cities are home to accessible ice skating rinks, where people with a disability can get out on the ice. In Melbourne, for example, the O’Brien Icehouse welcomes people in wheelchairs to experience the thrills of gliding across the ice, while in Sydney the Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink has inclusive skating classes if you want to learn to skate in a supportive environment.

Or, if you are lucky enough to live close enough to Australia’s snowfields, consider signing up to Disabled Winter Sport. Members can access adaptative equipment and instruction, as well as discounted lift passes and accessible accommodation at ski fields in NSW and Victoria.

2. Get festive with Christmas in July

Christmas in July

If you love a get-together with friends and family, then why not organise a celebration under the guise of Christmas in July? It’s the perfect excuse for a festive catch-up. You could go with an ‘ugly Christmas jumper’ theme, where everyone gets rugged up in their silliest knits, or simply kit out your home with gaudy Christmas baubles.

And, of course, you could make the most of the colder weather to cook up a delicious hot dinner for your Christmas feast. Think roast beef and gravy, plum pudding, hot cocoa and cookies … mmmmm.

3. Channel your inner masterchef with winter warming recipes

Accessible winter activities-4Throughout the colder months, it’s important to eat nourishing meals that help your body get ready to fight off any winter bugs and colds.

What better time, then, to pull out your slow cooker or browse new recipes for delicious, nutritious meals?

Think steaming bowls of porridge topped with winter fruits, or hearty winter soups and stews packed full of vegetables and healthy fats. You could challenge yourself to one new recipe every week, and rate your favourites.

4. Explore museums and galleries

Accessible winter activities-2Winter is the perfect time to head into your favourite galleries and museums. Major centres like the National Gallery of Victoria have information on their website to help you plan your visit, with different resources available for visitors who are blind, deaf, have a physical disability or a sensory sensitivity.

Or, if you fancy coming face-to-face with Horridus the Triceratops, plan a visit to Melbourne Museum this winter. As well as visiting dinosaurs, there’s an incredible range of permanent exhibits to explore – making it a great day inside. You can find all its accessibility information online.

5. Rug up for a wintry outdoor adventure

Accessible winter activities-1If there’s a break in the rain, head out into the great outdoors. Despite the cold (and, let’s face it, often wet) conditions, getting out and about is a great way to stave off cabin fever during the winter months, and can be good for both your physical and mental health.

It goes without saying that you’ll need to rug up. If you use a wheelchair, you’ll know how difficult it can be to regulate your body temperature in the colder months. Add layers, like thermal underwear and warm socks, plus woolly jumpers, puffer jacket and beanie. Then, you’re ready for action! Just be extra vigilant on paths and roads in winter, as they can get slippery.

Got other winter activities you love?

You might love ten pin bowling, trips to the movies, or sitting in the warmth of libraries reading books. Whatever you love to do, we hope you have a warm and cosy winter ahead.