Places to go and things to do


Leisure is the time we spend doing the things we enjoy. It includes a wide range of different activities, from getting involved with a sports team and visiting an art gallery to reading a book. Leisure is valuable because it gives us time to spend time with our friends and family, to try new things and to take on new challenges.

Having interests and being able to participate in activities is something all parents want for their child. Many parents of SEND children are concerned that their child’s ‘world’ is restricted to home and school and they want their child to have greater variety and opportunities. Many parents express the desire for their children to participate in mainstream activities in their local community but, finding suitable and accessible leisure activities can be a big challenge.  Even before you've left the house there are a number of things to consider, such as transport, costs and finding suitable facilities. As a result, the prospect of organising an activity or a day trip can be a daunting prospect.

Certainly there are obstacles. But with careful planning and preparation, parents can help their children to get involved in leisure activities both on their own and together as a family, and might even be able to relax and enjoy the experience themselves.


  • have fun
  • relax
  • take part in exciting activities that interest them
  • develop feelings of independence and get more confidence
  • spend time with their friends and family – and make new one
  • achieve personal goals and learn new skills
  • enable children and young people with disabilities and additional needs to join in with safe, entertaining and interesting activities
  • provide important opportunities for learning and are an essential part of a child’s experience.

All the activities and venues in this section have been recommended by parents of children with SEND.

If you any other suggestions for places to go and things to do, please contact

Note: the London Borough of Waltham Forest is not endorsing these examples and stresses that there are a range of other activities and services that may be of equal or greater benefit. 

Download our Local offer things to do listing


Cinema Card (CEA Card) Click to get info

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed by the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) for UK cinemas. The scheme was introduced in 2004 and is one of the ways for participating cinemas to ensure they make reasonable adjustments for disabled guests when they go to the cinema; in particular it ensures a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them. CEA Card costs £6 to join.

Click here to apply for a CEA Card

Max Card Click to get info

The Max Card is a discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs. Families simply show their Max Card upon entry to a venue in order to obtain free or discounted admission.

The scheme is designed to help these families save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling alleys and more.

We aim to provide a sense of community through stimulating learning experiences and enjoyable days out for everyone.

We work with local authorities and selected charities, who administer the cards to eligible families in their areas.

In Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Parent Forum has joined the scheme so anyone who is a member is able to purchase a card directly from them. The Max Card costs £3.60 online (including postage) or £3 in person at a forum event.

Find out more about The Max Card

Useful Links Click to get info

Radar Key

The National Key Scheme (NKS) offers disabled people independent access to locked public toilets around the country. Toilets fitted with National Key Scheme (NKS) locks can now be found in shopping centres, pubs, cafés, department stores, bus and train stations and many other locations in most parts of the country.

Buy a Radar Key from the Disability Rights UK website

Changing Places toilets

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, often need extra facilities to allow them to use the toilets comfortably.

Changing Places campaign to deliver toilets that are different to standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") with extra features and more space to meet these needs.

Find out more about Changing Places