About our relaxed sessions
We work with the Sensory Trust to hold relaxed performances and sessions, designed to welcome visitors who may benefit from a more informal experience, such as those with autism and sensory or communication needs.
How relaxed sessions work
The sessions run throughout the year, mainly during the school holidays, and are based on activities taken from our current event taking place onsite, including our Halloweden event in October half-term.
We make the sessions as close to the general experience as possible – but with lighting and sound adjustments as needed. We also have staff on hand to help facilitate the sessions and allow visitors to enjoy a sensory experience. You will always be free to leave the sessions at any point you wish.
'I would like to say a special thank you to elf Fizz, for taking extra time to interact with my daughter... That sent Rosie out with a big smile on her face.'
Facebook comment from a parent at a Father Christmas relaxed session
What time of day they run
Most of the sessions run in the morning, before site opens, to allow the visitors to move around the site freely in a calmer environment with fewer visitors. Attendees are more than welcome to stay on at Eden and enjoy the site throughout the day if desired.
Following feedback from our visitors, we are working towards holding sessions during the day where possible and dependent on the programme. We are currently looking at ways of facilitating these that would allow relaxed session visitors to still enjoy a stress-free visit.
For sessions with a bookable performance element, we are currently able to offer various timed sessions throughout the day to help more people attend, but please note that although the sessions themselves are still capped, the rest of site could be very busy during these times.
We work to an appropriate capped capacity for all attendees during the sessions, so that we can carefully control the numbers for those that need it.
Who they're for
Any visitor who feels it would be beneficial to them is more than welcome to join a session – adults and children alike. All sessions need to be booked in advance so we are able to keep a careful eye on numbers.
'It was all very easy and not stressful.'
Parent review in an online blog
'We brought our son who has autism to the Eater relaxed session and he had a brilliant time. The staff were excellent and the activities were lots of fun. He was so excited to find a golden egg too!'
Marilyn, 2018 Facebook comment
How to book onto a relaxed session
Wherever we have relaxed sessions available, we’ll share the information on the event webpage, so keep an eye on upcoming events for more details.
The sessions don’t cost anything more to attend, but please note where the event is separately ticketed, such as our Father Christmas experience, the usual prices apply. You’ll also need a valid form of admission, such as a Locals’ Pass, Annual Pass, Membership or ticket for all visitors. Please note that we offer free entry to carers.
Once you’re booked onto the session, we’ll send you a pre-visit email with all the information you’ll need for your visit, including a map of the site, more information on timings, and who to get in contact with if you have further questions.
Accessibility at Eden
From Changing Places toilets, to symbol supported signage, we pride ourselves on being a fully accessible site – we even won the Inclusive Tourism Award by Visit England in 2017.
Delivered in partnership with the Sensory Trust
All our relaxed sessions are run in conjunction with the Sensory Trust, a leading authority on inclusive and sensory design.