Going on a date is difficult enough without worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to get through the door. For those of us who use a wheelchair, choosing an activity presents some extra problems. You don’t want to show up to a venue and realize you can’t navigate comfortably, or if an area is provided, your date doesn’t have a place to sit. Luckily with a little planning, you can come up with a host of options that will guarantee you your biggest worry is your outfit, not the staircase.
Now it might sound a little nerdy, but museums are an excellent venue for wheelchair-users, as well as just an interesting place to go. Because museums are mostly government-funded facilities, they come with all the standards the government requires, including wheelchair accessibility. Not only are most museums wheelchair-friendly, but they also accommodate a host of other disabilities, such as deafness and blindness. Therefore museums are one of the easiest places to bring a date logistically, and also a perfect place to make conversation with someone you may not know.
2) Botanical Garden
Botanical gardens are another place often funded by the government and therefore are held up to high accessibility standards. Weather permitting, botanical gardens are both beautiful, romantic, and not too romantic, if you’re looking for an option for a first date.
3) Street Festival
Street festivals are very wheelchair-accessible since they tend to be on the, you know, street. Some of my best dates have been art festivals, food festivals, or all of the above. There’s plenty to do, plenty to talk about, and if the date isn’t going well, it’s very easy to get away.
4) Picnic in the Park
Simple and cheap, a picnic in the park is a great way to get to know someone while getting some fresh air. Just find a park with some good picnic tables, and the date is set. The major issue for a picnic is the weather factor, but just make sure to have a decent back-up restaurant and there’s nothing to worry about.
5) The Aquarium
Much like museums, aquariums are held to the same government-funded standards and are therefore guaranteed to have disability accommodation. Accessible paths tend to be the most popular, so no worries about awkwardness since you’ll be lost in a crowd.
Now it might sound strange, but casinos are incredibly accessible when it comes to private venues. Like museums or sports stadiums, casinos are designed to accommodate everyone, from the disabled to the elderly. Your only worry will be losing money, so make sure to set a maximum amount before heading in. This can be a fun and unusual way to get to know someone, and to make sure they don’t have a gambling addiction!
Bowling happens to be one of the best activities for those of us who use a wheelchair. Since we rely on arm strength more than the average joe, you may have an advantage. If you find bowling difficult, remember there is a variety of equipment you can buy to make things easier, so make sure to check that out. Plus I find some healthy competition is a great way to break the ice when getting to know a new person.
If there’s a university or library near you, these are great venues that host a variety of interesting lectures, most often for free. Again, this is a nerdy option, but I find a good lecture will give you plenty to talk about afterward, especially if it’s on a topic you and your date have a mutual interest in.
9) Sporting Event
If sports are something you’re into, tickets to a game tend to be a great option. Doubtlessly there will be seating for those with disabilities, but call ahead to make sure your date can sit next to you just in case. This is a great option since you’ll be completely inconspicuous–it’s nice having an activity where you won’t draw attention since everyone else will be sitting in a chair and focused on the game.