See that round orb peeping out from behind a cloud? That’s the sun and if the weather forecast’s on your side, it’s time to get out into the big outdoors!

A big thank you to all the Compass Card families that have come up with ideas – you can add your own suggestions in the comments box below if you log in with your Facebook, Twitter or Google account – and we’ll be giving away prizes for the best!

For further information about the Compass Card offers listed below, see the Compass Card app or the offers page. If you haven’t got the Compass Card app already, search ‘compass card’ in the App Store or Google Play and download the Brighton and Hove or West Sussex version.

Park life

What’s not to like about a local park? There’s space for games, so pack a Frisbee, Big tree in field at Beech Hurst.a kite, a rounders bat – and a picnic – and make the most of your local space, or try something new… You can get Compass Card discounts on park tennis courts in Brighton and Hove and in Mid Sussex and Beech Hurst Park in Haywards Heath also offers a discount on its bowling green and petanque terrain.

“Beech Hurst in Haywards Heath is great – it has a large open space for ball games and picnics and a miniature train railway which is £1 a ride! It has beautiful flower gardens to see and a great park which is enclosed by a fence for most of it and has a large net swing and climbing frame outside the fencing. Harvester is right onsite for family-friendly food and drinks which has outside and inside seating and there is a little cafe for snacks, drinks and ice creams. Oh AND it has a *PokeStop! It is a cheap day out in good weather and has plenty of space for families to be together”, says Compass Card parent, Carla.

Over in Brighton, Stanmer Park has a real country feel to it, along with a duck pond, woods and open spaces. You could even book on an Earthship Brighton tour at Stanmer Organics if that’s your thing – http://www.lowcarbon.co.uk/tours/tour-schedule

For more info about Brighton parks, visit https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/leisure-and-libraries/parks-and-green-spaces For more info about parks in West Sussex, visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/events-activities-and-community-venues/parks-and-gardens/

* For fans of online game Pokemon GO, PokeStops are places that allow you to collect items like eggs and Poke Balls to capture more Pokemon!

Down the docks

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a huge site that’s teeming with naval Aerial shot of Portsmouth Historic Dockyardhistory and there’s more than enough here for several visits. The dockyard is home to famous warships like the Mary Rose and HMS Victory, as well as the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth. There isn’t a Compass Card offer here, but there are some great deals available online.

Compass Card mum, Chloe, recommends it. “Another place we like to go is Portsmouth Dockyard. If you book online it’s cheaper. *£36 for a family of 1 adult and up to 3 children. The ticket can be used for a whole year and you can collect a free carers ticket from the customer service when you arrive. We have been three times and not done everything there. They have a water bus tour and a very good activity centre for the kids including climbing wall and simulator all included in the annual ticket price as well as the museums and historic boats. It’s brilliant value for money. Disability access information on website and if you phone the helpline” she says.

For more information, see http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/ The site isn’t fully wheelchair accessible (there are steep steps in the Mary Rose for example), but there’s plenty that is and there are accessible toilets on the site. See http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/site-attractions/plan-your-visit/accessibility for more info.

*When we checked this online, the cost is now £48, but it’s still a great deal for a whole year.

Good deal at Borde Hill

Show the Compass Card at Borde Hill Garden and a carer and Compass Card holder get in for just £4.50, not bad considering the range of activities available this summer holiday. There’s a daily ‘Alice in Wonderland’ garden trail and on selected days, you can travel round the garden on ‘Lennie the Landtrain’ and enjoy ‘Tomfoolery’ shows, face painting, comedy, magic, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and outdoor games on the lawn, including giant Jenga and badminton. There’s also an adventure playground with zip wire, balance beams, swings, slides and climbing frames, plus plenty of space for ball games, kite flying and picnics.

Bird’s eye view

We don’t have an official Compass Card offer in place at Brighton’s i360, i360 in Brighton.but Compass Card parent, Christine, who lives in Brighton, recommends it for a trip out. Located on Brighton sea front at the site of the old West Pier, the i360 takes you up 138 metres for a great view of the city, the English Channel and beyond. As a resident of BN1, BN2, BN3 or BN41, Christine has a ‘Resident Membership’ that entitles her to discounted off-peak tickets for a year.

“Went on with [my son], I was free as his carer and only paid £8 for him. To all who are scared of heights the i360 was the smoothest ride – if you didn’t look you would think you were still on the ground.”

The i360 is wheelchair accessible – see http://britishairwaysi360.com/plan-your-visit/accessibility/ for more info. If you’re a Brighton and Hove resident, find out more about Resident Membership here – http://britishairwaysi360.com/plan-your-visit/resident-membership/

Trust the National Trust

Compass mum, Chloe, says the National Trust is an outright National Trust East Sussexwinner for her family. The Trust looks after hundreds of sites across the length and breadth of the country and joining up gives you unlimited access to them.

“My tip for the summer holidays is to join the National Trust. We pay for a ‘Family 1 adult’ [membership] and you can include up to 10 children/grandchildren. It costs £5.95 a month (and we got a free gift when we joined). Then if you call the helpline and ask for an ‘access for all card’ for the child with disability, [it] gets a carer in free in all National Trust places. They have lots of information on the website and a helpline about disabled access (you can get the access for all card even if you’re not a member, you also can get a free carer without an access for all card if you bring proof of disability)” explains Chloe.

Find out more about the National Trust here – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/

Weald and Downland comes up trumps

Set in 40 glorious acres of Sussex downland, Cart horse standing outside old fashioned cottagesWeald and Downland Living Museum near Chichester has a café and shop and charts the rural history of families that have lived on the downs over the last thousand years or so. Staff at the museum are laying on a free Compass Card fun day on Tuesday 29 August, so make sure you check the Compass News e-newsletter for more information and details of how to book. The museum’s also running ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’, fun-packed activity days for children and young people every Wednesday in August from 11am to 4pm. Take the Compass Card with you to get discounted entry of £4.50, which includes one carer. There’s accessible parking and toilets here, but some steep slopes may be tricky for wheelchair users to negotiate.

Down on the farm

Get your wellies on get up close with some farm animals this summer. Donkey and a cow.There are Compass Card offers at six farms (and there’s a farm at Knockhatch Adventure Park too), so it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out the Compass Card app for details.

Ferring Country Centre, a charitable organisation that provides training and work experience for people with learning disabilities, is Compass Card parent Jackie’s favourite. “A great day out with children is Ferring Country Centre, it’s a disabled riding centre so everything’s accessible and adapted, £2 quid entry, great cafe or take a picnic, lovely playground, sweet animal farm which is flat and accessible, great staff who let you hold the animals. We can easily fill a whole day there with a picnic plus your day out supports a great charity” A parent carer goes free with the Compass Card at Ferring.

Compass Card parent Tina has a great farm suggestion if you’re on a budget. “Mile Oak Farm. A small free farm for a quick look at the horses and chickens, donkeys and peacocks. The cafe is reasonable and has nice homemade cakes.”

Mile Oak Farm is in Portslade, East Sussex BN41 2RF. Tel: 01273 424651 or email: mileoakfarm@gmail.com

Say hello to Alice

Alice Holt Forest in Surrey may be a bit of a schlep, but we think it’s Woman and young man on assisted bike.worth it and it has a 4.5 rating on Trip Adviser, which can’t be bad! This lovely forest has a café, Alice Holt Cycling with its full range of adapted bikes and all ability cycle track (and Compass Card discount!), a Gruffalo Trail, Go Ape treetop adventures, playground and a Changing Places facility and accessible toilet. Car parking is charged for, but there’s no entry fee to the forest itself. See https://www.forestry.gov.uk/aliceholt for more info, or check out the Compass Card app for deals on the cycling.

Summer in Selsey

How about a day out in Selsey near Bognor? If you take your Compass Young people in go karts on track.Card, you could drop in to Selsey Go Karts and Crazy Golf and get a 20% discount for up to four people and finish up with games and a picnic on the shingle beach. There are three double go karts which are good for children or young people who need extra assistance. Or, if the weather looks iffy, you could head to Oasis Leisure Complex next door and visit the pool with its megasplash water slide, lazy river and competition pool – one carer goes free with a Compass Card holder.

Water, water everywhere

We’ve got four Compass Card offers designed to get you out on Boy in kayak.the water this summer. Brighton Kayak Experience’s Rob Leatham aims to get everyone out on the water, no matter what their ability and he provides a 10% discount to card holders, plus a carer goes free. He runs group or one to one sessions in the sea at Shoreham or on local rivers and he’s running discounted one to one coaching at £30 per hour for Compass Card holders on 8 and 9 August.

“Rob’s amazing with the kids. The fearlessness and confidence he instills in them is just brilliant” says Compass Card parent, Emma.

Wheelchair users may enjoy at trip on the Solar Heritage catamaran (the onboard toilet isn’t accessible, but there’s an accessible toilet on the harbour). The silky smooth boat departs from Emsworth in the summer and takes in the glorious landscape of Chichester Harbour.

Buzz Active at Eastbourne and Cuckmere has proved popular with some Compass Card families and has plenty of experience with children and young people with additional needs (although it doesn’t have specialist equipment or hoists for those with complex needs). There’s a 5% Compass Card discount and you can choose from a range of watersports including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing and power boating.

Buzz Active gets top marks from Compass Card parent, Janine. “They’re really fantastic with [my son]. The staff are to die for – young and enthusiastic. We started going in March and he’s already done his RYA levels 1, 2 and 3 and now he’s doing level 4.” 

You can also get a 10% Compass Card discount on hiring out kayaks, rowing boats, canoes and dinghies (dinghies have to be booked at least two days in advance) at Dynamic Adventures on Tilgate Lake.

  • Janine also recommends the Nancy Oldfield Trust for a break away where you can enjoy  can enjoy sailing, canoeing, fishing, bird watching and motor boat cruises in Norfolk in a fully accessible bungalow. “It’s so fantastic and totally specialist. It’s a hike, but the roads are clear out of season”.

Mellow yellow?

If beach sports and volleyball are your thing, Yellowave in Brighton could Aerial view of yellowave volleyball courtbe your idea of heaven – and if you haven’t tried volleyball yet, perhaps it’s time to give it a go. You can book a whole court and play as a group, or there are coaching sessions for different age groups priced at £6 each. There are also hour long Beach Volleyball Party options for up to 12 players; these include an intro to beach volleyball and a match at the end and if you can get a dozen people together, that’s less than £6 each. There’s a Compass Card discount on court bookings during the day Monday to Friday, as well as a 10% discount in Yellowave’s Barefoot Café.

We’re offering prizes for your best summer ideas

We’re talking about leisure in our blogs and e-news letters over the summer holidays, but we want ideas from you and we’ll be offering prizes for the best ideas. The ideas could be Compass Card offers, or have nothing to do with the Compass Card. You can comment below by logging on with your Facebook, Twitter or Google account (or if you prefer, email compass@amazebrighton.org.uk or message us at Amaze Compass on Facebook) – and answer all or just one or two of the following:

1. What’s your ‘Failsafe leisure activity’ – the one that more or less works every time? Why does it work?

2. What’s your recommendation for ‘Leisure on a budget’ when money is tight? What does it cost and why do you think it’s a bargain?

3. Rainy day rescues or shelter from the heat – if you need to go undercover, what places do you recommend and why?

4. Do you have any other leisure tips or ideas for the summer? Please share them!

Please note, if we include your idea in a blog or in Compass News, we’ll use a quote from you, along with your first name, so do let us know if you want to remain anonymous.