Kids all access… the Barbican Arts Centre

Posted on Feb 17, 2014 | 2 comments

Oh, Barbican Arts Centre: you audacious modernist complex, you concrete slabs and jutting angles, you that supplies not one, but six different flavours of ice cream (of which I bought four of today, yum).

Oh, Barbican Arts Centre: I think I’m a little bit in love with you.

Check out the padded seats at the Barbican. (That's Grandma Bar holding May- May before the convent)

Check out the padded seats at the Barbican. (That’s the gorgeous Grandma Bar with May before the concert)

Here’s a brief list of the reasons why:

  1. Free parking for Blue Badge holders
  2. Free carer ticket to events*
  3. Lifts, wide corridors, automatic doors – everywhere
  4. Easy access to wheelchair seats – and they are good seats
  5. Home to the London Symphony Orchestra – lovelovelove


May has been to many exhibits/concerts at the Barbican. It is not a solemn and pretentious arts venue. It is a noisy place where her screams of glee or complaints are masked behind the screams of glee or complaints of hundreds of other children.

It is the perfect place for children, disabled or not. Did you know, for example, that the audacious modernism I mentioned earlier is actually a playground for children? I didn’t either until I saw hundreds of the little buggers sliding down the Barbican’s banisters and chasing each other up and down the stairs, and outside weaving in and out of the pillars in the gardens.

It is a space that is meant for fun, and fun for everyone.

Incidentally, though we have been to other things there, I mentioned the LSO particularly because May has seen them perform four times now. Their family concerts, during the school holidays, are ridiculously inexpensive (£10 adult/£5 child – and don’t forget that free carer ticket). And they include free music, craft and story workshops beforehand. And a free creche for under-7s (that I’ve used four times for my son and is marvellous). Ice cream is extra. But worth it.

More information:

Disabled access guide to the Barbican 
The Barbican has a Changing Places facility

* Free carer tickets available once you sign up for an access pass online

Kids all access… London is an on-going series on Mama Lewis to encourage special needs families to explore London. If you want May to review your attraction or know of one she should definitely see, please comment below or email:


  1. I love the Barbican too, although I mostly just go and hang there if we have been to the Museum of London. A free creche for concerts though? How cool is that! I must investigate that!

    • Definitely check it out. We love it there!

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