Summer Fun Forecast at The Yard

A Dundee children’s charity, offering adventure play for children with disabilities and additional needs, is to open for an extended period throughout the summer.

Having recently taken over the building at Drumlanrig Place, Mid Craigie, the team is, for the first time, opening its doors five days a week from Sunday to Thursday, from Sunday 7 July until Thursday 1 August inclusive (10.30am – 3.30pm).      The Yard generally holds family sessions on weekends only.

During the 20 summer family sessions, children and young people (0-18) will be able to enjoy everything from soft play, music, arts and crafts and water play to more energetic activities including bikes, trikes and tree-climbing in the expansive outdoor space. Siblings are also welcome and, crucially, no diagnosis or medical evidence is required to attend.     Lunch and snacks will be provided by the Dundee Bairns ‘Fun and Food’ programme.  Thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Whole Family Wellbeing Fund, The Yard will also be able to open during this year’s October holiday and the Easter holiday of 2025.

Gill Thomson, Service Development Manager at The Yard in Dundee added, “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming families into The Yard this summer, the first time we have been able to open five days a week.  We are acutely aware of the lack of welcoming spaces for children with disabilities and additional support needs, and this lack becomes even more challenging for families during the long summer break.    Every child has the right to play and be themselves, and our summer sessions will provide a welcoming and inclusive place to play and have fun.”

Taking over the building also allows The Yard to host partner events, including KidsOut *, which was held today (Friday, June 14, 2024).

KidsOut The Yard

Children from seven local primary schools enjoyed today’s event at The Yard.

The event welcomed over 50 pupils from the Specialist Provision units of seven local primary schools who enjoyed a range of inclusive activities, from a magic show, crazy golf and face-painting to ten-pin bowling. With hotdogs and ice-cream to add to the funfair vibe, there was also the chance to climb aboard a fire engine, bounce down an inflatable slide and enjoy a carnival ride donated for the event by Horne’s Pleasure Fairs.

Divided into two sessions, today’s KidsOut event was coordinated by Jennifer Heffell, Head Teacher at Rosebank Primary School, who added, “While exciting for many, traditional school trips can be challenging for some pupils, so it was wonderful to have this tailor-made opportunity for the children, a real treat! The Yard was the ideal venue, allowing children to come along and do what they enjoy in a safe and inclusive space, or just have some quiet time if they preferred. It was also a rare opportunity for the staff from Dundee’s Specialist Provision units to come together and enjoy a day out with the children they support.”

KidsOut the yard

Animal handling at today’s event.

News of the extended holiday opening has also been welcomed by families, including Catherine and Gordon Milligan from Dundee, who have 13-year-old twins. Their son Noah has Autism and acute allergies and attends Kingspark School.

Catherine said, “We started visiting the Yard during the pandemic, and have been regulars ever since. What we particularly like about The Yard is that each visit is different; they have lots of toys and exciting activities which change weekly. This really helps to keep Noah engaged. The play workers and staff are friendly and helpful. Quite often, our carers will attend with Noah, and it gives us peace of mind that he is playing in a safe and secure environment. We feel so lucky to have such an amazing place so close to our home and we are very grateful to all those who support and work there and make it the incredible place that it is.”

The Yard Catherine Milligan

Catherine Milligan and her sons at The Yard.

Families are welcome to drop in throughout this four-week period, but to book a taster session or for more information, email or call The Yard on (01382) 213388.


*KidsOut Dundee is made up of the four local Rotary Clubs (Broughty Ferry, Claverhouse, Dundee, and Monifieth), which have, for the last twenty years, organised fun days every June for children requiring specialist provision. Funding for the events is provided by KidsOut, ‘the national fun and happiness charity’ set up by Rotary International and by members of the four local clubs.