When the summer months have long gone and the autumn is about to give way to the long, cold days of winter, there is a big temptation to stay in the house and cuddle up on the sofa. Whilst that might be tempting, for sure, it’s not ideal in terms of exercise and getting the kids out of the house and taking in plenty of fresh air.
It’s vital that children don’t spend too much time in front of the TV, the iPad, or the laptop, no matter how tempting it is to stay in the warmth and watch a film on Netflix. For that reason, checking out a few easy and fun activities that you can enjoy as a family despite the dark and cold weather is vital.
You don’t have to see winter as a negative thing, it can be equally as fun as summer, if not more so! The festive season is a huge highlight on the calendar, but the rest of the season can be just as much fun, provided you do your research.
Let’s check out 10 winter activities that kids will adore, and which you can also do together, or allow them to do with friends.
During the lead up to the festive season there is nothing more typical of the winter season than heading off to a pantomime! “It’s behind you!”
No matter where you live, there is sure to be a local theatre with a production of some kind showing and you can often find cheaper tickets if you shop around and you’re flexible with dates. Go for an afternoon matinee performance and you can perhaps head out for a family dinner afterwards, before returning home just in time for chill out and bed time.
Whether you’re fantastic on the ice or not, ice skating is a typical winter activity that everyone should enjoy! If you stumble a few times, just laugh it off, it’s part of the fun!
You’ll find lots of outdoor ice skating rinks during the run up to Christmas and even afterwards, and if the temperatures are a little too chilly, you can also find indoor ice skating rinks nationwide, which allow you to enjoy the activity without feeling quite so cold!
If you’re looking for winter activities during the month of December, there is nothing more fun and festive than visiting a Christmas market. You’ll find them all over the country and if you want to go a little further afield, you can visit a European city, and head to a market there too.
With hot chocolate, mince pies, ice skating, Punch and Judy shows, stalls to buy small gifts, rides, and plenty of festive fun to be had, the kids will love the experience, and you won’t fail to catch the festive cheer in the air.
Whilst we might not be blessed with an abundance of ski resorts here in the UK, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the pastime, via the indoor route! You’ll find indoor ski and sledging centres all over the country and it’s a great way to enjoy the albeit fake snow, and feel seriously wintery at the same time.
Children who have skied before will be well away, and if your child has never donned a pair of skis before, this is the ideal way to help them learn, perhaps ready for a family trip overseas for a real skiing adventure at some point in the future.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can head out and get some fresh air, you simply need to make sure everyone is wrapped up warm! On crisp yet sunny days, wrap up warm and head to the local park, letting the kids run, kick the leaves, and enjoy the sunshine. If there’s puddles, let them wear their wellies and jump in them, running off plenty of excess energy and taking in all that wonderful fresh air.
By the time you go home, they’re sure to be exhausted, meaning you can put your feet up whilst they chill out or even have a snooze!
These days we focus far too much on technology and don’t interact quite as much as we used to with arts and crafts. So, to counteract that, why not have a baking afternoon and make gingerbread figures, cakes, cookies, and all manner of other delicious treats. This is an activity you can do as a family and the kids will love creating snacks they love to try afterwards.
Of course, make sure they help you tidy up at the end too!
If baking isn’t your thing, a general arts and crafts afternoon is a good idea, to help your children do more with their hands, be creative, and help develop their hand-eye coordination.
There are countless museums across the UK and many of them are free or very low cost to visit. Museums and galleries are ideal for children during the winter months because they don’t need endless coats, scarves, gloves, and hats, and you can walk around in relative comfort, because the high summer season in the major cities is over.
Check out interactive museums which allow your children to learn in a hands-on way, such as science museums or history museums which take them back in time almost as if they’re travelling in a time machine. They’ll adore the day and they’ll also learn something new. Education combined with winter fun!
During particularly cold or rainy days, don’t feel that you have to stay home if you don’t want to. There are countless indoor and soft play areas across the country, some of which have climbing walls and all manner of activities to enjoy. Simply head online and check out which centres are close to you, and off you go!
Children will burn off plenty of steam, make new friends, and also enjoy a fun day out, away from the TV and computer screen!
Most children love visiting aquariums, especially the types which have huge tunnels you walk through, with all manner of various marine life swimming over your head. Check out which large aquariums are close to you and head off. You can normally purchase family tickets, which give you a cheaper way to to spend the day and there are normally on site cafes where you can enjoy lunch or refreshments too.
This is another activity which will certainly tire your little ones out, meaning that when you return home, you’ll have a quiet rest of the day.
When the rain isn’t pouring and perhaps it’s just a little chilly, get wrapped up warm once more and take yourselves off to the local woods. You can enjoy a family day out, jumping in puddles, collecting leaves, exploring the countryside and generally getting plenty of fresh air. Time out within nature is something every child should have plenty of, and when the weather isn’t adverse, there’s no reason not to do it!
Pack up a picnic and enjoy dining al fresco. Remember to take your rubbish home with you and not to leave any mark on the countryside however. You can also help your children learn more about nature by playing games in the woods, helping them to learn the names of different trees, plants, and animals.
These ten activities are ideal for families and help you enjoy time together without it costing the Earth or causing you to stay indoors when the weather isn’t as warm as it is during the summer. These activities are also great ways to learn something new and spend time together – two things which children need plenty of.
There are countless other activities too, especially in the run up to the Christmas period. During this time you’ll find many different days out and activities which children will be desperate to enjoy, and it might be that you can’t find the time to do them all. Despite that, making sure that everyone stays occupied, happy, they get plenty of exercise and not so much time in front of the TV, is vital.
The summer months might be full of playing outside, going on holiday and enjoying the weather, but the winter months can be just as much fun. If it snows, make sure everyone wraps up warm and heads outside for snowball fights and snowman making. This is something everyone can do, it doesn’t cost a penny, and it’s certainly going to make memories that last a lifetime.
If you look back over the winters of your youth, whether you picture the Christmas period or not, you’re sure to remember splashing in puddles, playing in the snow and heading back home with cold ears and a cold nose! These are the memories we remember for the rest of our lives.