Half term is just around the corner and we've rounded up some super fun outdoor activities for the family.
It may be tempting to stay indoors with a lovely cup of hot chocolate but there’s nothing like a family day out, spent in the outdoors, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the benefits of being in nature so brave the cold, wrap up warm and get your children out this February half term.
1. Visit a National Trust site
There's a number of National Trust gardens, parks and countryside sites across the UK. Many have special events for half term including the chance to plant snowdrops, storytelling sessions and nature themed mural painting, among others. A visit to one of these National Trust sites also offers the chance for your little explorers to get out in the fresh air, go wild in the woods or get muddy jumping in puddles (make sure you take wellies for the whole family!). Some sites require booking in advance. See nationaltrust.org for more details.
2. Visit an RHS Garden
The five beautiful RHS Gardens, RHS Garden Wisley, RHS Garden Hyde Hall, RHS Garden Bridgewater, RHS Garden Rosemoor and RHS Garden Harlow Carr are beautiful to explore with the family. Book in advance and you can spend a lovely winter afternoon out with your growing explorers in one of these stunning locations. Find out more about booking here.
3. Go bird watching
Getting young children interested in bird watching is a great way of introducing them to wildlife and teaching them about the environment and the importance of nature. It is such a fun and inexpensive activity that can be enjoyed anywhere. All you need is a pair of binoculars for your young bird watchers and a bird-watching book or guide (which you can also find online for free). Go to the RSPB’s handy bird identifier >
4. Try mud larking
Mud Larking is an incredible activity, if you are local to London or fancy taking a trip down to the Thames, all you need is a pair of gloves and a bag to collect your treasures…don’t forget your wellies too, it’s rather muddy down there! Be sure to consult the daily tide table before visiting.
5. Try Geocaching
Join the world’s biggest treasure hunt with Geocaching. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. There are more than 3 million geocaches hidden all around the world in parks, historic sites, and urban areas. Navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Once you find it, sign the logbook and return the Geocache to its original location. Just imagine the look on your child’s face the first time you discover a Geocache. There are lots of apps help you join the game or you can find coordinates online.
6. Try forest bathing
If you’re looking for a relaxing family activity, why not try forest bathing this half term? Head to the nearest forest with your family and just enjoy being together in nature, look around, relax and mindfully enjoy the moment.
7. Play nature bingo
Before you head out each member of the family should draw nine things you might see in nature on a piece of paper. Take some pencils and place a cross through every image that you spot in the great outdoors. The first one to strike through a line or a certain number of pictures wins a prize! Squirrels, pine cones, a footprint or a muddy puddle, the possibilities are endless!
8. A family welly walk
Wrap up warm and head outdoors as often as you can this half term. Be spontaneous - take a route you haven’t done before or let the children lead the way. Remember to bring some change for a hot chocolate for the perfect way to warm up at the end of your family walk and don't forget the snacks to keep little legs moving!
9. Have fun in the snow
If you’re lucky enough to have some snowy weather this half term, be sure to head outdoors and have some winter fun with your children. There are so many activities you can choose from, including sledging, winter walks, snowball fights and more. Make sure you wrap up super warm head-to-toe in waterproofs (children and grown ups alike) so no soggy bottoms or freezing children can ruin the family day out! Read our guide to the top 10 things to do in the snow >