First of all, don’t let the term ‘outdoor adventures’ put you off reading this! Adventures don’t have to be huge expeditions into the far flung wilderness as anyone who’s read The Tiger Who Came To Tea to a young child knows. The best part of the adventure for Sophie was going outside after dark. Not to the woods or the wild but to a café in the dark with her parents. It’s the little outdoor adventures that set our youngsters on the road to bigger things.
With Advent upon us and Christmas less than two weeks away – yikes! – here’s some outdoor inspiration for this busy and tiring time of year.
The Christmas half-term can be the busiest and most tiring of the year for both kids and parents because there are so many extra events going on. This makes it especially important for families to get extra fresh air. Besides, getting outdoors can relieve tension and anxiety, helping kids to find calm in the pre-Christmas chaos.
Evergreen wreath making walk – Advent offers some great outdoor opportunities. At Kids of the Wild we love our annual walk to collect evergreens (starting in the garden) to make a table wreath with candles, then later in the month a door wreath. TIP Don’t hang your door wreath on a sticky-back hook! My post on Advent evergreen adventures explains, including a child-friendly tutorial plus ideas and info on collecting evergreens with the family.
Photo challenge – do you love taking photos of your children in action? Annette over at Four Acorns is using the hashtag #magicadventcalendar for a photographic Advent challenge with prompts to get the kids doing something seasonal outdoors each day during Advent. Why not check out the prompt here and share your pics over on Instagram or Facebook?
Pre-Christmas family rituals – children (and adults) love and need rhythm and ritual in their lives and most of us open Advent calendars or read books by candlelight at this time of year. Here’s a list of outdoor things to try, from my post on making Advent matter including some outside fun too.
- Make a candlelit evergreen wreath
- Go on a lantern parade
- Organise a winter solstice bonfire
- Roast chestnuts on a firepit
- Visit a garden centre Christmas display or the window display at a big department store
- Take the kids outdoor ice skating
Light festivals – putting up the tree and lights at home are the first sign that Christmas is coming. Most of us can find a light switching-on event or parade near where we live. The Alnwick lantern parade in Northumberland, mentioned in my post above, has a real festive atmosphere to get the season going and there’s bound to be a Christmas light spectacular near you. The following posts might inspire you to take the kids out even if the weather is bad: –
Scarlet at Diary of a Londoness has written a fabulous post about family things to do in London at this time of year – you’ll want to read it just for the photos and probably spend at least a weekend having outdoor adventures in London too!
Rim from Curious & Geeks attended Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland which sounds fantastic if you live in London.
These are all a bit London-based but there are events all over the country. Check out your local tourist information, garden centre, National Trust property, council website or stately home and gardens for dates and times.
Festive walks – whatever the weather, walking is a great way to relieve the Christmas stress, especially on Boxing Day when there are lots of calories to work off! Our icy moorland walk in the Northumberland hills with neighbours last year was a great way to cure Christmas hangovers and share more festive spirit with friends.
This time of year can cause real parental burn-out making it hard to find the joy and spirit of Christmas at times. Why not get away from it all for a while?
If you need time out from the Christmas chaos, an outdoor short break might be just the answer. Tracy from Green Mums took her family on a winter wonderland break to Center Parcs. Read all about it if you’re undecided as to whether to take an outdoor Christmas holiday or not.
Let it snow
Finally, here’s a festive poem to read to the kids on Christmas Eve – not outdoorsy but the photo might make you wish upon a star for snow…
That’s all from me for now. Wild wishes to you all for a healthy, happy and peaceful Christmas season and lots of outdoor fun with your families. x
Let me know your favourite Advent or Christmas activities for getting outdoors with your family in the comments below, or write a post about them for next year’s round-up!
January’s Outdoor Adventure round-up has lots of outdoor winter activities including painting snow and lighting night time fires in the snow! Send me your links to any posts that fit this theme for inclusion in the new year.