With winter upon us, the temptation to stay inside with endless cups of hot chocolate is strong. But when you have little ones running around with unspent energy, this can be easier said than done. To help you decide what to do with your kids this winter, here are five fun family days out, perfect for the chilly season.
1. The Deep Aquarium
Open every day from 10am until 6pm (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), The Deep is the perfect place to take the kids on chilly day. The Deep is located in Hull, East Yorkshire, and is home to more than 5,000 creatures including sharks, rays and penguins, making it one of the UK’s largest aquariums. When it was first opened in 2002, The Deep operated as an education and conservation charity and in recent years, it has become an international player in marine conservation.
The Deep hosts plenty of experience days including one to one experiences. As well as marvelling at all the magnificent sea creatures in this wonderful aquarium, there are also plenty of planned events including the daily dive show, penguin feeding, and touchpool sessions.
Whether you want to stop by one of the cafe’s for refreshments or dine in luxury surrounded by magnificent sea creatures, there are plenty of delicious food options here. And be sure not to miss the gift shop on your way out!
2. White Scar Cave
If your children love a little adventure, then they’ll adore White Scar Cave. Located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the cave remains at a cool temperature of 8° Celsius, so while it may not be as cold as the outside, it’s wise to bring a coat or thick jacket.
Known as the longest show cave in Britain, the guided tour covers one mile and takes approximately 80 minutes. As you make your way through this vast cave, you’ll see a many fascinating geological features, including the ‘first waterfall’, the ‘witches fingers’ and ‘the devil’s tongue’ – these are sure to intrigue the children. Open every day from 10am until 4pm, this cave adventure is perfect for a winter trip.
One thing to note however, is that due to the natural shape of the cave passages, wheelchairs, guide dogs, buggies and pushchairs are unable to enter the cave so if you’re with a small infant, you may have to think twice about this trip.
3. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Located in the Chiltern Hills, north of London, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is the largest zoo in the UK and is home to an abundance of animals including tigers, cheetahs, rhinos, zebras, beautiful bears, rare red pandas and more. Set in 600 acres of stunning parkland, the zoo cares for more than 2,500 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild.
Whipsnade Zoo also hosts exciting experience days including ‘Keeper for a Day’ where you have the opportunity to get up close with some of the animals and gain insight into the day-to-day duties of the zoo keepers. The little ones may also enjoy the ‘zoo explorers’ experience, which allows them to interact with a selection of animals and get involved in an array of animal themed activities.
Whipsnade Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, making it the perfect winter day out.
KidZania is an incredible indoor city, run by kids. This ‘no adults allowed’ paradise gives your children the opportunity to become whatever they wish, choosing from a range of roles including doctor, dentist, police officer, firefighter, actor and dancer.
Because KidZania is designed to be an experience for children only, adults are not allowed to enter most of the activities (except those with carer tickets). However, the activities are either open-fronted or have viewing windows for you to watch your children have the time of their lives. Or if you’re fancying a little time to yourself, you can have some fun of your own in the child-free zone, The Loft. A space where you can kick back and relax without the kids for a little while.
Located in Westfield London, KidZania is open every day of the year except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. So if you’re looking for an activity that will keep your kids occupied and entertained during the cold winter months, KidZania is a great place to go.
5. The Eden Project
Educational and entertaining, The Eden Project is the perfect place to go if you’re desperate to get out of the cold weather. Each bio-dome has its own self-contained weather system, so you can escape Britain’s dreary cold weather and enter into a glorious tropical rainforest. With fascinating architecture, beautiful flowers, rich vegetation and educational tours, there is plenty for you and your family to experience and explore.
The Eden Project is located in Cornwall and is also home to England’s longest and fastest zip wire, the SkyWire, which covers 660 metres and can accelerate to speeds of up to 60mph. Suitable for anyone over 8 years of age, the SkyWire is not for the faint hearted. The Eden Project opens every day apart from Christmas Day and a handful of days in January for essential maintenance.
Depending on where you live, some of these locations may be a bit of a drive away. So before you set off on your adventure, you may want to pack a few emergency essentials. Check the spare tyre and take jump leads, your insurance details, car manual, a map, a torch, an ice scraper and de-icer.
Incase you were to breakdown or get caught in standstill traffic, you may also want to bring blankets for warmth, pillows, snacks and water. If you want to enjoy a more comfortable and spacious ride, it can be a good idea to invest in a minibus and insure it – especially if you have a large family.
From amazing aquariums and zoos to incredible caves, there are plenty of day trips for the whole family to enjoy in the chilly winter months.