Winter is the perfect time to pack in some fun calendar events with your children; the sort of experiences that will become family lore of ‘remember whens’ or that are so successful they become a much-anticipated annual family excursion.
Here are some of those essential family fun moments you can have together this year.
1. Go ice skating together. There are pop up ice skating rinks kicking off from November throughout the UK, from the centrepiece of winter wonderlands to the grounds of historic buildings like the Natural History Museum and Tower Bridge. Whether your child is an absolute beginner or already a confident thrill-seeker, an afternoon whizzing around on the ice is great fun for everyone. Top tip: pick a late afternoon slot so as dusk falls and the fairy lights sparkle, you’ll have a truly magical experience.
2. Pick a pantomime or musical. For a truly festive occasion, splash out and take the family to the pantomime or a big experience musical like The Lion King. It’s a wonderful feeling taking a sneak peek along the seats to see your children transfixed or giggling at all the ‘he’s behind you’ comedy - and the traditional double entendres will keep parents in stitches too.
3. A family walk to somewhere entirely new. Children love the adventure of exploring a wood, with endless opportunities for building dens and playing games, or running along a windswept beach and delving into rock pools. Join up with another family (or more) with children of a similar age and make a day of it. Remember to pack snacks for when energy may wane.
4. Making special hot chocolate. When you arrive home comfortably tired and pink faced, nothing beats sitting down to warming mugs of hot chocolate. For a special treat, kids love the chance to add marshmallows and a topping of squirty cream.
5. Snow fun. With a bit of luck, there’ll be enough snow this year to dig out the sledges, head for the nearest high hill with a host of other families and spend hours sledging down and tramping back up again. And of course, there are snow figures to spend hours perfecting and snowballs to dodge. Top tip: kids wearing waterproofs or even ski gear, and definitely gloves, will want to max their time outdoors.
6. Carol singing. You don’t have to be a regular churchgoer to enjoy joining in singing familiar and heart-warming Christmas songs at the top of your voices. Local concerts and outdoor events will also have traditional favourites like mulled wine for parents and paper bags of roasted chestnuts and toffee apples for the kids (or parents too!).
7. Choosing your Christmas tree. As a special family occasion, selecting the perfect tree and hauling it home to decorate can become a red letter day for kids, marking the official beginning of the Christmas season. Top tip: singing the hi ho song from Snow White, while you all grab a bit of the trunk, is a great way to make progress.
8. Tucking into winter food. From peeling satsumas and cracking walnuts, to sitting down together to family favourites like toad-in-the-hole or a full roast, winter is the time to really savour comfort food together.
9. Making Christmas decorations. As the excitement ramps up towards Christmas, a lovely way to spend a winter afternoon together is making decorations. From baking shaped cookies to be hung from ribbon, to making paper chains and intricate window snowflakes, time spent calmly creating and remembering previous times is fun for everyone. Kids also love unpacking the decorations box and rediscovering their old favourites and previous creations.
Make your time together during fun winter days extra special by tucking into a Cadbury chocolate treat bag together. There are so many to choose from: Dinky Deckers, Crunchie Rocks, Fudge Minis, Giant Buttons, all offering countless sharing possibilities.