Family-Friendly Outdoor Activities to Enjoy this Winter

When the temperatures start to drop, and winter begins, it can be challenging to think of ways to keep the little ones entertained.

To help your family stay happy and active during the colder months, we’ve put together a guide to the best outdoor activities across the UK that the whole family can enjoy this winter. 

Dry Ski Slopes

A dry ski slope is made using artificial materials that allow snowboards and skis to slide over it, just like real snow. Dry slopes are a fantastic alternative to regular ski slopes, particularly if snow fails to appear.

You’ll find these types of ski slopes all across the UK. For example, Chatham Snowsports Centre in Kent is only 45 minutes from London and has the longest open-air artificial slope in the South-East.

The 700-metre tree-lined tobogganing track and the 80-metre snow tubing path are incredibly popular during the winter and fantastic fun for all the family.

The centre is open all year and has activities for all levels, from complete beginners to seasoned pros. There are also tots lessons available for children aged 4 to 7 to help them get started.

You can find out more and book your visit here.


If you haven’t heard of geocaching before, the National Trust describes it as a treasure hunt for the digital generation.

All you need is a Smartphone or a handheld GPS device, the latter of which can be supplied at many National Trust sites, such as Client Hills in Birmingham and Flatford in Suffolk.

A geocache is simply a small treasure box hidden outdoors, usually containing a mixture of trinkets that other people have left behind. There are many geocaches located all over the UK.

To find one near you, all you need to do is download a free geocaching app on your phone or go to the Geocaching website. You’ll need to enter the coordinates into your device, and the GPS will help direct you to the treasure.

Once you’ve found it, take a look at the trinkets inside. It’s also custom that should you take an item from the box, you must leave something behind in its place. You can also log your discovery on the Opencache website before setting off on your next adventure.

You can find your nearest geocaching National Trust site here.


Ice Skating

Plenty of open-air ice rinks pop up all over the UK during winter, providing a fun way to stay active and get into the festive spirit. While many are gone by Christmas, some stay open until January and beyond.

In London, the brand-new ice rink, Glide at Battersea Power Station, opened in November and runs until January 8th, offering three interconnected rinks to whizz around, fun fair rides, food stalls, and cabins to warm yourself up in afterwards.

Elsewhere in the capital, the Ice Rink at Canary Wharf will remain open until February 25th – and this one even has a see-through roof, so you can enjoy a family skating session without worrying about the unpredictable winter weather.

Ice Skating

Adventure Parks

Going to an adventure park with the family can be a great way to burn off excess energy any time of the year, but especially during winter months when it can be very tempting to stay indoors.

There are numerous parks to choose from across the UK, each offering a variety of activities, from zip lining to canoeing. Adventure parks usually provide full or half-day activities, and most will have a café or restaurant on site serving tasty food to help you refuel.

Ackers Adventure in Birmingham, for example, offers a wide range of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Learn archery, try disc golf, or rock climbing. During the winter, they also offer a free luxury hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream when you book an outdoor tubing or tobogganing session.

Winter Walks

Wrapping up warm and heading out and about in nature is a fantastic way to keep the whole family active during the colder months. Fortunately, the British countryside offers plenty of family-friendly walks all over the UK.

Just 45 minutes from Greater London is Hatchlands Park in Surrey. Set in 400 acres of breath-taking woodland, this park has countless hidden trails and winding leafy paths to explore. Kids will love climbing the tree house or making their own den at Wizard Wix’s Willow Warren, and they’ll enjoy meeting Callum and Morris, Hatchlands Park’s resident donkeys.

Or, for something a little different, take the family on a winter sculpture trail. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield has more than 80 sculptures on display at any one time; they currently have four from the world-famous artist Damien Hirst. After you’ve spotted all the sculptures hidden around the 500 acres of lakes, woodlands, and rolling hills, warm up at the indoor gallery and discover lots of free activities that children will love. 

Winter Walks

Scavenger Hunts

If your kids need a little encouragement to get out and about during winter, a scavenger hunt might do the trick.

You can find printable scavenger hunts online that are free to download or have fun making your own.

To create a Scavenger Hunt, you’ll need to think of a theme, such as colours or texture, and then think of items your children may come across that fit well with your chosen theme. For example, colours could involve searching for different coloured leaves, such as greens, browns, and oranges. Or, for texture, it could be items like a smooth pebble, rough tree bark, or a fallen tree cone.

Scavenger hunts are great for improving your child’s observation skills, and it’s a great way to get them interested in the outdoors. You could make it even more interesting by giving out a prize for the person who finds all the items first.

Scavenger Hunts

Nature Spotting

Seeing nature and wildlife in their own habitat is a fantastic way to get kids interested in nature. The UK is filled with walks and trails where you’re likely to stumble across all sorts of insects, bugs and minibeasts.

The Blue Walking Trail at Cliveden in Berkshire is perfect for a full day of bug hunting. The acres of beautiful woodlands here overlook the River Thames and offer winding paths and curious trails for kids to explore. Look out for the wide variety of birds, bats, and bugs as you go, and don’t forget to spot the intricate wooden animal carvings on your way around.

If your kids like bug hunting, they may also enjoy making their own bug hotel. All you need is some wooden boxes or bricks to create a structure, and then collect garden items such as twigs, bark, or dry leaves and use them to make different sections. Your kids will love keeping track of what minibeasts are visiting their hotel to stay warm and dry this winter.

Nature Spotting

If you enjoy exploring the great outdoors and would love to be closer to the British countryside, Berkeley Group can help.

We have a range of properties in stunning locations across the country, such as Surrey, Kent, and Hampshire. If you’re interested in buying with Berkeley Group, take a look at our latest opportunities here