Yes, we know it’s cold and the idea of staying in your onesie until the beginning of March or under the covers watching films is appealing, but you and the kids need fresh air. There are stacks of things to do in the Winter that won’t break the bank, but will get you out enjoying what the countryside has to offer.

Hit the beach

It may be cold, but this can be one of the best times to visit the beach.  It’s not busy, the waves are crazy, and the chips are hot.  Most beaches also have an arcade that still tend to be open on the weekends and during the school holidays.  It’s a great way to get the kids out in the fresh air and there’s nothing stopping you from building a sandcastle, just wrap up super warm.

As a treat, there’s nothing like hot chips while sat on a bench looking at the crazy waves.

Forest hunts

A lot of the public forests and parks run hunts in the Winter.  For example, Thorndon Country Park in Essex has an amazing Gruffalo themed hunt, check out what the country parks near you have on offer.  For a full list of parks in your area, visit your local council’s website.

Ice skating

Throughout December and through to January, the country is littered with outdoor ice rinks.  It’s a great opportunity to get outside, have fun and even learn a new skill. If you’re not a seasoned pro, most rinks have helpers you can book to help you round or penguins for the kids to skate with.

Skating is good exercise, will help even grown-ups with core strength and balance and everyone will soon warm up as they put some effort in.

If you’ve always loved the idea of the family whizzing round the ice, you could also book some lessons, this is a great site to find them in your local area.

Animal parks

The cost to visit an animal park in the summer can be out of reach for a lot of families. With children’s tickets at over £20 each, a day out can end up costing hundreds.

However, in the winter the parks aren’t open as long and off-peak tickets can be considerably cheaper.  You can also save further by using your ClubCard points or finding a Groupon deal.  There will also be discount codes online as foot traffic is low.  Check out LittleBird, which also runs great family offers.

Have a hunt around and always book your tickets before you go, simply booking online can save as much as 15%.

Also, look out for annual pass discounts, generally available in January and February.  You can save as much at 20% by buying early in the season and it gives you a whole year of fun.

Animal parks tend to be large as well, so it’s a great opportunity to get outside and do something the kids will enjoy.