If 2019 is already starting to get away with you and you feel as though you and the kids are just ticking along, we’ve got a host of exciting things for you to try to make this year the best ever.
Start with these ideas and adapt them to create some experiences that are personal to your family.
Discover a New UK City or Town
Britain has so much to explore but many of us either stay close to home or deliberately travel to attractions without exploring the areas around them. That means we miss out on some of our country’s hidden gems. So, why not make 2019 the year that you unearth one of those gems for you and the kids to explore? Bigger cities will have a lot to do, but that doesn’t mean your family won’t enjoy exploring a smaller town that you might not have considered before. All parents know the importance of being prepared, though, so be innovative to make sure they don’t get bored. For the long car rides that can be tedious make sure to grab them some toys to keep them occupied, check out our fantastic toy sale and stock up on all their favourite items.
Build Something Together
Building can encompass so many things – indoor building games, garden building or even something a little more community spirited like helping to build a nature reserve. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you have to leap into a huge community project but building things together as a family will strengthen your relationships and give you something tangible at the end of it. Choose anything from a family craft project up to building your own rocket launchers and creating your own experiments with science kits for kids – it’s a great way of learning new skills, spending time together and having fun as a family.
Visit the Seaside
Long stretches of sand, fish and chips on the promenade, doughnuts on the pier, arcade games – there are so many things to enjoy at the seaside, but we don’t seem to visit the UK’s spectacular coastline as much these days. If the tourist trap resorts don’t appeal to you and your family, why not visit one of the quieter coastal towns or villages and enjoy some relaxation on the beach? You can take a picnic, play games, build sandcastles – everything that kids will enjoy without the electronic sounds of arcade games in the background. Whichever version is more your family’s style, there’s something for you.
Visit a Farm to Get Close to Wildlife
The fascination that kids have with cute animals (and the not-so-cute ones) isn’t going anywhere, and there are plenty of farms across the country that cater to this enduring need. While parents may not be keen to spend an afternoon beside a pig pen, some of the best farms will have plenty of activities that will take the kids closer to the wildlife than they ever expected to get. Not only is this a great way to encourage an interest in animals for the kids, it can also be a nice learning curve for parents too. If you have an irrational fear of alpacas, make 2019 the year you combat it!
The wonders of the UK aren’t just limited to the ones above ground – there are plenty of adventures to be had underground too. Combine a trip to the seaside with a visit to one of the caves our coastline has to offer. Or visit one of the inland caves in the Peak District for an underground adventure full of stalactites and peculiar rock formations. There are even locations you can visit that take you into old mine shafts for an authentic look at life below ground. If you have a budding adventurer in your family, this might be the perfect excursion for you.
Try a Family Festival
These days there are family festivals for everything, meaning that there’s going to be a family festival out there to suit you and your kids. Look out for events marketed towards children that have a clear roll-call of things that kids will be able to do while you’re there. Some locations profess to be family-friendly, but they don’t have designated things going on that are interesting to kids – it’s not enough to simply say that kids will be interested in vintage cars
, for example, when they could be offering rides for kids in those cars and giving kid-friendly talks about them. Always check their family-friendly claims before you set off!
See a Show
The great thing about theatre these days is that it doesn’t feel much like theatre used to be. If you have memories of your own childhood where you were forced to sit through a long play that you didn’t really understand or care about, don’t be put off trying the new breed of child-orientated theatre. These shows don’t only take place in auditoriums, but in strange locations Be on the lookout for the unusual in your local area and you might make the jump from being street show fans to visiting the theatre regularly.
Embrace Your Local Library
This is one you can try as a one-off activity and, if it doesn’t float your family’s boat, you never have to try it again. But libraries are more than just places for books these days. Many libraries have adapted to the challenge of being relevant by reinventing themselves, so you never know quite what you’re going to find at your local library when you visit. Some run dedicated groups for specific activities, others just have a wonderful kids’ section that you might not have found in a library 20 years ago. One visit to the library could change everything and give the kids more control over the types of things they learn and what their reading habits are. It could be worth its weight in gold.
So what will it be for you and your family, a day out at the seaside or an adventurous day at the farm? Let us know in the comments down below what you're most excited to do with your family this year...