We love it when the weather gets dark and twisty, and we get a lot of it down here in Cornwall. However, whether you’re camping or stuck at home, after a while the novelty starts to wear off and you start itching to get out there and do something. A good long walk in the wind and rain can’t be beat, but if you’d like something a bit drier that’ll keep the kids happy if you’ve got ‘em, read on.
Bonus: if you’re all full of cold and flu, getting out of the house can be really beneficial and the fresh air will make you feel miles better.
Visit a garden, park or National Trust property.
In Cornwall, we’re lucky enough to have the Eden Project right on our doorstep, which makes for a great day out even when the weather’s bad. There are loads of similar places up and down the country, so give it a quick Google search and find one near you. It’s a great way to get a little bit of ‘outdoors’ and there’s always lots of space for kids to run around and let off steam (and usually a nice café so you can have a nice cup of tea). Check if they’ve got winter gardens for a look at the lovely plants that thrive in the cold weather – maybe even get some inspiration from them!
Two words: Science. Museum.
Science and technology museums are the ultimate bad-weather activity. You’re in out of the rain but there’s loads of awesome, interesting stuff to see and do and it’ll keep kids from going stir-crazy sat in front of the TV. Like gardens, there are lots of science museums around the UK, so it’s easy to find one near you. There’s usually something there for everyone, so even if you’ve got children little and big you can keep everyone happy.
Take advantage of the cold.
The world is a different place when it’s freezing, so go on a little explore and enjoy all the changes a drop in temperature brings to the world around us. Rivers, lakes and ponds are good places to check out awesome icicles and patterns in the ice.
Try your hand at some freezy crafts.
We love the look of this awesome Instructable for making glowing ice bulbs. Everything you need can be bought cheaply from a DIY or hardware store, and they don’t take long to make. You could even make a few and put them out in the garden as it gets dark. We also love the look of
Test your firelighting skills.
So long as you’ve got some basic experience, it’s pretty easy to light a fire in dry weather. The REAL challenge is doing it when it’s wet and cold – and this is also a really necessary survival and camping skill, as you can’t guarantee when you camp that the weather’s going to be reasonable. Team up and have a competition to see who can get theirs going to fastest – you could even try different DIY projects to help you along. The awesome survival website Dirt Time has a really cool how-to for making self-igniting fire starters that’ll light even in the rain!
We came across this great how-to for making pinecones that GLOW RAINBOW COLOURS when they burn. If you’ve got a stove or a fireplace, this one is a definite must – do a few and watch them burn merrily away while you sip a steaming mug of hot cocoa. Outdoor bonus: you’ve got to go and forage for the pinecones first, so you’ll have really earned cosying up around the fire once you’ve been out for a good long walk.
Let us know your favourite things to do when the weather turns foul in the comments below!