January can be tough – you’re saving money, you’re on a diet, you’re back at work and doing the school run… plus it’s cold and dark! But it need not be all doom and gloom, we’ve come up with a selection of fun family activities to help you make the most of this month. Raise your spirits, save some money and spend quality time with the kids. What could be better to beat January blues?

1. Winter Walks

As much as you might feel like hibernating, a family winter walk is just what the doctor ordered for lifting your mood.  There is so much beautiful countryside to explore in the UK, from beaches to woodland, lakes and mountains. So why not go somewhere new, instead of just your local park? Make sure you wrap up warm, take snacks and plan rest stops if you have little ones who will tire.
Check out the National Parks for some inspiration.

2. Baking

The warming smell of freshly baked muffins is enough to blow your winter blues away, and cooking is a great activity to get the kids involved in from a young age. There’s no need to ruin your diet either – sweeten your bakes with mashed banana instead of sugar, switch to wholemeal flour and replace butter with coconut oil.

There are endless recipes online to use for inspiration, we like BBC Good Food and Deliciously Ella. 

Ready, steady, cook! And remember cooking is a great antidote for January Blues.

3. Swimming

Ok Ok we know it’s dark and cold, but indoor swimming is always a winner with kids, and it’s a great chance for adults to get some activity too if you’re on a health kick. Don’t just stand on the sidelines – get involved with the kids games, play ball, or even take your inflatable unicorn from the summer holidays! Make sure you take lots of warm layers for afterwards, and treat yourself to a steaming cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Check your local council website for your nearest pool.

4. Movie Night​

On a cold or rainy day, there’s nothing better than having a cinema experience in the comfort of your own home. The key is to get really cosy, so draw the curtains, bring all the cushions, duvets and pillows downstairs and make a den in your living room! Everybody can get into their comfiest pyjamas, prepare some delicious snacks (microwave popcorn is a great choice) then settle down for the screening.

5. “Pot Luck” Party

Love the big social gatherings of Christmas, with multi-generations sitting around the table over a lovely meal? Well there’s no reason to stop this just because the festive season is over! If you’re worried about hosting on a budget, why not throw a “pot luck” party,  where everyone brings a dish to share. Invite family, friends, neighbours, and enjoy a long leisurely lunch this weekend – there will be plenty of adults to entertain the kids, and it’s much cheaper than eating out.

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