4 fun outdoor activities from winter walks to stargazing

From building dens to gazing at stars in the night sky, here are some fun outdoor activities for the whole family.

As the days draw in and the nights get longer, it’s tempting to snuggle up and spend more time indoors. But there are lots of outdoor Christmas activities to enjoy, especially for families with young children.  

Stargazing in December


If you fancy a night-time family adventure, wrap up warm and head outside for a spot of stargazing.

The best chance to see the stars is on a cloudless night, with little or no moonlight, and far away from artificial lights.

Allow your eyes time to fully adjust to the darkness first. 

To make it even more fun, print out a star map before you go. Then you can play spot the stars and constellations with your kids. You might even find the Christmas star.  

Add Walk for Children to your winter walk plan

Why not combine a festive walk with some fundraising and join our Walk for Children on 22 December this year?

Our Christmas 5k event, Walk for Children, is a chance to get together with friends and family, plan your own route and raise money to help keep children safe this Christmas.

Most people will take part on 22 December, the longest night of the year. Because for children suffering abuse, every night feels like the longest.

The great thing about Walk for Children is that it's flexible, so if that doesn't suit you or your family and friends, just choose another date.

And Walk for Children takes place anywhere you like – you can pick the location and the distance that works for you. So, wrap up warm, wear your best festive outfit and get walking!

Take part in Walk for Children 2023


Build a den in the woods 

Go on a family walk in the woods and you’ll find plenty of supplies perfect for building a den. Don’t break any branches off trees, instead look out for leaves and deadwood on the ground. Be careful handling sticks and branches. It’s best to hold one end and drag the other along the ground. That way you won’t accidentally poke anyone!  

How to build a den in the woods

Try and collect a mixture of the following:  

  • sturdy branches and sticks, long and straight if possible
  • thin sticks you can bend 
  • stuff to cover your den with, like twigs, grass and dead leaves. Avoid bracken as it can harbour ticks. 
  1. Find a fallen tree or one with a fork in the branches quite low down. This is your main support. 
  2. Lean your biggest sticks and branches against the tree to create the walls.
  3. You might want to weave in some of the thinner sticks to close the gaps. 
  4. Camouflage your den using the other materials you found.
  5. If you find any big logs, you could use them for seating inside.  

Go for a Christmas light walk 


November sees the return of Christmas lights, a perfect excuse for an exciting after dark family excursion.

With everything illuminated by twinkling lights, and Christmas round the corner, there’s a real festive feel in the air.

You won’t have to venture far either. Just walk around your local streets and look out for all the Christmas lights and decorations.