Ten ideas for family fun in the outdoors in lockdown

Happy 2021.  It’s been a really difficult start to the year,  so we’ve come up with 10 Things to do in the Outdoors, during lockdown.   Although you can’t get to the Lakes right now, getting outdoors near where you live, helps us all feel better, so here’s a few ideas to make the best of your time.  Get going with your family bubble and see how many you can tick off.

The Wildlife trust have lots of ideas for family walks in the outdoors, to make them more interesting when you’re out even during winter. Check them all out here and here’s some of our favourites:

  1. Go on a welly wander: Tell your little ones their wellies have superpowers which mean they can crunch through frosty leaves, wade through mud and splash in icy streams.  You may want to take spare socks along though!
  2. Spot Winter Wildlife:
  • A black and white magpie
  • Glossy holly and shiny red berries
  • Ivy wrapped around trees (you can sing the Holly & The Ivy too)
  • Snowdrops popping up
  • A robin singing loudly and bobbing up beside you on the path
  • Squirrels chasing up and down trees.
  • A murmuration of starlings, or a flock of geese flying overhead.
  1. Go on a tree walk – down your street. The Woodland Trust has an app to identify native and common non native trees in the UK, using leaves, bark, twigs, buds flowers of fruits.  Head out on your family bubble walk, and see what you can spot.
  2. Go Stargazing: Choose a clear night, wrap up warm, take a hot drink and a blanket and look up.  Clear night winter skies are perfect for watching the stars come out. Give your eyes 10-15 minutes to get used to the dark skies.  Lots of great free astronomy apps at stellarium.org. Check out our Stargazing blog here for more ideas.
  3. Go Fishing:  We are still allowed to fish in the current rules, so check out our blog here about how to get started.

Fish_02ing

  1. Go birdwatching: Winter is one of the best times as thousands of migratory birds come to our shores right now. The RSPB have lots of info and advice.  You’ll hear woodpeckers drumming on trees, tawny owls calling twit-twoo, and large flocks of geese gather.  Robins seem redder, plumper and cheekier than ever as they hop around looking for food.
  2. Get your steps in:  Go for a jog or fast walk: Head to a local park, or simply round the streets, near where you live.  Wrap up in thin layers and you’ll soon warm up.  Don’t worry about speed or distance, just aim to go out for 10 minutes and see how you feel.  You’ll soon be doing a bit more and getting those endorphins going.
  3. Build a bird cake: no baking needed!  Mix sunflower hearts, peanut pieces, dried fruits, cooked rice, breadcrumbs or leftovers, into melted lard or dripping. Press into a clean yoghurt pot, with a length of string knotted securely through a hole all the way through.  Fit it upside down like a bell.
  4. Try a bit of winter outdoor forest bathing. Choose a wood nearby, ideally when its frosty and clear.  Take a hot chocolate in a flask, with marshmallows.  Sit and sip, and just observe your senses and how it feels.  Very relaxing.

Forest Cumbria

  1. Visit a garden: Some of the National Trust and RHS gardens are still open.  Book a slot and have a winter wander.
  2. Look for snowdrops: The harbinger of spring, you’ll see their light green shoots poking through the snow, bringing a smile to all our faces as the flower of hope.

Whatever you do, keep getting fresh air and a daily walk,  and the signs of spring and hope for a better year ahead will soon be on their way.