January may not seem the best time of the year for a day out entertaining the kids (short, cold days and we’re all feeling the pinch after Christmas) but there are hundreds of fun – and best of all, free – family activities taking place up and down the UK this month.
Here’s a selection of some free activities to give you a taster. Make sure you keep an eye out on local forums and noticeboards at your leisure centre and library for nearby events too. Well worth checking out is the parklives website which offers free activities happening in local parks, even in the depths of winter.
Visit a free museum
Many of our galleries offer free entry for all the family, and January is the perfect month for some indoor adventures.
Visit the National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, daily 10am – 6pm
Coax your kids away from screens at home, to explore eight floors of free galleries and fascinating interactive exhibitions on films, gaming, TV, photography and the world wide web.
Go down the Big Pit Mining Museum in Torfaen, Wales daily 9.30am – 4.30pm
Give your kids a feel of what life was like underground on a guided tour of the mine, which starts with a 300ft descent by pit cage down the mineshaft, equipped with helmets and cap lamps. Or you can opt to take a new virtual tour of a modern coal mine. The original winding engine house, blacksmith’s forge and fan house are open to visitors. Last admission 3.30pm. Underground tours 10am – 3pm
Take part in the Chinese New Year Family Festival at the National Gallery, London, January 28, 11-4 (pre-book online)
Enjoy a day of family activities to mark Chinese New Year and the new Year of the Rooster. Kids up to the age of 11 can join in interactive theatrical performances from Chickenshed Theatre, while younger children have the chance to create roosters and rooster headdresses in special craft workshops.
Family fitness – and fun
Yes, it can be cold – but a bright,…