Active family days out for January

Stick to your resolutions and get the kids moving with these great UK days out

Losing weight, getting in shape and staying fit always top New Year’s resolution lists, but by mid-January most people’s good intentions have surrendered to bad habits of old. Take a look at our list of suggestions to get yourself and the kids off the couch post-Christmas and start the year as you mean to go on...

Go Ape

Timmy had no idea 'playing a game of Super Mario' was going to be so dangerous | Image: Go ApeTimmy had no idea 'playing a game of Super Mario' was going to be so dangerous | Image: Go Ape

This treetop adventure company with branches (yep, I went there) all over the UK, offers you and your kids the chance to spend your weekends hurtling across the forest canopy on ziplines and attempting assault courses at altitude, rather than waiting in chip lines and attempting a salt-pour with attitude down at your local fish ‘n’ chippery.

Don’t worry, there’s gear in place attaching you and your little ones to safety ropes, so you’ll break a sweat without breaking your neck.

Adventures start a small distance from the ground for six-year-olds, with most challenges available from 10 upwards. For more information, visit: goape.co.uk

National Centre for Circus Arts

As she held on for dear life, it was clearly too late to tell dad she meant she wanted to be a clown | Image: National Centre for Circus ArtsAs she held on for dear life, it was clearly too late to tell dad she meant she wanted to be a clown | Image: National Centre for Circus Arts

For parents who fondly remember the days when children would threaten to run away and join the circus (giving you some peace and quiet for a bit), why not do some groundwork and pique your kids’ interest in the performing arts now, with a visit to the National Centre for Circus Arts in London?

Seriously though, your children will forget smartphones and Minecraft even exist while they are walking tightropes and swinging on the trapeze, and you can give it a go too and see what life would have been like if you’d followed-through on your childhood threats.

For more information, visit: www.nationalcircus.org.uk

Indoor Skydiving

"You'd better be looking at the camera, Kevin!" | Image: Airkix"You'd better be looking at the camera, Kevin!" | Image: Airkix

Located in Basingstoke, Manchester and Milton Keynes, Airkix offers children from the age of four upwards (yes, and you adults too) the chance to feel the thrills of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane and plummeting towards Earth.

A high-powered column of air will levitate individual guests up to a weight of 18 stone, suspending visitors in mid-air as if flying. Guaranteed to get the blood pumping.

For more information, visit: www.airkix.com

Snozone

Mr Wonka had warned him not to try the blueberry chewing gum | Image: XscapeMr Wonka had warned him not to try the blueberry chewing gum | Image: Xscape

If you wish we had more winter sport options in the UK, but find January too cold to venture outside, then you could always take the family skiing and snowboarding indoors... on real snow.

Snozone offers beginner, refresher and advanced lessons for ages of three upwards, at two locations within the Xscape Centres at Castleford in Yorkshire, and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire. You or your kids could be the next Shaun White… or Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. (C’mon, the man’s a national treasure.)

For more information, visit: www.snozoneuk.com

Tree Surfers

A true dancer is willing to perform for any audience, anywhere | Image: Tamar Trails CentreA true dancer is willing to perform for any audience, anywhere | Image: Tamar Trails Centre

Set in the breathtaking Tamar Valley in Devon, Tree Surfers offers a 50-foot-high treetop rope course of intricately constructed swings, bridges, wooden walkways and zip wires, that will leave you breathless even if the scenery doesn’t. Taking up to three hours to complete, some argue this is a tougher experience than Go Ape’s, but we’ll let you judge that for yourself.

Most activities suitable for eight years and up. For more information, visit: www.tamartrails.co.uk

More climbing (in a controlled climate)

Kids love to climb, but it’s rather cold outside in January and some of you might rather not freeze to death while doing so. Rather than have your little chimps running riot through the house, using beds as trampolines and your sofa as a climbing frame, why not get out of the house and down to one of the nation’s many indoor rock-climbing clubs or adventure playgrounds? There seriously are too many to list, but a quick web search is sure to bring up some in your area.

Now get up, and go out!

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Guest Sunday, 23 April 2017