How to survive a busy Christmas…top tips from the National Trust

The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre

Christmas is traditionally a time when everyone comes together to celebrate, eat and be merry, however, often the festive season can end up being a little bit more stressful than planned, especially when all your friends and family are under one roof. The National Trust at the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede have compiled their top tips to help you survive a busy Christmas, so it doesn’t end up as hectic as The Griswold’s!

1)    Spend some time outdoors…

With family and friends coming together and spending more time than ever in each other’s company over the Christmas period, why not wrap up warm and head outdoors to take in that fresh coastal air. Take some time out, embrace the winter calm and allow the kids to explore their imagination - why not visit Carrick-a-Rede and challenge all the family to cross the bridge, it can be a real team bonding experience!

2)    Get your steps in… 

We all know that at Christmas there are a few extra temptations of sweet treats and multiple Christmas dinners to give in to. Boxing Day is the perfect time to get those all-important steps in and get everyone out for a winter walk, it can even become a Christmas tradition. We recommend the Green Trail at the Giant’s Causeway as it is wheelchair and buggy friendly so all the family will be able to enjoy the stunning views of this clifftop walk. 

3)    Cut back on your screen time… 

Whether it’s your phone or TV, it is important to take a break from the screen, especially for the younger members of the family this Christmas. According to the National Institute of Health, research has found that nearly nine children aged eight and under exceed daily screen time recommendations. Use the festive period to get out and about and keep on the move so that there is no excuse to be sitting on phones or tablets. The Giant’s Causeway is the perfect place to get your little ones using their imagination as they learn about the myths and legends of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Christmas at the Visitor Centre, Giant's Causeway
Christmas decorations and lights at the Visitor Centre, Giant's Causeway
Christmas at the Visitor Centre, Giant's Causeway

4)    Have a green Christmas and connect with nature… 

Being off school can turn your little ones a little bit wild, so why not encourage them to burn off their extra energy by exploring the great outdoors and discover the winter wildlife on your doorstep. If you keep your eyes peeled, you may even spot a flock of Linnets or a fox frolicking in the fields surrounding the Giant’s Causeway. If you do spot something interesting while you are exploring be sure to share your snaps with us! 

5)    Take on the 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ challenge

Come and get closer to nature with our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾! A jam-packed fun filled program for kids with plenty of exciting outdoor activities to do over and over again all year round across the Causeway Coast - from watching the sunset to creating some wild art. When children spend time playing outdoors in nature, it helps increase their wellbeing – and that of their families. It also means they’re more likely to care for our world and the natural environment. So, we want everyone to have more fun - and help nature too. Plan your next adventure here!

6)    Enjoy some festive fun this Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly and we’ve got Christmas all wrapped up with a stocking full of festive fun. Enjoy the countdown to December 25th by making magical Christmas memories across our National Trust properties. Enjoy seasonal storytelling, Christmas markets and fairs or try your hand at gingerbread men decorating! There’s something for everyone in the family, enjoy the festivities and grab the chance to explore some new places too. Check out the activities here

We hope that our tips and tricks will encourage you and your family to get outdoors this Christmas and may peace reign in your home this festive season.