50 things top activities to do in winter

Winter is the perfect time for many of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities – such as going on a wintery adventure, stargazing, bird watching, cooking on a campfire and lots more. You’ll just need to wrap up warm and have a go at the activities. Find things to do on a cold day below.

Exploring inside a tree in the parkland

No. 1 Get to know a tree 

Sitting inside the hollow of a tree is pretty special. When trees lose their leaves you can fully appreciate the shape of their branches and the caverns that animals and little people can hide in.

A family playing outside at Claremont Landscape Garden, Surrey

No. 6 Go welly wandering 

For one of the most fun winter activities to do, splashing in puddles has to be one of the best. Make sure you’ve got a warm (and waterproof) coat though, or you’ll be soggy and cold, which isn’t as much fun. Splash through puddles and stomp in ditches as the rain falls all around you.

Boy walking with a stick in the snowy grounds at Croome, Worcestershire

No. 12 Have fun with sticks 

Winter is a great time to complete this challenge: there are lots of sticks around and it’s easier to spot them on the ground. You can also complete some other '50 things' with your sticks. You could use them to make a mud creation. Or maybe they'll make the perfect pooh sticks?

Visitors on the festive Christmas trail in the parkland at Basildon Park, Berkshire

No. 15 Go on a wintery adventure 

Winter activities don't always require snow, although there are endless fun activities you can do with the stuff: sledging, snowball fights, snow-angel making or snowman-building. If it's not snowing but it's really freezing, you could try blowing bubbles and watching them freeze into beautiful, glassy globes. And when you've finished your adventure, why not warm up around a camp fire and have a wild picnic.

A group of people scan the beach at Compton hoping to find fossils

No. 26 Hunt for fossils and bones 

Enjoy deserted beaches and fields this winter. If you're looking for winter activities that will put your detective skills to the test, wrap up warm and search for bones and fossils in a wild and rugged landscape.

Stargazing on a clear night

No. 27 Go stargazing 

You’ll need to wrap up warm to go stargazing in the winter, but cold nights generally mean clear night skies – perfect for watching the stars come out. You might spot Orion with his bow and arrow in the winter sky.

Hunting for bugs in the rain

No. 34 Discover wild animal clues 

It would be amazing to do this after it has snowed, but even if there isn’t any snow, tracking animals is another activity that works in the winter. If you're searching for things to do on a cold day, look for footprints in mud, soil and sand or other signs such as droppings and see what clues you can discover.

Birdwatching at a hide

No. 44 Watch a bird 

Thousands of migratory birds come to the UK’s shores in the winter, so it’s one of the best times to go bird watching if you’re making a special trip. Of course, as the trees lose their leaves it’s much easier to spot birds anyway, and winter is a great time to put feeders out, increasing your chances of seeing lots of different birds in your garden.

Two children use outdoor skills to light a campfire

No. 47 Cook on a campfire 

It’s how our ancestors cooked everything and when it’s cold outside there’s something just right about toasting marshmallows on a campfire, or jacket potatoes in the embers. Cooking things on a campfire is one of the best things to do on a cold day. You’ll need to make sure your wood is dry and then you’re good to go.