The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
Top Tips for Keeping the Kids On-Side this January
January 2024
Reading time 4 Minutes

It's not just adults that find the long nights and cold days tough going

Keep spirits high and the whole family active with these ideas for January.

Winter Thrills

You don’t have to book a flight to enjoy the rush of the slopes this winter.

Sunderland Snow Sports Centre

Silksworth Sports Complex, Silksworth Lane SR3 1PD
0191 528 5101

The artificial slopes at Sunderland’s Snow Sports Centre offer skiing and snowboarding for children (and adults) of all abilities. A great introduction to snow sports, their lessons are suitable for kids from ages four upwards.

Whickham Thorns Activity Centre

Market Lane, Gateshead NE11 9NX

Among the many activities on offer at Whickham Thorns are sledging, snow tubing and beginners ski classes. We recommend booking one of their half-hour snow tubing sessions (speeding down a slope in a big donut for the uninitiated) for unparalleled family fun.

Snozone Yorkshire

Xscape Centre, Colorado Way, Glasshoughton, Castleford WF10 4TA

For skiing, snowboarding and even family sledging sessions on real snow, you can’t beat the indoor slopes at Snozone Yorkshire. If you want to take things a bit more seriously or you have an upcoming holiday to prepare for, their lessons are suitable for children from three upwards.

Snowtubing Halifax

The Sportsman Inn, Bradford Old Road HX3 6UG

If you aren’t yet familiar, snowtubing involves speeding down a slope in a inflatable donut with a hard base, and it is incredibly good fun. At Snowtubing Halifax (a subsidiary of Halifax Ski & Snowbaord Centre), the whole family is welcome to book onto one of the 45-minute open sessions on their dry slope. The best part? These slopes are open all year round.

Stars in their Eyes

Why not embrace the long nights by getting kids interested in what they might see better once the sun goes down?

starry sky

Moonlight will be lowest between the 9th and 11th of January 2024, making these dates the best time for stargazing. Head here for more information on the best spots in the North East and Yorkshire.

Young Explorers at Kielder Observatory
Between January and April, Kielder Observatory are running weekly events for kids to discover the stars using their fantastic equipment. Every Saturday afternoon at 4.30pm (or 5pm in April), Kielder Observatory will be holding their Young Explorers Events. Kids will have the chance to learn about astronomy and the night sky using Kielder’s amazing equipment, including their robotic telescopes. To book, find additional dates and discover even more family-friendly events, visit

colourful night sky

Both children and their adults will be well-rewarded for braving the cold at one of Astro Dog’s Dalby Forest stargazing events. Their experienced astronomers will teach you how to navigate the night sky using their large-aperture telescopes or take you on a journey through the solar system in their 360 degree planetarium dome. Events run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 11th January and tickets are £25 for adults and £20 for children. Head to their website to book and find out more.
Astro Dog
Dalby Forest Courtyard, Pickering Y0187LT

Treats For Budding Astronomers

They’ll be over the moon!

Spectacular Space 100 XXL piece jigsaw puzzle

Spectacular Space 100 XXL piece jigsaw puzzle, £10.99 Ravensburger at

Solar System watch

Solar System watch, £34 Flik Flak at Fenwick, York

Interactive telescope with camera

Interactive telescope with camera, £74.99 Leapfrog at Smyths Toys, branches regionwide

Space patrol romper,

Space patrol romper, £22 Bear & Babe at b.biscuit, Sheffield

Tintin Haddock in a Spacesuit figurine

Tintin Haddock in a Spacesuit figurine, £26.99 Give the Dog a Bone, York

My Very Own Moon lunar phase light

Moon in my Room lunar phase light, £19.99 Playtime, Berwick

Space Adventures foil art kit

Space Adventures foil art kit, £15 Tiger Tribe at
The Easy Learning Shop, Ripon

Glow in the dark paint by sticker kit: Outer Space

Glow in the dark paint by sticker kit: Outer Space, £8.99 BALTIC, Gateshead

NASA Astronaut suit and cap

NASA Astronaut suit and cap, £41 Aeromax at Tiny, Durham

3D solar system jigsaw

3D solar system jigsaw, £11 Toyland Toyshop, Darlington

Feeling Reflective?

Shorter days mean lower-visibility when out and about. Choose outerwear and accessories 
with reflective elements to keep kids warm, dry and safe in the dark. 

Camo gilet

Camo gilet, £40 Angel and Rocket at John Lewis & Partners, Leeds and Newcastle

Pink fleece-lined wellington boots

Pink fleece-lined wellington boots, £32 Start Rite at Hopscotch Shoes, Harrogate

Iron-on reflective patches

Iron-on reflective patches, £4.99 H&M branches regionwide

Insulated wellington boots

Insulated wellington boots, £65 Hunter, stockists regionwide

Elephant backpack

Elephant backpack, £44.95 Done By Deer at Baby at the Bank, Corbridge

Puddle suit

Puddle suit, £55 Frugi at Next, branches regionwide

Mini grey backpack

Mini grey backpack, £29

GO coat in navy floral print

GO coat in navy floral print, £70 Little Rascals Boutique, Driffield

Dove-grey raincoat

Dove-grey raincoat, £31.50 Lea & Jojo at Ralph and Mimi, Hexham

Fur-lined fisherman jacket

Fur-lined fisherman jacket, £30 Marks and Spencer, branches regionwide

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.