Do More: The ultimate 2019 bucket list of family activities
Looking for ideas and inspiration to help make 2019 your best year yet? This list of 35 2019 bucket list activities for families features challenges, fresh air and a whole load of family fun that you can put to the test wherever you are in the UK. So as you start January making New Year’s resolutions and mapping out your next 12 months, how many of these can you tick off before December?
- Have the best family break ever
Holidays are something to look forward to from the moment you book to the moment you finish packing your case. There’s no need to go abroad now, thanks to a fantastic choice of stunning staycation destinations here in the UK, all packed full of family fun. Get inspiration for your next short family break, including theme park trips, cosy cottages and more. Or why not have a look at QuirkyAccom.com - the directory of unusual places to stay – and stay in a treehouse, windmills or railway carriage?
- Take the kids on a steam train ride
Kids love the magic of transport, and it doesn’t come much more magical than a classic steam train ride. Head to a steam railway and jump on board for the ultimate day out that all ages will love, as you journey through some of the most stunning scenery you’ll find in the UK. Check out our top 10 steam train rides and steam railways in the UK, or for something geared even more to kids, watch our video from a Day Out With Thomas!
- Discover a new UK city
How many of the UK’s 69 cities have you visited? Make it your mission this year to explore at least one new city. With loads of days out to try in each, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Get planning by exploring things to do in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bristol or York!
- Learn a new skill
Learning a new skill is the basis of many a New Year’s resolution, but it’s a great way to leave your comfort zone and is something that can easily be done as a family. Try an indoor ski slope to learn skiing or snowboarding, head to a climbing centre to learn rock climbing or visit a pottery cafe to pick up some new arts and crafts skills. Your local library or community centre will also have classes and workshops, so it’s definitely worth a look.
- Embrace technology
Technology is always evolving and I’ll be you don’t realise just how much has changed over the last 12 months. Families can embrace it more than ever, and days out are starting to follow suit. Follow the trends and try a brand new experience this year, start with our guide to the best virtual reality experiences for kids and the UK’s best VR centres.
- Cool off at a waterpark
If 2018 is anything to go by, we may just be in for some more good weather in 2019. Beat the heat and have fun doing it, by visiting a water park. Can’t wait until summer? Take a look at our list of the 12 best indoor water parks in the UK that are perfect whatever the weather.
- Spend more time outdoors
It’s not called the ‘Great Outdoors’ for nothing! From forests and parks, to gardens, lakes and all your favourite local walks, there’s so much to explore wherever you are in the UK! Even on rainy days, grab your coat and wellies and get out and about - trust us, you’ll notice the difference!
- Try something new each month
Learning a new skill is already on the list, but make 2019 the year of trying something new too! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try indoor skydiving, have a go at watersports or even just try a new walking route. The possibilities are endless, so what will you choose?
- Make or build something with the kids
What’s the first thing you think of when we say build? You can try anything from a den in the living room to the latest LEGO®️ toy, a cardboard castle to easy arts and crafts. Get creative and put your skills to the test! For ideas and inspiration, visit the home of the kids’ favourite bricks - LEGOLAND Windsor, or the Legoland Discovery Centres in Manchester or Birmingham.
- Unlock savings on great family days out
How do you fancy visiting some of the best days out in the UK, for less? It tops the list of our 2019 bucket list! Save up to 50% off on the gate prices for top theme parks, plus cinemas, activity centres and loads more too, just by being a member. Try Day Out With The Kids membership for just £1 for your first month, and discover offers on family days out now.
- Explore the UK seaside
Oh we do like to the beside the seaside, especially when it’s as impressive as our UK seaside resorts. Put a bucket and spade on your 2019 bucket list; go rockpooling, explore the arcades and tuck into classic fish and chips, all with some fresh sea air in your lungs. There really is nothing better… start your search in Cornwall, Devon or South Wales.
- See a show
There’s a magic around live theatre shows, captivating kids and adults alike from the curtain rising to the encore at the end. There are loads of touring and resident productions for families all over the UK, including live character shows and pantomimes and even special cinema screenings too. There’s even the chance to score some free kids theatre tickets to hit West End shows too over the summer.
- Visit the cinema
2019 is a great year for film, with loads of big new releases coming to a cinema near you soon. Get a sneak peek of what’s to come in our guide to the new kids’ films you have to watch in 2019.
- Be brave
Climb to the highest peak, hold a spider, go on the biggest rollercoaster or take on the world’s longest zipwire - face your fears this year and do something that scares you, even just a little bit!
- Let the kids take charge
Parents are usually in the driving seat (quite literally) when it comes to days out, but what would happen if you let the kids plan the whole day? From where to go, to what to eat for lunch and what order to do things, you could unlock a whole new adventure, even to somewhere you’ve been before. Give them control for a day, but be sure to take back the reins in time for bedtime.
- Visit a farm in lambing season
Come spring, there’s nothing quite like seeing a newborn lamb up close. Visit an animal farm during lambing season (typically March and April) to see nature in action, and you may be able to help with bottle feeding too!
- Go fruit picking
Fruit tastes better when you’ve picked it yourself - fact. And whilst there may not be *actual* science behind it, there’s something to be said for seeing where the fruit is grown and picking it fresh - plus it makes for a great family day out. Discover the best places to pick your own fruit near you. Or wait until Halloween and pick your own perfect pumpkin.
- Go to a family festival
Think your festival days are behind you once you start a family? Think again and let your 2019 bucket list get you back in the groove. Family festivals are becoming more and more popular each year, attracting a stellar lineup of artists, performers, brands and even chefs to create a truly unmissable event. Packed full of all the usual festival fun, each of these is designed with kids right at the heart, but with plenty for adults to enjoy too. Intrigued? Take a look at the best UK family festivals.
- Try a trail
A good ol’ fashioned treasure hunt can be great fun for all ages, but if you’re looking to up your game this year, why not try an organised trail? From character trails at Forestry Commission sites (including an exciting new one in 2019!), to clue hunts taking you around some of the biggest towns and cities in the UK, there’s plenty to choose from. Use our filters to find ‘Tours and River Cruises’ near you.
- Eat al fresco
You may want to save this one for the warmer months, but add some excitement to your mealtimes by eating outside! Picnics are perfect for days out, whilst BBQ season is a strong favourite here in the UK. Try these 5 picnic dishes for your next outing.
- Take more photos
Memories last a lifetime, but it’s always great to have some physical mementos of your family fun too. Document your days in 2019 and make a conscious decision to take more photos, not just of the kids, but as a family together. We’ve got 5 tips for taking better photos of kids, but don’t just let them sit on your phone for years - get them printed and try this photo washing line idea to show them off!
- Immerse yourself in history
Step back in time for your next day out and visit a place steeped in history. From immersive living museums and castles, to more traditional museums, there’s loads of ways to engage the kids whilst still learning lots too. Start with our guide to the 10 best museums in the UK.
- Embrace each season
Spring, summer, autumn and winter all bring their own types of family fun, from bluebell walks in spring to wrapping up in six layers in autumn just to leave the house. Embrace the turn of each season by getting stuck into some of the best seasonal activities, all listed in our guides: spring activities, things to do in the summer holidays, autumn activities and winter activities.
- Try a new sport
Another contender for the 2019 bucket list, trying a new sport is an easy activity for the family to do this year. Hire a badminton court at your local leisure centre, join a tennis club or try something slightly more unusual like Quidditch or Mermaiding (yep, they really exist!).
- Return to an old favourite
What was your favourite family day out in the last 12 months? 3 years? Ever? Re-discover somewhere you loved but don’t visit too often and make a plan to visit. See what’s new and discover whether what you used to love is just as good as you remember - get each member of the family to pick one and you’ve got some great days out already agreed for the year.
- Visit an award-winning attraction
2018 saw the launch of our first ever Family Favourites Awards, designed to recognise the best family days out all across the UK. Over 20,000 of you voted for your favourites, from best day out for under 5s to best animal day out - so why not pay a visit to them this year? See the full list of Family Favourites Awards winners now.
- Make a new recipe
Step into the kitchen and prepare to cook up a storm, by testing out a new recipe. Get the kids involved at all stages (including the washing up!), and enjoy tucking into your tasty concoction. Get inspiration from our list of family friendly recipes, tried and tested by real parents!
- Spend more time together
How quickly did 2018 go? Time flies, so it’s important to make time for family time - so put it on your 2019 bucket list! From work and school, to housework, homework and even our mobile phones, there are so many challenges and things competing for our time on a daily basis. Reset the balance, and check out our guide to how to have more quality family time.
- Help animals in your garden
From birds and hedgehogs to bees and other insects, your garden has thousands of wildlife visitors every single year. There are loads of ways to encourage animals to visit and help them when they arrive. Why not try to make easy bird feeders, or follow our guide for how to make a bug hotel.
- Make the most of the school holidays
The school holidays always seem to creep up on you, which can leave you scrambling for things to do and day out ideas. Luckily, we’ve got over 7,000 ideas for days out near you you can access at your fingertips, as well as loads of ideas and inspiration for the best events to visit. Check out our School’s Out section for the latest UK school holiday dates as well as tips for what to do. Forget the pressure to cram in loads, just focus on spending time together and you’ll all have a blast.
- Explore underground
Take your exploring to a whole new level, by going underground! Caves, mines and tunnels are always fascinating places, letting you delve into some of the most spectacular sights. The Postal Museum in London is home to Mail Rail, an underground train using the original Royal Mail postal tunnels, whilst the Peak District is home to some incredible caves and caverns to explore.
- Have a race
Let your competitive streak shine, by taking part in a race! Take a visit to the best go karting tracks in the UK and get in the driver’s seat, head to Pooh Corner for an old school game of Pooh Sticks or head to your local arcades for a classic gaming race. Who will come out on top?
- Start a collection
Collecting is one of the original hobbies and can be done on any scale, from collecting Pokemon cards and stuffed animals, to limited edition keepsakes. Tie your new collection in with your adventures, by collecting something from each day out you visit this year, just be sure to not disturb any nature in the process!
- Go camping
Like the rise in family staycations, camping trips are becoming increasingly popular for quick getaways with the kids. Campsites range from pretty basic to pretty much ‘glamping’, so you can find a site to match your needs. Not been before? Check out our 10 tips for camping with kids.
- Have adventures
What do you think of when you hear the word adventure? Is it swinging from the trees, or wandering off the beaten track? Whatever adventure means to you and your kids, build your own 2019 bucket list around it! We’re big advocates for adventures of all sizes, from little ones you can do everyday, to the big ones you might do once a year. Whatever your next adventure is, we’d love to hear all about it. Come and share your adventures with us on Facebook and Instagram.
We hope this gives you some ideas to build your own 2019 bucket list for family adventure! Looking for even more ideas? Enter your postcode now to find great days out on your doorstep.