Night-time winter activities

Tree and moon in darkness
There's so much to discover during the long winter nights (Photo: WTML/Richard Gibbs)

Now we’re in the depths of winter, there are lots of dark evenings ahead. We’ve put together some brilliant activity ideas to help you light up the night!

Go stargazing

A clear, crisp winter’s night is a great time to appreciate the beauty of all the twinkly stars. If possible, find a spot that’s away from lots of artificial light, lie on the ground and gaze up in wonder. Remember to dress warmly, take a blanket to wrap up in and something to lie on. Why not take along a flask of hot chocolate or a scrummy winter picnic?

Not sure which constellation is which? Ask your grown-up to download a stargazing app such as Google Sky (for android) or Star Walk (for iPhone) to help you identify them.

Make a natural tea light holder

You will need:

  • some wintry natural objects, such as a small pine cone, piece of fir tree, sprig of holly, seed head etc
  • a glass jar
  • some thin wire
  • a stone or pebble that fits easily into the jar
  • a tea light.

Use the wire to attach your natural objects to the stone or pebble in a pretty arrangement and carefully place it at the bottom of the jar. (The stone is to stop things floating around.) Fill your jar ¾ full of water and carefully float a lighted tea light on the top – you’ll probably want to get a grown-up to help with this bit.

Play torch tag

This is a great game to play in your garden when it’s getting dark (not too dark though – you don’t want to be bumping into things!).

This version is a bit like hide and seek. One player has a torch and waits while the others hide. They then hunt for them using the torch. Whoever gets lit up by the torch beam first becomes ‘it’.

You could also try this different version of torch tag from our activities section.

Exploring twilight with headtorches
Play a game of torch tag with your friends (Photo: WTML/Dan Lee)

Build a campfire

Follow our instructions on how to build a campfire to keep you toasty and warm on a winter’s evening. You could even have a winter picnic by the light of the flames.

Just remember to ask the landowner’s permission, build your fire in an open space well away from trees and bushes, make sure you don’t disturb any hibernating creatures, and have a bucket of water ready to damp it down.

Take a look at our activities section for more dark evening ideas. How about a twilight trek, making ice lanterns, or creating some delightful dark art?

Don’t forget to tell us what you’ve been up to, and post some pictures, on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives.

What's your favourite winter night activity?

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