After a stunning summer sadly comes to an end, we are already looking ahead to the winter months and the best spots for a winter family break. While many people will know of (or possibly visited) Center Parcs, many will associate the iconic British holiday destination with summer time. However, a visit to the forest in winter can be just as fun and magical.
With miles of stunning forest to explore by foot or bike, a heated swimming pool to plunge into after a chilly walk, numerous fun indoor activities and more, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained over a winter break. Plus, with locations in Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire, Suffolk, Bedfordshire and, most recently, Ireland, you won’t have to travel far to get there.
Here are just a few of the things you can do on an autumnal or winter break at Center Parcs:
Explore the enchanting forest
With miles and miles of forest to discover, Center Parcs truly is a child’s dream. Whether you choose to hire a bike (or bring your own) or set out on foot, there are plenty of paths to wander down. Breathe in the crisp woodland air and enjoy the spectacular views around you.
Try a range of fun family indoor activities
On rainy days when braving the outdoors (even with a thick waterproof and wellies) doesn’t seem appealing, Center Parcs’ wide range of indoor activities mean the kids can cosy up indoors… without going mad with boredom. You’ll find a number of diverse activities that appeal to every type of child in the Activity Den, such as Cupcake Decorating, Pirate and Princess Adventure, Crazy Science and more. There are a number of options catering to all ages, from toddlers to teenagers.
If you want to do an activity as a family, try the Pottery Paining and get the creative vibes flowing, or play an energetic game of squash or Tenpin bowling.
Take the plunge in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise
If the weather is getting you down, you can always close your eyes and pretend you’re in a far-away, exotic destination in the heated water park. The Subtropical Swimming Paradise is heated to 29.5c all year round and decked in lush green tropical plants and trees. With unlimited entry included in the cost of your break, you can take a dip in the wave pool, brave the Wild Water Rapids, or play with the whole family in the water play areas.
If you fancy some privacy, there is always the option to hire a private Family Cabana where you have access to your own TV, loungers and refreshments.
Nestle up in your cosy lodge After a long day of exploring the forest or trying the different activities, there’s nothing better than getting cosy in a warm lodge complete with crackling log fire. Comfortable and well-equipped, all the lodges at Center Parcs include open-plan living, a well-equipped kitchen, stylish décor and your own private patio.
Spend an evening reading next to the fire, playing a family board game, or watching a movie.
Drift away with a spa treatment
If you are looking for a few hours rest away from the kids, you can leave them to try a fun activity while you head to the on-site spa for a treatment. The Aqua Sana Spa offers a range of high-quality and extremely relaxing treatments including massages, manicures and pedicures, facials and hot stones therapies. You can simply choose a single treatment or a package such as the three-hour spa session during which you get to experience all the spa has on offer.
Star gaze in your own private hot tub
One of the most magical elements of a winter break at Center Parcs is relaxing in an outdoor bubbling hot tub surrounded by the peace and tranquillity of nature. Each village has a selection of lodges (the Executive, Exclusive, Treehouses and Waterside Lodges) that come compete with a private outdoor hot tub. Set in a private, enclosed garden, you can escape from the chill in the warm water while still remaining outdoors and enjoying the beauty of the forest. We love getting in the hot tub in the evening as a family and watching the stars, appreciating the silence and stillness of the forest. If you’re lucky, it may snow and complete the fairy tale setting and what could be more memorable and more warming than a steamy hot tub break surrounded by snow.
Enjoy the Christmas festivities
We can’t believe we’re talking about Christmas already, but if you happen to visit over the festive season, you’ll find a number of lovely seasonal touches at Center Parcs. From the stunning trees and decoration that adorn the forest, to the fun seasonal activities and visits to Santa and his elves, your family will love every moment of their winter holiday.
Visit the Center Parcs website to find out more about their winter breaks today.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.