Don't let bad weather stop you having fun this winter. There are plenty of indoor options where you can shelter from the rain and wind while allowing your little ones to run around, get creative and play with friends.
While soft play centres have always been a popular choice, climbing walls and trampoline parks are also springing up across the region. Crackers soft play in Haltwhistle offers a climbing wall, aerial glider, 5m wavy slide and football area, while The Ark at Crawcrook is a not for profit church centre, their play centre & sensory room is open to the public during the week.
Many other soft plays, such as those in Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth, Amble, Bedlington and Cramlington, also offer a safe and exciting place for children to let off steam. Most have cafes serving a selection of hot and cold meals to cater for children and adults.
Why not take the kids for a splash around at your local swimming pool? Many pools are attached to leisure centres so you can find out what other sports and activities are available for youngsters while you are there.
Concordia Leisure Centre in Cramlington has recently been refurbished and now boasts a colourful climbing centre for those aged 4+, as well as a bowling facility. Wentworth Leisure Centre in Hexham offers tenpin bowling and a soft play area. Or if you fancy hiring your own private pool, Glendale near Haltwhistle can be hired by the hour.
Following on from the popularity of trampoline centres in Sunderland and Durham, a new trampoline park has recently opened in Cramlington.
Have you visited Believe & Be, a fabulous little town designed for the little ones to explore role play. There are 4 sessions a day so give them a call and get booked in!
Once you've worn the kids out, why not visit your local library where they can get immersed in the latest books? Snuggling up with a book is the perfect activity for a winter's night.
If your children want to get creative, take them along to a pottery-painting studio such as Inspired Pots in Hexham, Pot-a-doodle Do in Berwick or Pots & Paws in Rothbury. Their creations will provide keepsakes for years to come.
Of course, you don't even have to venture out to have fun indoors. Why not turn your living room into a cinema? Invite friends round, pop on a DVD and serve cinema snacks such as popcorn or nachos.
How about letting the children build a den in the house? Give the children some old sheets and pegs and let their imaginations run wild.
Or you could do some baking as children love to cook and there are lots of recipe ideas on our website.
Don't let the cold weather put you off heading outside entirely. Hall Hill Farm in Lanchester and Whitehouse Farm near Morpeth are both well worth a visit in the colder months with plenty of activities going on in the indoor barns if the weather takes a turn for the worse. And Northumberland's museums and historic buildings also offer a great day out.
There's nothing better than getting the kids wrapped up in waterproofs and wellies on a rainy day and letting them jump in puddles. And, of course, if snow arrives, it's time to all head out and build a snowman!