Last summer, keeping the kids entertained seemed so straightforward. Get them to the park, buy them ice-cream, stick on your sunnies…and relax. Now that we’re into the depths of winter, I find myself anxiously scanning the daily weather forecast for sleet, as my young son gazes at me expectantly.
If you’re heaving a sigh while your offspring hit you with that classic refrain, “There’s nothing to doooo!”, just read on – there’s absolutely tons coming up for children in and around Perth. Here’s my hit list…
Light Up your Winter Spirit!
First up, the Perth Riverside Light Nights are back, running from 26th January to 10th February. These sparkling illuminations brighten up the evenings along Norrie-Miller Walk each year, and have become a staple in our winter calendars. This year, a variety of different themes kick off with Burns Night, followed by Dinosaurs (we’ll be at that one for sure), Comic Con, Chinese New Year, Magic and Wizardry, and the ever-popular Valentines. There will be food, drink, and other fun surprises. Find full details here >
A Palace of Surprises..
Scone Palace is also making the most of the season with its annual ‘Celebration of Snowdrops’, beginning on 1st February. You can explore the Palace grounds and discover these dainty little flowers heralding the start of spring. There is free admission to the grounds every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm, during the winter.
Kids will love the Palace maze and playpark, complete with mini-tractors. Afterwards, warm up with delicious refreshments in the Old Servants’ Hall Coffee Shop. Read all about it here >
Go on a Bird Watch!
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the RSPB has lots to offer at this time of year. Children can participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch from 26th to 28th January, noting the birds they see in their own backyard in order to provide valuable scientific data. All the information you need is here >
Or join the Big Garden Birdwatch event being held at Quarrymill on 26th January from 11am to 2pm. On the same day, RSPB Loch Leven is holding a bird ringing demonstration, where you can see wild birds up close. In addition, the RSPB continues it Wild Woodlands events happening every month at Quarrymill. These mornings of play and discovery are perfect for families with pre-school children, with the next one on 24th January. Find all these RSPB events, and more, on their website >
Learn to Skate
Are you keen to embrace the winter and stay active, but in a more ‘indoorsy’ kind of way? Pop along to Dewars Centre, which opens its ice rink to the general public on 26th and 27th January, and then again in March.
Find the full Live Active programme for the 2018/19 ice skating season online. Dewars’ ‘Learn to Skate’ classes (for children aged five and over) and ‘Snow Babes’ (for pre-schoolers) are also available on 27th January with further dates in March.
My wee boy has had great fun at Snow Babes over the last couple of years; you can read all about his ice-capades here!
Culture Perth and Kinross
Culture Perth and Kinross have started 2019 in style, with a long list of upcoming events at various venues across the region.
Birnam Library hosts its Community Day on 26th January; the family entertainment includes a Bookbug session, messy play, and dragon-themed stories and activities with children’s author Judy Hayman.
The next Messy Museum session at Perth Museum and Art Gallery is scheduled for 7th February (remember to book in advance). At the same location on 31st March, children aged from five to seven can attend the Strictly Margaret Morris: Health Play Dance Story Workshop, which is a playful introduction to movement and creative expression.
Finally, check out the family friendly story time with Perth’s own Drag Queen, Scarlet Skylar Rae, which will celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, on 15th February at AK Bell Library. View all the family events offered by Culture Perth and Kinross here >
Take a Trip to the Theatre
I recently took my three-year-old to the theatre, and (just a little to my surprise) he a) loved it, and b) behaved. The performing arts are no longer deemed off-limits for even our youngest children, and the latest Horsecross programme will readily entice them in. ‘Four Go Wild in Wellies’ is an exciting tale of adventure for patrons aged three to five, showing at Perth Theatre on 2nd February. And we are heading to see ‘Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants’ on 10th February at Perth Concert Hall. A story about a bared bottom and a young knight, with audience participation and music galore - what’s not to like!
To Infinity and Beyond!
For children aged seven to twelve with an interest in all things cosmic, Birnam Arts are hosting a planetarium show ‘Space Base: Secrets of Space’ on 13th February. This promises to be a fascinating exploration of our solar system with universal appeal!
Join the Black Watch Castle and Museum Explorers Club
And last on my list, but by no means least, The Black Watch Castle and Museum is the place to go and see the past brought to life. Their Museum Explorer’s Club engages children with hands-on history: ‘Roads and bridges’ will be held on 26th January, followed by ‘Medical Emergency’ on 23rd February, and ‘Tastes from the Trenches’ on 30th March. You can find further details on their website here >
Phew! There’s simply loads going on this winter, in and around Perth, to help you keep the kids occupied and banish those winter blues. Wrap up warm, get your skates on and get out there!
Seven things to do at Scotland's most family friendly music festival - Solas
May 22nd Wednesday 2019
Social Media for Parents is it a help or a hindrance? Is it all judging and trolling...
May 8th Wednesday 2019
The NCT group in Perth are breaking stereotypes when it comes to Mum & Baby groups, and leading the new age in volunteers to award-winning status.
April 22nd Monday 2019