Talk of the half-term holidays inevitably conjures up images of ghoulish face-paint, trick or treating, carving pumpkins and apple-bobbing. There are colour-popping fireworks displays and parties to attend, garish treats to prepare and all sorts of Halloween-related fun to get involved in!

But, with the kids getting an entire week off school and Halloween only lasting one day, how on earth do we fill the rest of the free time and enjoy the break from routine to the max?

Well, I would suggest by doing something scary!

Now, in this instance, I’m not talking dress up in your best zombie costume complete with faux blood and knocking on your neighbour’s door in a bid for tasty treats, no, when the festivities die-off, how about wiping the black eye make-up off and getting outdoors to do something properly scary?

One of our intrepid explorers at the foot of the Mounes

As the weather turns chiller it can be so tempting to batten down the hatches and go full-on ‘hygge’ for the entirety of the winter months! Wouldn’t that be cosy?! I love nothing more than a snuggle-up, hot chocolate and a movie afternoon with my boys, but I have to admit that without some movement and time in nature featuring in my daily routine I start to get anxious and my body starts to get stiff and ache from the lack of activity!

Now, that is a fright night scene right there!

However, what we have discovered as a family over the past few years is that with a little planning, a burst of creative thinking and a ‘carpe diem’ attitude, it is totally possible to get outside and have some fun…yes, even during the cold weather! Shock horror I know! It is a matter of planning for every type of weather (especially here in Northern Ireland with our 4 seasons in a day scenario going on), packing up snacks and hot drinks (don’t forget the marshmallows!) and going out to explore.


Maybe you’ve always wanted to hike up a hill, why not be brave and give it a whirl during these milder autumnal days when there’s no homeworks to be completed? Or have you ever fancied giving BMXing a go? You would be given a very warm welcome at the Thunder Park adrenaline infused sports centre. Maybe you fancy stepping off terra firm and tackling the high ropes challenge at The Jungle NI. Think it’s too cold to swim in the sea this time of year? Annette at Four Acorns and Hollie at The Freedom Method would disagree and encourage you to take an invigorating dip. Brave ladies! There are so many things we can try if we just dig deep into our courage reserves…they’re in there somewhere among the jelly snakes and sweetie eyeballs!


This is my personal favourite time if the year in relation to nature…the amazing colours on display, the chilly air revitalising my senses and as much as I would at times like to hibernate during the coldest spell, this is the season when I push myself the most, when I look at the barriers of my comfort zone and step over them to try something new. We are adventure planning for 2019, with plans for a big family challenge unfurling. The plans develop most of all when we get some outside time together and delve into conversations about our aspirations, both individually and as a family.

Whatever your plans are this half-term, I hope you can make space to do something super-scary, something that challenges you, stretches you and pushes you well and truly out of your comfort zone and into a place of feeling vibrant and full of life.  Don’t let the dark days put you off getting out to play, you deserve it, you work hard, let yourself take some time off-duty and go have an adventure. It may be scary at first but it will be truly awakening in the end! And, I promise, the hot choc and sofa cuddles are all the sweeter for it! I would love to hear what scary things you get up to this half-term…feel free to comment on the blog!



  1. Only just getting round to reading your latest blog great as usual keep at it can’t wait for your next post love dad x


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