Group of people playing chess

When the nights draw in and the weather turns colder, going outside is less appealing and it can be tempting to not do much.

This doesn’t have to be the case as there are lots of fun indoor activities you can do, regardless of age or fitness level. From board games to museum trips, we’ve put together a guide to the best indoor activities you can enjoy this autumn and winter to help stir your imagination. Let’s look at what you can try over the cooler seasons.

Arts and crafts

Lady painting at home

If you think arts and crafts activities are something you can only do with your grandchildren, then think again. It is something that people of all ages can enjoy and is especially great for people who are unable to get out much.

So, for example, people who suffer from health issues, like foot problems and therefore need specialist wide fitting shoes, can try arts and crafts to keep busy.

There are lots of autumn, winter and Christmas crafts that you can try at home. Mollie Makes recommends creating cards, bunting or outfits during autumn.

If you are doing arts and crafts with your grandchildren, then Crafts on Sea recommends some specific winter and Christmas crafts that you can do, including snowflake crafts, a snowflake paper plate twirler, winter tree paintings and other winter decorations.

According to Seniors Matter, arts and crafts also have lots of health benefits:

- They reduce anxiety and feelings of isolation
- They can build your confidence
- Improves physical health

Sewing

Sewing a quilt

Sewing has been around for thousands of years but it has undergone a resurgence recently, with lots of sewing groups popping up across the UK.

One such group is London-based Sew Over It that offers sewing classes, courses and sewing equipment to members.

But, what makes sewing a great indoor activity in autumn and winter? There are lots of benefits when it comes to sewing, such as reducing stress and anxiety by encouraging mindfulness and feelings of relaxation.

It also improves your hand-eye coordination, happiness, brain growth and can be used to fight dementia.

Beginners should look to start with simple projects like creating cushion covers and simple skirts before moving on to more complex tasks like quilts.

PROJECT TO TRY:

- How to make your own sock fish craft

Puzzles and board games

Playing chess is a great indoor activity to try

Setting aside an afternoon to try and complete a puzzle or to play a board game is a great indoor activity you can enjoy this autumn or winter.

Puzzles and board games make you use your problem-solving skills and dexterity as well as your social skills as you can invite friends and family over to join in.

There are so many puzzles and board games out there that you can easily find exactly the kind of product you are after. Plus, with the internet, it makes it easy for you to purchase them. Below are just some of the places you should look for both puzzles and board games.

Websites to buy puzzles

- Wentworth Wooden Puzzles
- Active Minds
- Jigsaw Explorer
- Jigsaw Puzzle
- Hobbycraft
- The Yorkshire Jigsaw Store

Websites to buy board games

- Games Lore
- Zatu Games
- Meeples Corner
- Games Quest
- The Board Game Hut

Swimming

Swimming has lots of health benefits

As the weather turns cold outside, you could also consider heading to your local leisure centre and going for a swim.

This de-stressing activity boasts a lot of health benefits as it is good for your joints and can help those of you suffering from swollen feet, ankles and legs.

If you are looking for a special location to swim, then you should consider heading to the Thermae Bath Spa as it is home to an iconic rooftop pool that overlooks the city.

As well as the open-air rooftop pool, there is the Minerva Bath, a Wellness Suite and a range of spa treatments that you can enjoy during your trip.

SWIMMING CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR BACK:

10 ways to look after your back

Visit a museum

Visit a museum this autumn or winter

If you’re looking after the grandchildren or just want to get out of the house, then another great indoor activity you can try in the autumn and winter months is visiting a museum.

There are thousands of museums across the UK that are full of historic artefacts, treasures, new technologies and historic works of art. You should look out for exhibits you and your relatives might enjoy, as well as temporary exhibitions that are being displayed over the winter months. For example, there is the Tutankhamun exhibition that will be coming to the Saatchi Gallery in London from November 2019 to May 2020.

So, if you’re interested in world cultures, history, science or rural living, there’s something for everyone.

Here are just some of the top museums you can visit in the UK:
- The British Museum (London)
- National Space Centre (Leicester)
- National Railway Museum (York)
- The National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh)
- Natural History Museum (London)
- SS Great Britain (Bristol)
- National Football Museum (Manchester)

Join a book club

There are lots of book clubs you can join over the colder months

Diving into a new book can transport you into a new world and the great thing about reading is that there is a book for everyone.

You can read a book in the comfort of your own home and it is a fantastic way to pass the time, especially if the weather is miserable outside.

Reading has a variety of health benefits as studies have shown it can reduce memory decline and improve your social skills.

There are lots of online book clubs that you can join and here we list the top five that you can choose from to help make your reading experience even better.

-          Good Housekeeping – The monthly magazine has its own book club and each month they pick a new book for their members to read. Their Facebook page also allows you to interact with over 6,000 avid readers.

-          The Willoughby Book Club – A subscription-based book club allows you to gift a book club package to friends as well as treating yourself to one. You can get your hands on the very best up-and-coming titles.

-          Richard & Judy - Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, the former This Morning hosts, run a book club that has more than 38,000 members. The couple share their views and opinions on different books.

-          Reading Groups for Everyone – Designed to put you in touch with your local reading clubs as you can enter your postcode to find out the nearest groups to your home. They also share round-ups about new books and interview celebrities for recommendations.

BOOKS TO READ:

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Baking

Baking is a popular indoor activity

From Victoria Sponge to chocolate brownies, there is no doubt that the UK loves cakes and bakes, especially when served with a cup of tea!

Baking is more than just creating a delicious, culinary masterpiece. It’s about relaxing and unwinding as it has been proven to reduce stress and help people suffering from dementia.

It is an indoor activity that Gransnet thoroughly recommend trying with your grandchildren: “Top of many grandparents list of things to do indoors is baking. Cupcakes, muffins, biscuits - it's the perfect time to bond and for kids to learn fine motor skills as well as try out their maths. And the most obvious benefit is, there's something delicious to share at the end.”

What are the best indoor activities to enjoy in the autumn and winter?

Just because the weather is bad outside doesn’t mean you can’t do anything as there are lots of indoor activities you can try. As well as the recommendations above, we’ve added some more to this easy-to-follow list:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Sewing
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Swimming
  • Visit a museum
  • Join a book club
  • Baking
  • Flower arranging
  • Yoga

CHECK OUT SOME SUMMER ACTIVITES TO TRY:

- Outdoor activities to enjoy this summer