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Sunshine

Cape Verde

Dubbed Africa’s answer to the Caribbean, Cape Verde is full of picturesque beaches and striking volcanic landscapes. As one of the cooler months, January provides a pleasant climate for lazing by the sea.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 19°C, max. 25°C
  • Dry and sunny, with only 2mm of rain for the whole month
  • Can be breezy due to its largely flat landscape

Season

  • Peak season is between November and March

Good for

  • Kids of all ages, families looking for relaxing beaches and a laidback escape

What’s there

  • A mix of black and golden beaches, year-round sunshine and an interesting marriage of African, Brazilian and Portuguese culture

What’s on

  • New Year’s Day festivities, a parade in Santiago, and the festival of the Three Wise Men

Flight time from UK: 6 hours

See our full Africa Family Holiday Guide

Cancun, Mexico

With white sandy beaches and a bustling city, it’s no wonder Cancun is so popular. Cooler weather in January makes it the perfect time to explore the ancient archaeological sites.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 21°C, max. 28°C
  • One of Cancun’s driest months, January is sunny and stays warm in the evenings

Season

  • January is peak dry season, so the busiest time for tourism

Good for

What’s there

What’s on

  • Three Kings Day on the 6th, and the Fiesta de San Antonio where animals are blessed in churches across Mexico

Flight time from UK: 10h 25m

See our full Mexico Family Holiday Guide


Events and activities

Alpbach, Austria

If you’re looking to ski this winter, this is a great destination for families. Alpbach offers several child-friendly slopes as well as ‘bambini’ skiing lessons for kids as young as 3.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. -5°C, max. 3°C
  • An average snow depth of 74cm at the top of the resort

Season

  • Peak skiing season

Good for

What’s there

  • Several ski schools for children, a kids’ centre complete with a cinema and napping zone, and a few slopes that are free for under 15s

What’s on

  • Ski touring, tobogganing, horse-drawn sleigh rides

Flight time from UK: 1h 45m

See our full Austria Family Holiday Guide

Budapest, Hungary

Nothing says winter quite like an outdoor ice-rink. Budapest, home to the largest in Europe, offers the chance to skate on the lake overlooked by the magical Vajdahunyad Castle.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 1°C, max. 3°C
  • Mostly cloudy with the occasional sprinkling of snow

Season

  • Off-peak

Good for

  • Older kids and teenagers will be more suited to busy ice rinks

What’s there

  • Famous for its thermal baths, the city features a hip Jewish quarter, sophisticated architecture, and several protected monuments.

What’s on

  • The City Park Ice Rink, the Eiffel Ice Rink (in front of the Western Railway Station), Ice Rink by the Basilica (New Years Day)

Flight time from UK: 2h 25m

See our full Hungary Family Holiday Guide


To tick off my bucket list

Norway

With the promise of the Northern Lights, stunning landscapes and Scandinavian culture, Norway should be top of everybody’s bucket list. There are festivities and events each year and it’s also the best month to enjoy winter sports and activities such as skiing, ice climbing and skating.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. -7°C, max. 1°C
  • Typically January is the coldest month with average rainfall of approximately 49mm, and around 2 hours of sunshine a day.

Season

Good for

What’s there

  • Aside from the stunning Northern Lights, the Scandinavian capital features incredible tourist attractions such as the Akershus Fortress, National Art Museum, Oslo Cathedral, the Parliament Building, Frogner Park, and the Folk Museum among others.

What’s on

  • Aside from the stunning Aurora Borealis, for the winter sports enthusiast there’s skiing, ice-skating, ice fishing and ice climbing.

Flight time from UK: 2h 10m

See our full Norway Family Holiday Guide

The Maldives

Once thought of solely as a honeymoon destination, the Maldives should not be underestimated for families. With diverse and fascinating marine life, wonderful weather and beautiful beaches there are plenty of amazing attractions and activities to enjoy.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 25°C, max. 29°C
  • January is the coldest and driest month but by British standards it’s still very warm. Expect nine hours of daily sunshine and sea temperature is a welcoming 28 degrees Celsius.

Season

  • Peak season falls between December and March

Good for

What’s there

  • The islands vary in size but, without exception, they’re surrounded by flawless beaches and have their own ‘house reefs’ for diving, snorkelling and sheltered swimming.

What’s on

Flight time from UK: 10 hours direct from London Heathrow and Gatwick

See our full Maldives Family Holiday Guide


Off-peak season

Ras Al Khaimah

You’ll know its near neighbour Dubai, but RAK boasts a more relaxed and less crowded atmosphere with a gentler pace of life and a magnificent desert landscape against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 12°C, max. 25°C

Season

  • January is off-peak, despite December to February being the best time to visit when the weather is comfortably warm and enjoyable

Good for

What’s there

  • Lush landscapes, historic sites from palaces to hill forts and traditional fishing villages. Visit the National Museum or take a drive into the Hajar Mountains or Awafi Desert, gaze up at the stars or treat yourself in one of the hotel spas.

What’s on

  • For older kids, chase thrills at the huge Iceland water park or the RAK Go-karting track. Treat the whole family at the Banyan Tree, a gorgeous spa resort in the desert with loads of fantastic kids activities. Or for equestrian lovers, why not ride across the desert at Al Wadi.

Flight time from UK: 7 hours

See our full Ras Al Khaimah Family Holiday Guide

London

Save some money this January with a staycation in our own capital city. With dozens of museums and galleries, many with free admission and easy public transport, it’s the perfect family location.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 3°C, max. 6°C
  • The weather may be cold, and rain averages 11 days of the month – you’ll want to make the most of the indoor activities on offer.

Season

  • Off-peak

Good for

  • Kids of all ages: from museums to shopping, London has it all

What’s there

  • London is bursting with museums so there’s something to interest everyone. Our favourites are the V&A Museum of Childhood, the Science Museum and Madame Tussaud’s. On a clear day, be sure to take a look at the city’s stunning skyline on a ride of the London Eye.

What’s on

  • Ice skate at the Natural History Museum, visit the Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf or take a trip to the theatre.

See our full London Family Holiday Guide