11 Activities For Outdoor Family Fun During Snowy Winters
Morgan Rogue 11.22.21
Sometimes the mere thought of going out into zero degree or below temps is enough to make me want to just shake my head vigorously and stay curled up next to the fire.
In saying that, I make it a habit to get outdoors throughout the year with my kids, especially during winter. It’s not just good for our kids, it’s good for us adults, too. Especially with the shorter days and less light, we need a bit of outdoor therapy to keep the cabin fever away.
Our kids not only love the snow, but they are toasty warm in their clothing so the cold doesn’t bother them. There will definitely be days that are unreasonable to be outdoors, whether it’s because of wind chill or heavy snow fall.
However, as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.
Make sure the whole family is well bundled and if there is a slight breeze, cover up any exposed skin and reduce the amount of time you spend outdoors.
Even if it’s just 10 minutes outdoors, it can make a difference and the family will enjoy getting out of the house for a minute!
Here are the top 11 outdoor winter activities for the whole family:
My oldest absolutely loves to go sledding. You won’t catch my youngest doing it, but she’ll warm up to it one day. You don’t need any type of fancy sled, but I would suggest waiting until there’s a good couple feet of snow so there’s not a lot of branches or debris in the way. Find a hill that’s appropriate for your kids skill level and just have fun!
Snow ball fight
My oldest thinks throwing snow is one of the best things ever. You may have to wait until January or February for the best ball making snow, but be sure to lay down some ground rules, too as things could get brutal!
Ice skating on the local pond or lake is truly a fun experience. Make sure there’s been a consistent freeze for about a month before hitting the ice. Avoid rivers, but non-moving water such as lakes or ponds should be good to go after some time. If you’re unsure, ask the locals. Be cautious and don’t go out too deep until you’re 100% certain it’s completely frozen.
Frozen bubbles and water
When it gets below freezing, go out and blow some bubbles or spray some hot water into the air. It’s a huge hit! They both freeze almost instantly upon hitting the air. It’s so much fun for kids.
Winter is one of the best times to see animal movement. Teach your kids the different types of animals roaming about by identifying their tracks. Don’t recognize a track? Research it! It’ll be fun for everyone.
Snow machine rides
A classic winter activity is whizzing through the trees and mountains in a snow machine. If you don’t own one, look into local rental places. I would highly recommend a helmet and go slow. Just enjoy the ride.
Just walking around can be enough. Walk through the forest and try to listen for any animals or to hear how silent it is. Be sure you’re taking it slow, staying hydrated and wearing appropriate under layers.
Make an igloo
Really, make anything with snow. An igloo, a snowman, a snow castle, whatever. Have fun and play around with shaping snow! The kids will be in awe at not only what they can make, but that it actually stays put! At least until it reaches above freezing temps, that is.
Sometimes we just go out without any kind of plan and sometimes these are the most fun. Not everything has to have a purpose. Sometimes just being out is the purpose. The kids will look at the snow, will make snow angels, whatever. You can even head to the local playground for some free play.
If your family loves to fish and hunt, go dig a hole in some ice and try to catch a fish! This isn’t always the most thrilling, but it sure would be exciting if you caught a fish under the ice, right?
Practice survival skills
In general, teaching and practicing survival skills in the snow is pretty unique. Start a fire in the snow, setup a shelter in the snow, boil down snow to see how much snow you’d need for usable water, etc. There are plenty of opportunities to learn or practice skills that you could only do in the snow and ice. Have fun with it and don’t have any sort of expectations of anyone.
There are so many other activities that can be done depending on where you live. Maybe you want to try your hand at dog sledding or land on a glacier. Skiing and snowboarding are always a classic winter activity. There’s also hiking and camping if you’re up to it in the cold and snow.
Remember, have the appropriate gear and you’ll survive just about anything!
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