If you’re like me, you might find it hard get motivated and get outside in the cold winter months. With the cozy couches and warm blankets inside, why would we want to venture out into the cold and windy winter weather? It can be awfully tempting to spend our free time huddled up indoors during the cold months, but when we do so, we miss out on so much fun and excitement that winter brings.
You don’t want to miss out on spending time outside this winter, because if you do, you have to wait a whole year to get to enjoy it again! I find that the best way to motivate myself each day to get outside and enjoy the winter weather is by making a list at the start of the season of all the fun outdoor activities that I want to do. That way, each day, I have lots of options of what I can spend my time doing. Don’t let the winter blues get you down and keep you shut up inside; use this list that I made you to get inspired and get out into the snow.
1. Go ice skating.
Enjoy the fresh, icy cold air with your friends and family on an ice-skating trip! Bundle up tight and lace up your skates and do your best out on the ice. You don’t have to be a professional – just doing laps around the rink with people you love is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get active in the winter! Make it an extra fun day with breaks for hot chocolate and baked treats.
Sledding in the winter time with my friends is one of my best childhood memories. If you’ve never tried it, this must be the year that you do! It is so exhilarating to slide down the snow-covered hills, and then race back up to the top to do it all over again. Different kinds of sleds make sledding fun in unique ways, but my favorite sled of all time is the Lehman’s Racer Sled. This sled flies down icy hills like a racecar and was a staple in my childhood winters.
3. Build a snowman and fort.
Another excellent way to make sure you and your family are getting all the exercise and activity you need during the winter months while having a lot of fun is by building things out of snow. This includes the classic snowman, which is always a blast to make, and more creative sculptures, like igloos and forts! Snowmen are simple, but super fun and festive. Rolling the snow balls for the body takes some muscle, but the rest is a breeze. Getting creative with the snowman’s face and accessories is super fun. A tip for snowman building is to lightly spray it with water once it’s built so make it lasts longer. Making igloos and forts out of snow might take a helping hand from a parent, but they’re great to play in once made. Make sure they’re stable before playing so you don’t end up with snow and ice piled on you!
4. Enjoy a toasty bonfire.
Bonfires are the perfect way to stay warm while out in the cold. Once a roaring but safe and contained fire is going with Lehman’s pine cone fire starters, everyone can sit around it and enjoy its lovely heat. Stories can be told, songs can be sung, and s’mores and hot dogs can be made using the super fun Lehman’s campfire fishing poles!
5. Take a walk.
Nature walks through forest trails might seem like more of a summertime thing, but they can be just as enjoyable, if not more, in the chilly months too. As long as you’re properly dressed in the Stormy Kromer Ida’s wool Sherpa mittens and some nice, warm Merino wool boot socks, you won’t be too cold at all (don’t forget to cover your head, too). Take your family and see if your kids can point out some differences between the seasons in nature. Ask them to find 10 things outside that are unique to wintertime! Winter hikes can be made extra fun by renting snowshoes!
6. Feed the birds.
A great way to connect to nature in the winter when it may feel like all the living creatures are off somewhere south is by finding a nice spot near some trees and feeding the birds. This is a relaxing activity that still allows you and your family to be outside while it’s cold. Bring along seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and bread crumbs and toss them to the birds. See how many you can attract! You can make a day out of this by bringing along a picnic and finding a dry spot to enjoy it while still feeding the birds. Bird feeder
7. Create snow art.
By simply adding food coloring to bottles of water, you have made snow paint. Fill a spray bottle and you’ll be able to make huge spaces of snow into the color you want. Fill up bottles with small holes at the tops and you can draw precisely in the snow with your paint. Have competitions to see if you can guess what your friends are drawing in the snow!
8. Join in a snowball fight.
Snowball fights are great because they can be any level of intensity. If you’re playing with little ones, gently tossing snow at each other, not at the face, can be a fun and energetic time. With older kids or adults, it can be more extreme, with teams, home bases, point systems, and more. Snowball fights can get very exciting and are wonderful for getting out and getting moving during the winter. Running from your opponents is great exercise!
I hope you and your family can get inspired by something on this list and enjoy your time outdoors!
Editor’s Note: Originally published in February 2019.