With the cold weather setting in, it can be tempting to huddle up in the house all winter. While quality family time can definitely be had snuggled in front of the television, it is still important to get the kids outside once in a while to enjoy some winter sports or activity. Here are some outdoor winter activities kids will enjoy and that will motivate you to bundle up and get some fresh air together as a family. Make sure you bundle up and wear layers so you can adjust for your activity or changes in weather.
15 Fun Outdoor Winter Activities
Go For A Winter Hike
Go for a hike. Hikes are fun all year long, just bundle up and employ extra safety measures like knowing the weather forecast and the trail route before you hike. Hiking can be fun in the winter when the leaves are all gone and you can often get better views. Just be sure to take an easy hike with kids and check with the park for any trail safety advisories.
Sometimes you want to embrace the cold weather by surrounding yourself with winter-specific activities. Ice Skating is great for this. It also gives you and the family a great form of exercise to make up for the hibernation you may be indulging in for most of the winter. The kids get to burn off some energy and learn a fun skill at the same time. This is one of my favorite classic outdoor winter activities kids will love. This is such a fun experience for a family and it sure to get you laughing too as you all slide around on the ice!
The main appeal of the indoors during the winter is the warmth. So why not bring the warmth outside? Wrap the family in coats, hats and gloves, make a huge batch of hot chocolate, and plant yourselves in front of a nice warm fire pit. Bring some hot dogs and marshmallows. You’re sure to create wonderful memories.
Usually we think of winter as the time that most animals hole away and birds fly south. This isn’t completely true though. Not all birds are migratory, and the ones that are still around would probably appreciate some food and water during the cold season when so much has frozen over.
Look up what birds are frequent to your area in the winter and find out what food will attract them. Then teach the kids about the birds and have them keep track of sightings at your bird feeder. This can be an exciting activity, and is relatively inexpensive, especially if you make your own milk jug bird feeder. Keep in mind that you probably won’t need to put out as much feed as you would in the spring or summer.
Play A Sport
Play a sport together as a family. Being active outdoors is the key to the staying warm and having fun. Any sport your family enjoys will do but I suggest soccer as a great sport to keep everyone (even different ages and skill levels) involved and running. You can play in your backyard with makeshift goals or you may even attract extra players at a local park.
Walk your dog. If you don’t have a dog, you can foster one and see if you the joys of pet ownership are for you. Dogs help force you out into the winter cold but it feels good to get a little brisk exercise as you walk through your neighborhood. And kids love dogs so getting out and watching as the dog stops to smell certain things gives them something fun to do.
Vist A Farm
Visit a farm. It is great for your child to see what a farm looks like all year round and the different cycles it goes through. Have a great time exploring the farm, visiting the livestock, and checking out any farm specific crafts or products.
If you’re in an area where it snows, you probably have a love/hate relationship with the falling flakes. As children, we find snow magical, until we have to drive in it. Try to put yourself in your kids’ shoes and remember the inspiration you once found in the world being covered in white. Try to keep the appreciation for the magic of snow alive with some of these outdoor winter activities with snow:
- Build a snow fort(s)
- Go sledding. My kids and even my husband and I love to go sledding. If we get even the smallest snow covering you are sure to find us on our neighborhood slopes flying downhill and climbing back up.
- Have a snowball fights
- Go snow shoeing
- Build a snow man. Even a little snow is enough to make a little snowman and they are always something fun to remember and a great way to express creativity and put mittened hands to work.
- Go skiing or snowboarding. This is great exercise for the entire family.
- Make an igloo. If you have enough snow, you can work on building an igloo with your family.
Winter Wonderland Photo Shoot
While you’re making all of these winter memories, be sure to take pictures! Snow makes an excellent back drop for photos, and winter accessories such as hats and gloves can make great pictures. A long term project idea is to take a picture of your family in the same outdoor location every month and then use those photos to make a calendar for the following year. There are all sorts of snow photo ideas!
You may also enjoy the book above as a way to interest your child in the wonders of the winter season. You can read it around the campfire and then it also includes an Activity Challenge Chart to help children discover Winter beauty as Rosie did!
I hope you have enjoyed these outdoor winter activity ideas and that you turn off the gadgets and get outside for some exercise, fresh air, and fun. Winter can be a wonderful time to see the world in a different light. So bundle up and get out there and enjoy these outdoor winter activities kids will love! Afterward, you can reward yourself with some hot beverages, soup, and blankets and enjoy some relaxing as a family. What are some of your favorite outdoor winter activities?