Baby, it's cold outside! But that doesn't mean you need to stay indoors. There are many outdoor winter activities that are fun for the whole family, don't require traveling and won't break the bank.
Winter weather in most of the Northern Hemisphere can mean temperatures from freezing cold to downright balmy. Depending on how far north you are, wind chills to -30 aren't unusual, and in some places, the sun may never shine. But thanks to hi-tech clothing that keeps little fingers warm, there are many fun outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and some energy bars for a sweet, warm treat!
Here are 10 inexpensive and easy winter activities that don't require much – if any – equipment or travel that the whole family can enjoy.
10 Inexpensive Winter Outdoor Family Activities
1. Ice Skating
Outdoor skating rinks are popular in towns and cities of all sizes. Many rinks are open during daytime and evening hours, 7 days a week. Often skating is free, and there is a fee for skate rental. Many rinks offer skating lessons. Many ponds and lakes freeze over for winter skating: take extra care to assure that the ice is solid and safe.
2. Tobogganing, Sledding and Tubing
Natural and manmade hills are perfect for a fast trip down the snowy slope! Toboggans and sleds come in all price ranges from fancy wooden models to inexpensive plastic discs or tubes. Many sleds and toboggans hold 3 or more people, so it's easy to squeeze the little ones in, supported by adults or older siblings.
Walk and hike on top of the snow with snowshoes, designed to fit over the top of boots, and quickly put on and taken off. While some snowshoers use ski poles for stability and speed, they are not necessary for snowshoeing. Many parks and golf courses are open to snowshoers during the winter.
4. Riding in a Horse and Carriage
Many cities offer horse and buggy sight-seeing tours. With an extra blanket and some warm clothes, enjoy the winter wonderland from a warm buggy!
5. Building a Snow Village
Instead of one lonely snowman, build a whole snow village! As long as the snow and cold last, you can take a few days or a few weeks to build a snow family. Use empty cans or pails to create bricks and build a fort or igloo.
5 extra fun, kid-friendly activities for the snow
6. Hula Hooping
Hula hooping takes on a whole new dimension in the snow, with bulky winter clothes. Have a contest to see who can go the longest!
7. Bubble Blowing
Get out the soap bubbles and wand and make some snow bubbles! If the temperature is below freezing – 32 degrees – you and the kids can watch how long it takes the bubble to freeze.
8. Snow Ice Cream Making
There are many recipes for making ice cream with clean, freshly-fallen snow. We like this one from Mommysavers using empty baggies and kid-power to churn the ice cream!
9. Scavenger Hunting
Sneak out early in the day and hide a few treats or colored ice cubes in the yard. Bundle the kids up for a family scavenger hunt, invite a few friends over and make it into a real game!
10. Playing Tic Tac 'Snow'
Make a large tic tac toe board in the snow, using colored ice cubes to mark the squares. Other fun games that are easily converted for the snow include hopscotch and tag.
And if all else fails, a family snowball fight is sure to bring a few smiles and burn up some kid energy!
Catherine Russell is Būband's Content Manager