The days are short, and the nights are long. It’s cold outside and it is easy to hole up inside and binge watch Netflix. However, even during the winter, our bodies need outdoor time. And believe it or not, wintertime provides a way to experience nature differently than any other time of year, and it can be just as fun if not more so than a warm, sunny day.
While it may be challenging to get motivated enough to bundle up and head outside in the winter, here are a few activities to enjoy when you head outdoors. The cold air will invigorate you, and as you move around you will warm up and being outside and the activity will really feel good.
Ice Skating - If the ice on a pond is thick enough and safe to skate on, head to your local fishing hole and go for a spin. If not, find an ice skating rink. A rink will have skates to rent, but if you need a pair of your own, take a look at a thrift store, or search on eBay. You can usually find skates for a few dollars.
Paint the Snow – This outdoor activity can be enjoyed by both the young and old and is easily done with supplies you probably already have on hand. All you need is food coloring and a small bowl with a paintbrush or small spray bottle. To make paint, add a few drops of food coloring to water and either add it to the bowl or bottle and paint away. Try building a snowman or snow fort and then decorate them.
Plogging – This activity was created by the Swedish and is a combination of jogging and picking up. It’s part social responsibility and part jogging. The idea is to go for a jog and pick up litter at the same time. Simply dress warm, put on a pair of gloves, grab a trash bag and head out the door.
Take Photos – While winter may seem ugly and boring to some people with the bare trees and lack of green, the clean lines of winter can be exceptionally beautiful if you just stop and look. Take a camera outside and look for small details like a bird sitting on a snow-covered branch. Even in the winter, the outdoors is full of opportunity for amazing photographs, so take your time and look around.
Go Camping – Yep, you read that right. People really do go camping. In the winter it’s called snow camping, and with the right gear it can be a fun and memorable experience. Think about it, there won’t be big crowds and there are no bugs, poison ivy, or ticks. Plus, once you get set up, there are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors. Try stargazing, bonfires, sledding, or hiking, just to name a few.
Go on a Treasure Hunt – You know that colored water that was left over from snow painting? To make a treasure hunt for your kids, take that left over water and fill an ice cube tray with it and make “gems” to hide from your kids. After the water freezes, hid the gems around the yard and let your kids go on a treasure hunt.
Build a Fire – Backyard fires are great any time of year, but they are best in the winter when you want to stay warm. So, gather around the fire and be sure to include some hot drinks and marshmallows or hotdogs to roast for some extra fun.
Make a Bird Feeder – This is the perfect opportunity to get outside and watch the birds after doing a little bit of crafting. An easy bird feeder that birds love is made using a pine cone. Simply smother the pine cone in peanut butter and then coat it with bird seed. Use a ribbon to hang it from a tre
Shovel Snow for Someone in Need – This is a great workout and the positive feeling your left with after the work is done will make up for the effort you put in. Find someone in your neighborhood that isn’t able to shovel their own snow and clear off their driveway and sidewalk. Your neighbor will thank you.
Go Snowshoeing– Although you have to buy the gear for this one, snowshoes aren’t typically a big investment, plus they will last a long time if you take care of them. So, go get yourself some snowshoes and go for a hike in the great outdoors.
While it’s easy to let the “dreary” winter weather keep us from getting outside for some fresh air and activities, we hope you will consider giving some of these ideas a try and make the most out of those winter days.