For some people, like my husband, winter is their favorite time of year, for others, like myself, it’s not. If you live in an area with all four seasons you’re not alone. For some winter can be a time that they only think of indoor activities. Well, I’m here to give you some fun activities to get you outside. Before you know it, you’ll be thanking me for suggesting these family-friendly activities.
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Try your hand at skiing this winter
I had to start with my husband’s favorite sport. For him, it isn’t winter unless he’s on the slopes and enjoying his black diamond runs. My husband is super thrilled that our girls love to ski as well. He’s going to have them skiing the black diamonds before I know it. They’re already going into the woods as well as skiing through the terrain parks so it won’t be long now. I believe it’s all part of his plan to get them to like winter more than summer.
Of course, if it has been a while since you’ve skied or it’s your first time, take a lesson. There’s nothing worse than getting hurt while skiing. I should know, I’ve done it several times.
A few tips if you are new to the sport:
- Go to a local ‘smaller’ mountain. No need to go to a big mountain when you need the bunny hill to start.
- Rent your equipment by the day. Even a helmet unless you have a hockey helmet and you can take the grill off.
- Make sure you have plenty of layers on so you can stay warm and adjust as needed.
- Don’t forget the hand warmers.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
There are some amazing ski resorts around the country. For help choosing a resort to visit, check out in my friend, Lisa’s post for the Top Ski Resorts in the USA.
We love to ice skate in winter
Even if you live in warmer climates you can now try your hand at ice skating. The new indoor ice rinks are catching on and becoming quite popular even here in New England. One of the great features of indoor ice rinks is that they aren’t cold. No need to bundle up and deal with layers while skating. This, of course, makes it easier for the little ones.
However, if you are a purest and want that outdoor magical experience, we’ve found lots of cities that have them. But the traditional indoor ice rink isn’t going away, so not too worry. Our family really enjoys skating outside. In fact, we skated in Bryant Park on our last visit to New York City before Thanksgiving. What a fun time skating with the beautiful park around us. Read more about Bryant Park and all it has to offer in my Midtown Manhattan Post.
Mom Tip: Wear a helmet. In fact, when my kids were first learning they had hockey helmets that protect your face as well as your head.
We love to go sledding. We go any chance we can. Our sleds are at the ready for any new snow we get during the winter. In our old neighborhood, there was a super great street to sled on. Yes, urban living at it’s finest. Either my husband or I would stand on the main street to watch for any cars. Meanwhile, the other one would come flying down the hill with one of the girls. What a fabulous time we had on that hill. Of course, street sledding only happens right after it snows.
When we moved to the new house, it was the start of summer. However, we still drove around the town looking for the perfect hill for sledding. There are many hills in this town but most are streets. At last, we found a field with a big hill and have enjoyed sledding there ever since.
If you are anything like me you make the sledding hill your own. You add bumps along the run for some high flying antics to see how high you can get. These are some of my favorite childhood memories, ones I’ll never forget. My dad would get us inner tubes from car tires or even truck tires from the local car shop to ride on. The tubes go super fast and can if you hold on and land on them, help to cushion your fall.
If you are around a ski resort check out their website to see if they offer tubing. Tubing can be elaborate if a course is set up or it can simply be sledding on a tube. Even if it is just sledding down a hill on a tube, it’s super fun and the hills tend to be longer which just adds to the excitement.
Snowshoeing, aka hiking in winter
Snowshoeing is so much fun and doesn’t require any lessons. REI.com has rentals for both adults and kids so you try this winter sport out before buying any equipment. You can hike in your backyard or you can go out on any trail. Just remember to stick to the trails so you don’t damage any new forest growth.
My husband and I really enjoy snowshoeing. It gets you out into the woods where it’s quiet and you can just enjoy nature. We love looking for animal tracks to see whose been out and about since the last snow.
This year we are giving our girls snowshoes for Christmas. I honestly, can’t wait to go out with them. I really think they are going to love it. Last year, I went snowshoeing with a friend up in Killington around Kent Pond which was spectacular. It wasn’t difficult but certainly gave us a workout.
Of course, if you want more of a workout you can hike a mountain in snowshoes. The Appalachian Mountain Club is a great resource for outdoor activities and has a whole page dedicated to snowshoeing. They show trails to snowshoe, huts to stay in, and even host trips you can join.
Make a snowperson or just playing in the snow
Getting out and helping the girls make a snow person, haha, is so much fun. I love being told what to do. They always seem to have some very specific ideas for their snowperson. I got them liquid watercolors for a gift one year. They use it to ‘decorate’ the snowperson as well as the rest of the snow.
Making snow angels has always been one of my favorite activities. There really is an art to getting it just right. Ainsley has been working on her technique and I’m impressed by her angels of late.
Don’t forget about the good ole fashion snowball fight either. I recently saw a commercial with a group of friends having an epic snowball fight. My suggestion is to have as many snowballs made before you start the fight as possible. This way you have them ready and can continue to attach your opponent. Good luck and leave a picture below if you have a snowball fight this winter.
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I know winter can be cold and sometimes even dreary. However, I find if I can get outside for even just a short walk each day it keeps my spirits up. If you have kids it will help with their pent up energy plus fresh air is good for all of us. So get out into nature and enjoy this wonderful season we are in.