Winter can bring along seasonal depression, added body weight, and a feeling of isolation. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Take some time this winter to put forth an effort to do some old and new activities with your family. I’ve put together a list here of winter activity ideas that the whole family can partake in. In addition to the events listed here, let your winter imagination run wild. I hope that this list of winter activities inspires you not only to try them but think up some of your own.
Bake Christmas Cookies
I’m pretty sure the last dozen Hallmark Christmas movies I’ve watched involved the family or a newly dating couple making Christmas Cookies. There’s just something about sprinkles, chocolate chips, and peanut butter, etc. that puts a smile on faces. When you are finished, maybe share some with a shut-in elderly neighbor or surprise a best friend. Stores are loaded with the cutest Christmas cookie tins right now that are perfect for cookie gift giving.
Shovel Someone’s Sidewalk
Think of how delighted a neighbor or elderly person will be when they see you and your family out shoveling their sidewalk. The cool thing about doing something like this together is that you and your family will benefit as much if not more than the person you are doing this kind deed for. It’s great exercise too!
Go On A Sleigh Ride
Tomorrow my daughter and I will go on our yearly horse-drawn sleigh ride through our little mountain community. It’s so much fun to huddle together under blankets, singing Christmas Carols as the bells of the horses take us up and down streets. Look at your community calendar and ask around neighboring communities to see if there are any sleigh rides scheduled for this winter. This ranks as possibly my favorite winter activity of all.
Go Winter Camping
If you are still reading this section, then you are at least considering the possibility of winter camping. But if you are the outdoor type, think about taking an overnight winter camping trip with the family. Make sure to be well prepared and know what you are doing as far as keeping dry and warm. Our friends went winter camping just last night in the mountains and had a great time. They took snowshoes, and plenty of warm clothes, a tent, and blankets along with food that they cooked over a fire. I do want to stress to research winter camping first. You don’t want to find yourself in a pickle or being picked up by a search and rescue party.
Have A Bonfire
If you have a safe place to have a campfire, then have a winter bonfire. Make sure to have warm places for everyone to sit. Have blankets for people to put on their laps. Roasting marshmallows and making s’mores can be just as fun in the winter as in the summer. This works especially well if you have an outdoor fire pit already.
Go Snowshoeing/Hiking/Cross Country Skiing
Get moving outside this winter. It doesn’t matter what form of travel you will be taking, just so long as it involves some physical movement outdoors. Take the time to enjoy all that winter has to offer. If you don’t have your own snowshoes or cross-country skis, ask your local sports stores if they rent them out. Also, you could probably find plenty of places to hike or go for an outdoor walk that doesn’t involve equipment.
Build a Snowman
No winter is complete without building a snowman. The best thing about building a snowman is that there are no rules. You can make two giant balls of snow or maybe you like the traditional three distinct snowballs look. The sky and your ladder are your only limit. Be original and have fun.
Sledding can be such a great family activity. Find a community hill if you don’t have one in your backyard. Join others as you race down snow-covered hills. It can be fun to double up if your sled is big enough and also to have races if you have more than one sled. Whatever you do, just have fun. Sledding is one of those traditional activities that never goes out of style.
Ok, you may be wondering why swimming is on a list of winter activities to do with your family. But I put it here because it can do a body good to find an indoor pool and go for a swim in the dead of winter. Look for a local YMCA or maybe pay to swim at a hotel. It can feel so good to peel off all of those winter layers that you may be used to toting around and skimp down to a suit. If you happen to be blessed to live by a hot spring, then, by all means, swim outside. We have hot springs by us, and it really is more fun swimming in them in the winter than the summer. Watching the steam come up and rise into the cold skies as you indulge yourself with a full body soak in warm water is a real winter treat for the body, mind, and soul.
Winter can be time to make excellent and fun family memories. Try picking an activity on this list and schedule in a time to do it with your family. A day off of fun can make you feel so much more productive for the rest of the week. It can also help to fight off those wintertime blues and the dreaded cabin fever that kids can get from being cooped up too long indoors. Have a great time and remember to dress warm if you will be outside.