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Outdoor Winter Activities for the Whole Family

Buzzle Staff Oct 19, 2018
Don't let the cold keep you inside. Get outside and have some fun with your family this winter.
The winter blues are almost upon us. Don't let yourself get cabin fever because you feel like you have to stay inside all day. It might be cold, but winter snowscapes are one of the best parts about the cold weather months.
If you get out there and get moving during the winter, this can be a great way to burn off some of those extra holiday food calories you've been consuming at your family outings. Getting outside is also a great way to battle Seasonal Affective Disorder. So what are you waiting for? Bundle up and get outside!


If you like to hike during the warmer months, you'll probably really like to hike in the winter. The scenery changes completely from summer to fall to winter, and the snow can make for really beautiful photos.
Be sure to bring your camera with you to capture all the awesome scenery. Many places with hiking trails keep them clean and clear of snow in the winter so you can enjoy the scenery without having to trudge through snowdrifts.
Because it's cold out, you also have the added benefit of not sweating too much through your clothes, and it's a great excuse to grab some hot chocolate when you finish your hike.

Cross-Country Skiing

Some trails that had been used for hiking before the snow fell will now be used for cross-country skiing. Cross-country skiing is a great workout, and a great way to see the winter scenery at the same time.
If you've never done cross-country skiing before, be sure to check with an expert before trying it yourself. You'll need some gear to get you started, and a few lessons so you're sure you know what you're doing before heading out. Knowing what to expect can keep you safe and prevent an injury from keeping you inside for longer than you'd like.


Sledding is not only great fun, but also an awesome workout. Sure, you need very little effort to get you down the hill, but you need to walk up the hill before you can propel yourself down it.
All that walking is really good for you, and has the added benefit of being really fun when you launch yourself down the hill. Just be sure you're being safe. Watch out for other people and obstacles such as trees, rocks, or ice on the hill.
Sledding can be great fun when you do it safely. This becomes even more important when you have children with you. Be sure they know what they're doing as they go down the hill to prevent them from getting hurt.

Snowball Fights

Everyone remembers going outside, building a snow fort, and having snowball fights when they were kids. The fun doesn't have to stop when you're an adult!
Go outside with your kids or your significant other, and build a fort and start tossing snowballs at each other. If you have kids, get them in on the action. Throwing snowballs is a great way to expend some extra energy, and can be really fun for the whole family.

Bird Watching

Lots of birds migrate during the winter months, and these quiet, cold hours can be a great time to see them like never before.
Eagles, for example, migrate through central Illinois in February, and watching them fly through Starved Rock State Park in Utica, Illinois is a breathtaking sight. Check your local parks to find out what birds you can see in your area and get out there to see them.