Winter can feel really long—especially after you’ve been cooped up for a few months with a few more months looming ahead of you. Here are some ideas for getting outside and having a good time!
1. Try a new winter sport
This is a huge category, but it includes ice skating, ice fishing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, etc. Many state and county parks have cross country skis and snowshoes available for rent if you don’t already own the gear—it’s a great way to try an activity without the need for a large investment. For ice skates, try renting them from a local sports store.
2. Build an igloo or a snow cave
I imagine it would be incredibly satisfying to build my own house. Most people will never have the opportunity to do this, but never fear—you can build a snow house. While temporary, a snow cave or igloo will still provide the pleasure of building something you can fit inside, and it’ll give you some shelter from any cold winds blowing around. Just make a huge pile of snow and start digging/carving!
3. Investigate some snowflakes
Take something black outside with you and catch some snowflakes on it. Once you’ve caught some flakes you can peer at them closely or pull out the old magnifying glass in your junk drawer and see even smaller details.
4. Go hiking
If you’re like me, hiking comes to mind much more quickly in the summertime. Warm sun on my skin beckons me outside, and I can spend hours simply walking and looking at trees, rocks, or lakes. The good news is many of your favorite summer hiking spots are still open in winter, and they’ll look totally different. There’s an added bonus of animal tracks in fresh snow if you hike at the right time, too. Just be sure to bundle up, carry water, and keep an eye out for ice on the trail.
5. Go fat biking
Fat bikes are good for winter because their large tires inflated to relatively low pressure prevent your bike from sinking as harshly into the snow. A fat bike will bring out your adventurous side as the large tires will improve your balance and give you more control over your ride. Plus you don’t need any snow to jump on a fat bike and ride to your heart’s content, so it can be done regardless of weather. Many local bike shops might give you the opportunity to rent out a fat bike for the day, saving you from having to buy one in order to try it out.
6. Go to a zoo
Most zoos stay open during winter, and you’ll get a chance to see how the animals behave when the temps drop. Of course, some animals need to stay somewhere warm through the winter months, but others thrive in cold weather. There’s nothing like watching a polar bear roll around in fresh snow. Plus, there are a lot fewer people wandering the zoo in wintertime, so you won’t need to fight through crowds to see the red pandas.
7. Snow sculpting
Talk about an activity you can only do in winter! All you need to do is build up a good pile of snow, pack it really good, and start carving it out using simple tools like a hand saw or putty knife. To get a better snow form, make a big plywood box, pack it with snow, and let it sit for a few days to harden. Once your snow is solid, remove the form and carve away!
8. Snow campfire
One of my favorite parts of camping is sitting around a campfire, relaxing and chatting with good friends. Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be limited to the warm months—in fact, what time could be better for a campfire than when you’re actually cold! All you have to do is clear the snow from your fire ring, light it up, and enjoy a cozy evening in the snow and under the stars.
9. Find a winter oddity
Part of the fun of this idea is finding the oddities, so I’ll just give one example: ice castles.
Imagine the winter magic of walking around in a castle entirely made of ice. Plus, ice castles are often equipped with colorful lights, making wandering their halls at night an even more impressive experience. Do a quick Google search to see if you have any in your area!
10. Find a place where you can walk on water
There’s something very exciting about walking on a frozen lake. I think it’s built in to human nature to be excited about walking to a place you would normally need assistance to get to, such as a mountaintop, or in this case, the middle of a lake. Before you head out onto the lake, make sure the ice is thick enough!
Written by Kelsey Veldkamp
Brfur Brand Ambassador