Here are 12 Creative Outdoor Winter Activities for You and Your Family.

Don’t let the cold coop you up!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day and we all know what that means: six more weeks of winter. But that doesn’t mean we need to stay inside!

There are a slew of health reasons why it’s important to get fresh air even if it’s cold fresh air:

  • Sun exposure helps improve our mood. Sunlight stimulates the same hormones as antidepressants, which can help those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) feel better.
  • Exercising outside can improve our immunity to colds and diseases. An American Journal of Medicine study found that women who walked for 30 minutes a day for a whole year reported 50 percent fewer seasonal colds than women who didn’t exercise during the same time period.
  • Trying to lose weight? Exercising in the cold weather boosts our metabolic rate, making it easier to burn more calories quicker.

If you’re wishing spring were already here, here are 12 creative outdoor winter activities you and your family can enjoy while we wait for spring to arrive.

12 creative outdoor winter activities

Creative Outdoor Winter Activities: Go on a winter picnic with your partner, or enjoy a neighborhood s’mores party.

Go on a winter picnic with your partner, or enjoy a neighborhood s’mores party.

Dine outside

Tired of going to the movies on every date night? Go on a winter picnic. Pack some soup, a warm baguette and some roasted vegetables and have dinner in a local park. For dessert, eat s’mores around a bonfire or drink hot cocoa or tea on your porch. Too rustic for you? Find a local restaurant that has porch heaters and dine al fresco!

Discover your inner photographer

Winter is a beautiful time to explore your city. Take your camera and visit a historic monument in your city that you haven’t been to recently.

Participate in outdoor group fitness

Struggling to keep up with the great fitness routine you were in during the summer? Born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during the cold, the November Project is a free fitness movement that has a presence in 27 cities throughout the US.

Rent a cabin at a state park

Did you know that the National Park Service just celebrated its 100th anniversary? There’s never been a better time to visit one. Most state parks have cabins available for rent. Plan a trip with your friends or family, or visit one near you for a quick getaway.

snowy park with woman and dog

Winter is a great time to visit a national state park. Rent a cabin for a weekend getaway.

Go on a winter nature jog or walk

Schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to treat yourself to a nature jog or walk around your neighborhood. It may take some extra motivation to layer up, but you may find your town is at its most beautiful in the winter.

Have kids? Bring a paper bag and encourage them to collect “winter treasures” along the way. When you get home, make a winter collage.

Visit your local zoo

It might sound crazy, but winter is a great time to visit your local zoo. The crowds that often come with the other seasons are gone so you can get up close and personal with the animals. Plus, different animals will be out and active during the winter than are during the summer.

Make an outdoor den

Who says you can’t make use of your home’s outdoor space in the winter? Buy a patio heater and some warm outdoor blankets for your porch or deck. Decorate it with some white lights, candles and planters full of winter greens. It will be the best entertaining space in your house!

deck in the snow

Winterize your deck and have an outdoor winter party.

Take a ski trip

If you need a change of scenery, visit one of these top 10 ski resorts in North America.

Go ice skating

Find a local outdoor ice skating rink and treat yourself to an evening under the stars on the ice! See if one of these 15 best skating rinks in the US are in your city. If not, consider making a special trip to go visit one.

Get creative in the snow

There is one thing that makes going outside in the cold a ton of fun for kids: snow! Add food coloring to a spray bottle of water and let them “paint” your yard. Freeze colored water into fun-shaped ice cubes and go on a scavenger hunt. If you live somewhere where there is no snow, just rain, you can still have fun, too! Place buckets outside to catch the rain. Use water from the buckets to paint a covered porch or sidewalk.

Go bird watching

Build a natural bird house by filling a hollowed out orange with bird seed. Break out the binoculars and watch birds flock to your house.

bird in the winter

There are few things as relaxing as bird watching. You never know, you may also find there are some owls or foxes hiding in your own backyard!

Set up an outdoor play area

If it’s freezing outside and your kids are going stir crazy, why not create an outdoor play area that will keep them on the move? Set up stations for hula hoop, hop scotch, tic tac toe (or tic tac snow!) and more. They will have so much fun running around and rotating through each area that they won’t mind the cold.

Want our favorite “stay warm in the cold” hack?

Here are some fun recipes to help keep you warm as you brave the cold outdoors:

Lavender Latte

Gingerbread Coffee

Chai Tea Latte

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Our Healthy Human Stein Stainless Steel Water Bottles are built to brave the cold. They will keep your beverage steaming hot for a full 12 hours – long enough for your kids to sled all they want!

Have other creative outdoor winter activity ideas?

We would love to hear them! Let us know what you do in your city to have fun in the winter outside in the comments below.