10 Things You Can do Outside with Your Family Even in Cold Weather

10 Things You Can do Outside with Your Family Even in Cold Weather

When the cold weather hits, it’s tempting to stay inside our cozy houses and not be out in the fresh air, but contrary to what you might think, there are actually a lot of activities that you can do, special to winter. Even through the winter months, it’s important to get some fresh air and appreciate how God has created the seasons, each with their unique beauty. I am especially reminded of something my pastor back home likes to say about the winter season: “As I look out my window and see the birds in the snow, I bring to mind Isaiah 1:18: ‘Though your sins are like scarlet; they shall be as white as snow.’” Let’s be open to what the Lord may be teaching us through this season of winter.

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  • 1. Go for a walk

    1. Go for a walk

    I’ll be the first to say I don’t like cold weather, but there really is a special beauty to nature during winter. The air is fresher and crisper and it doesn’t take long to warm up when you are on a vigorous walk. Whether you live in a city or the country, chances are that you won’t regret getting outside, getting some exercise, and enjoying God’s Creation.


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  • 2. Go ice-skating

    2. Go ice-skating

    There are ice-skating rinks indoors, but it’s always more fun to ice-skate on a real rink outside! In northern Wisconsin, where I lived as a teenager, one of my favorite winter activities was to grab my ice-skates and pretend like I was an Olympic skater in a small ice rink situated in the middle of snow-covered pine trees. While your town’s outdoor rink may not be as idyllic, nothing beats the feeling of whooshing over the ice with the wind in your face. Perhaps you can even find a rink lit by Christmas lights and decorations.


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  • 3. Go sledding

    3. Go sledding

    Sledding is another fun outdoor winter activity that is great for the whole family. Grab your family and a sled or two (sleds are also inexpensive) and scout out your town’s best sledding hill--or maybe even use your own backyard!


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  • 4. Visit your town's biggest Christmas tree

    4. Visit your town's biggest Christmas tree

    Although some of these activities will only work if you live somewhere where there is snow, this one is for anyone. You could even make a game of it with your family, driving around to various locations around town, getting out and looking at the Christmas trees you spot. This is also sure to get your family in the Christmas spirit.


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  • 5. Go on a tacky Christmas lights tour

    5. Go on a tacky Christmas lights tour

    Where I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin there was a row of houses called “Candy Cane Lane.” It was a treat every Christmastime to drive past these houses and to get out and admire the decorations. Chances are that every city has their own “Candy Cane Lane”--go on an adventure and find your city’s! You can go with just your family, or even join an official Tacky Lights Tour.


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  • 6. Collect pine cones and other objects to create winter decorations

    6. Collect pine cones and other objects to create winter decorations

    We had a tradition growing up of building a snowman and then crafting strings of cranberries and popcorn to hang on it for the birds. We would also add pine cones and boughs and other wintertime objects. It’s amazing what you can find, even when there is snow on the ground!


    Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Joanna Kosinska

  • 7. Photograph beautiful winter scenes (and each other in them!)

    7. Photograph beautiful winter scenes (and each other in them!)

    As I mentioned earlier, wintertime is an unique season with its own special beauty. Pine trees, winter birds, icicles, snowflakes, whitetail deer, and sunsets over frozen lakes are some of my favorite wintertime photography objects. You can also get some great family photos in the wintertime.


    Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Aaron Burden

  • 8. Watch for wildlife

    8. Watch for wildlife

    Not all birds fly south for the winter, and not all animals hibernate. There are still plenty that are out and about during the cold months and provide us with our own chance to score a photograph that looks as though it could be featured in next year’s calendar picture for “December.”


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  • 9. Decorate a real tree--outside

    9. Decorate a real tree--outside

    If you’ve ever watched the classic Christmas children’s movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” you may remember how all the characters of Christmastown decorate the pine trees growing outdoors. There’s no reason why we can’t do this too! You may not want to use those extra fragile ornaments, but some ribbon, garland, or strings of cranberries should do the trick.


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  • 10. Go Christmas caroling

    10. Go Christmas caroling

    Going Christmas caroling house to house is an outdoor winter activity sure to make the bite of winter not so bad. Perhaps you could get together a group from your church to spread some Christmas cheer to the homes of the elderly or those in need this holiday season.

    I hope these ideas encourage you and your family to spend some time in the brisk winter air this season, and who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to come up with new ways of how to enjoy this time of year outside!


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